If you鈥檙e the kind of person who freaks out over the fact that dogs may dream about their owners or would gladly score a special Starbucks secret menu item for your pup, you鈥檙e certainly not alone. And if you鈥檙e apt to greet your dog first thing in the morning or have long chats with your kitties late at night, it turns out that you might be a total smartypants. That鈥檚 because, according to science, talking to your pets is a sign of intelligence.

woman and her pet dog

According to University of Chicago鈥檚 Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science, anthropomorphism (our tendency to project human qualities onto objects or animals) is one of the reasons we connect with our pets. Our natural tendency to want to make friends with things we anthropomorphize (try saying that word 10 times fast!) is not only why we talk to our animal friends, but it鈥檚 also 鈥渁 natural byproduct of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet.鈥 Epley acknowledges this behavior as a reflection of our brain鈥檚 greatest ability, and it shouldn鈥檛 be treated as a sign of stupidity. In fact, we think it鈥檚 pretty darn awesome.

C鈥檓ere, Rover! Take a seat, Fluffy! Let鈥檚 chat.

Do you talk to your pets? Let us know @BritandCo!

(h/t Uproxx; photos via Matt Cardy + Oli Scarff/Getty)