Good news pet owners! Pediatrics Journal reported that when an infant gets more exposure to cats and dogs especially until the time they are a year old, their immune system becomes stronger and they are protected against a host of infections related to respiratory tracts.
A study conducted in Finland between 2002 and 2005 demonstrated that kids who spent more time in the company of dogs – a minimum of 6 hours inside the house – were 8% healthier that those without dogs. The study was conducted with 474 kids followed from the time they were born until they were around 6 to 7 years old.
Don’t get confused…it is not that your baby won’t get sick, but the study found that kids with dogs were healthy 73% of the time vis-a-vis kids who were not in the company of dogs and were healthy only 65% of the time. The findings were published in the Pediatrics Journal.
The lead author of the study and Finish pediatrician, Elija Bergroth, pointed out that kids in the company of dogs were found to require fewer antibiotics, had fewer ear infections, and were healthier overall. Moreover, infants in the company of dogs who also went outdoors, were found to have fewer fevers.
The key message – new parents, don’t think you have to give up your dog because you are expecting or now have a baby. Not only will you still have a great pet and family protector, your child’s health will be better too.