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Do Pets Make Babies Healthier?

Do Pets Make Babies Healthier?

Many new parents worry that their pet cat or dog will undermine their baby’s health. In fact, it is not uncommon to find unwanted animals at the shelter whose paperwork lists “new baby” as the reason for the surrender. However, new parents should think twice, as a recent study shows that infants in homes with dogs and cats are sick less frequently than their pet-free counterparts.

The study, published in the medical journal, Pediatrics, reveals that  young babes co-habitating with a family cat or dog succumbed to fewer runny noses, coughs and ear infections.  For example, youngsters in a home with a pet dog were 44% less likely to have developed an ear infection and 29% less liklely to have used an antibiotic during their first year.

It is interesting to note that the positive effect was more pronounced with dogs than cats — and more pronounced when the pet spent less than 6 hours per day in the house.

One conclusion that has been drawn is the counterintuitive notion that an overly clean environment may not be ideal for babies with developing immune systems. A child’s immune system needs to be challenged to develop. Pets inevitably introduce more bacteria, yeast and other microscopic critters into a child’s environment – and that may actually do a baby’s body good!

6 Health Benefits of Having a Pet
Eating Dirt, Embracing Germs

Read more: Allergies, Babies, Caregiving, Cats, Children, Dogs, Family, Feline Muse, Health, Pet Health, Pets, Pregnancy, Remedies & Treatments, Self-Help, Spirit, , , ,

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.


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11:42AM PDT on Aug 28, 2013

I think yes, besides you raise children that are more compassionate towards animals and the planet! Having pets has advantages only!

8:00AM PDT on Jun 21, 2013

Pets are awesome!

Jesus is God :D

8:17AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

~continued~ NOT my sink! Spraying down 1-2 times, AM & PM w/ peroxide & your sponge w/ sanitize well. Also putting your sponge through your dishwsher cycle & heating in microwave to kill germs is effective as well. If raw meat & its juices are contminating cutting boars, utensils, sponges & sinks...& then your dishes are in there being wshed by your contminted sponge ALL your dishes & glasses will be filled w/ bcteria & potential toxoplassmossis. YUCK!! I bet if a test study were done w/ swabs of sinks & its contents...I think people would be horrified what their own contain. Makes me ill just thinking about it!

8:05AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

Well, I am glad that more parents will know of this info. I am not too happy that it was biasd towards dogs though. Cats get a bad wrap way too often & Dr.'s don't help the matter either. Yes, a pregnant women should not be the one to handle litterbox duties if at all possible, but if you hve any brains in your would know the way to safe to deal w/ safely continuong littterbox heigne. Also, stop using ANY products w/ antibcterials this is a complete phallasy that they keep things more sanitary, all they do is make "super germs" that then resist & proliferate significantly. Triclosan, the anti-bacterial ingrediant used, is TOXIC on top of all that. It has mimicing components of AGENT ORANGE. That will ct as an endocrine/hormone disruptor. Most standard cleaning products, even if they do not contain antibaterials re also TOXIC. Labels can say anything they want, its all unregulted, w/ no care to the hrm of the consumer. Also note that toxoplasmossis, the organism pregnant wemon are told to avoid from potential contmintion from used cat litter, is VERY COMMON to transfer from uncooked meat that contaminates cutting boards, utensils, sinks & sponges. I'd bet my $ that anyone transmitting this disease to themselves is getting if from raw food contamintion & NOT used cat litter...but that the cats & their used litter take the blame. They say most sinks & sponges are more bacterially contaminated that toilet bowels...if you can even imagine THAT! N

5:28AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013


3:45AM PDT on May 20, 2013

And then you see those antibacterial-soap ads on the TV. A child is outside frolicking with a dog and then it comes in covered in bacteria and a concerned sounding voice is telling us that this is probably gonna kill the ki if it doesn't wash every nook and cranny of its body with the soap IMMEDIATELY!
(Most) humans are stupid and paraniod

6:56PM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

Without a doubt.

11:38AM PDT on Apr 9, 2013


8:57PM PDT on Mar 18, 2013

If there are no allergies, pets bring joy and serenity to many family members no matter what the age.

10:26PM PDT on Mar 16, 2013

Well, my son must be one healthy baby!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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