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


Jetana A
Jetana A9 months ago

Interesting. I think there are also emotional benefits!

Sandra liapis
Sandra liapis1 years ago

I'm about to have my first child, and he is coming into a home with a cat and dog. Glad to see he will have a better immune system, but I don't know about having the pets in the home only 6hrs a day....i imagine if I let my pets hang out outside most of the day, they would probably be bringing in more bacteria, no?

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla4 years ago

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

Lady A.
Past Member 4 years ago

Pets are awesome!

Jesus is God :D

Cheryl Mallon-Bond

~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!

Cheryl Mallon-Bond

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

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado4 years ago


Alexandra S.
Alexandra S4 years ago

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

Grant Feltis
Grant Feltis4 years ago

Without a doubt.

Ajla C.
Past Member 4 years ago