Why pets make babies healthier
When a new baby comes into the home, one of the first things you think about is what is or is not safe for my baby? Often, having your beloved pets continue living in your home is questioned once your little bundle of love arrives.
But fear not! It has been reported by researchers in the journal Pediatrics, that babies who grow up in a home with a pet – namely a dog or a cat – are less likely to get sick than children who live pet-free.
Previous research has supported the same findings in addition to children having lower risk of allergies. Even over sanitizing your house is not in the best interest of your baby. A recent study in mice found that overexposure to household dust from homes with a dog actually prevented infection with a common respiratory virus that’s thought to increase asthma in children.
We know, we know… how can this be? It feels like it goes against everything we’ve been told. How do pets really protect against these diseases?
“We think the exposure to pets somehow matures the immune system so when the child meets the microbes, he might be better prepared for them,” says Dr. Eija Bergroth, a pediatrician at Kuopio University Hospital in Finland who led the current study.
Basically by allowing our children to be exposed to these things while they’re young, it gives them a chance to build up immunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. What it comes down to is that you don’t need to get rid of your pet because you are having a new baby join your family. Pets are family too and they actually contribute to the overall health of your baby. What fantastic news!