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Owning a Dog Makes Your Baby Healthier

Posted Jul 10 2012 12:00am
My dog and baby...
What good news for dog owners! According to a new study, babies who spend their first year in a household with a dog have fewer ear infections, need less antibiotics and are healthier overall than infants without any dog contact at home.

This study, which was published in the journal of Pediatrics, found that babies that live with dogs are healthy 73% of the time, compared with 65% of the time for their counterparts.

Why do dogs make babies healthier?

One theory is that dogs bring all kinds of dirt and bacteria into the home that babies would not normally be exposed to - strengthening their immune systems.

Another theory may be that babies that are exposed to pets have fewer allergies, and therefore their bodies have more resources available to become resilient to bacteria and viruses.

Should you run out and get a dog?

Not to state the obvious, but if you are expecting a baby not is not the time to bring a new dog into the household. As much fun and as much love as they bring to a family, introducing a dog to a family is stressful for both the dog and the parents. It can take up to 6 months or more for both parties to become well acclimated. A dog that is unsure of its place in the "pack" may develop issues with jealousy, anger, or rejection. It is best to have a dog that is well adjusted to its home before introducing a baby OR wait until your family is well adjusted to the baby before introducing the dog.
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