Domestic pets (Dogs, Cats) helping the babies in overall health

A recent study carried out finds that the babies who have a dog or a cat as a domestic pet has fewer health problems than those babies who do not have such domesticated animals. It has been observed that the babies during their first year of life got less sick frequently than those living in pet free zones. The study was published in the Monday’s edition of Pediatrics that provides fresh evidence about the unreasonable notion that an overly clean environment may not be ideal for new babies.

The study lays stress on the fact that sharing home with pets is equivalent to an early form of cross training for the body’s defense mechanism and previous research has showed that homes with cats or dogs as pets were linked with less risk of gastroenteritis in younger children. Researchers in Europe have found that the dogs and cats are associated with a reduced incidence of various types of illnesses in babies.

Kids or babies living in homes with their pet dogs were thirty one percent more likely to be in good health than those who did not have pets and babies/kids with cats had a six percent advantage over those who are without feline family members. Children with pet dogs were forty four percent less likely to develop ear infections and twenty nine percent less likely to use antibiotics during their first year.

Studies also threw light on the fact that the dirt, microbes brought indoors by the pets can in turn help in acting as a support system for the communities of helpful bacteria, microscopic creatures and yeast that live in a child’s developing body. To strengthen this study, a paper was presented at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology that showed that mice fed from homes with dogs were less likely than other mice to contract respiratory syncytial virus that was thought to play an important role in the development of childhood asthma.

Another curious factor that was noticed by the researchers is that living with a cat or dog was correlated with good health and the benefit was biggest when those pets were not around the house for most of the time or spent less time in their owners’ house.

The possible explanation of this puzzling fact is that pets that spent more time outdoor bring in more dirt into their homes thus giving the babies immune systems’ to mature faster when encountering the bacteria or other microorganisms from the dirt. The new findings would help the parents to get rid off the fear about the health consequences related to their infants exposed to a pet.

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