July 11, 2012 Leave a comment
by Denene Millner
By NICK CHILES
This is one that will surely stop new mothers in their tracks: Infants that live with a dog in the house are healthier than those who don’t. Why? Because of all the germs, silly!
That’s right. The germs that dogs track into the house—particularly dogs who spend as much as 18 hours a day outside—help newborns build up immunities that allow babies to more easily ward off illness, such as ear infections, the bane of every new mom and dad’s existence.
The findings were reported in the medical journal Pediatrics, which published the results of the study of 397 children who lived in rural and suburban Finland.
The dogs, and to a lesser extent cats, helped the babies ward off respiratory tract infections and ear infections during their first year of life.
“The children having dogs at home were healthier, they had less ear infections and they needed less antibiotics,” said Eija Bergroth, the study’s lead author and a pediatrician affiliated with Kuopio University Hospital in Kuopio, Finland. Read more of this post