Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dogs and Cats can make Human Babies Healthier | Care2 Healthy ...

  • Cherise Udell
  • March 6, 2013
  • 12:29 pm

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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!

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Read more: Allergies, Babies, Caregiving, Cats, Children, Dogs, Family, Feline Muse, Health, Pet Health, Pets, Pregnancy, Remedies & Treatments, Self-Help, Spirit, cats and babies, cats and baby allergies, dogs and babies, dogs and cats make human babies healthier

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.

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