According to a study, kids who grow up in a family that include a dog, are less likely to suffer infections, allergies, asthma, and other childhood ailments. If you don’t have a Fido already, it may be a good idea to get one. Of course it’s always best to gather dogs 101 information first to find the best dogs for kids.
The new research, published in the magazine “Pediatrics”, highlights the importance of early exposure among children to dirt and germs for the purpose of building strong immunity.
Study on “natural” immune system boosters in Finland.
For this study, researchers from the Kuopio University Hospital in Finland evaluated approximately 400 infants born between 2002 and 2005. The team asked the parents to fill out a survey about their kid’s health from the time the kids were born until they reached their 1. birthday.
The questionnaire was structured like a daily diary, keeping tracks of the number of infections the children had, as well as how often they experienced fevers, runny noses, coughs, or wheezing. The frequency of the conditions was compared with the fact whether or not the children had a dog (or cat) living at home.
The results based on the parents’ diary reports:
Those kids who live with a dog are more than 31 % healthier during any given week than those who do not live with a dog. Also they were 44 % less likely to develop inner ear infections and 29 % less likely to need any antibiotic drugs, than kids living in families without a dog. Overall, kids living with dogs, are the least likely to develop any sickness at all, and are the healthiest among all children.
During the first year of your kids’ life, dog and pet contacts are important, as they are possibly leading to better resistance to infectious respiratory illnesses during childhood.
In 2011 another study uncovered similar findings among children living on a farm. It seems as though kids exposed to a variety of unique microbes and germs as immune system boosters develop stronger immunity, and are thus far healthier, than children living in sanitary urban environments.
Health articles for kids, source Pediatrics: “Respiratory Tract Illnesses During the First Year of Life: Effect of Dog and Cat“