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Pets Improve Your Child's Immunity
Children, no matter what age, will at some point lobby their parents to get them a pet. Well, their case just got a little stronger. A study shows that children who have contact with dogs or cats during their first year of life are healthier. The study, conducted in Finland between 2002-2005, followed 397 kids during their first year of life. Infants are more susceptible to respiratory illnesses in their first year and can have anywhere from three to six such episodes. Those children with pets in their homes were sick less often.
Dogs offer greater protection over cats perhaps due in part to being in contact with germs from the outside. Dog owners also had children with fewer ear infections and needed fewer doses of antibiotics. Dr. Karl Kabasele, CBC News medical correspondent, summed it up best saying, “As the theory goes, the more a child is exposed to germs, the more their immune system matures and therefore the healthier they are as they grow up.”
What the study neglects to address is the way that children without pets are more likely to develop a little imaginary friend that parents are never quite sure if it’s something out of Paranormal Activity 3 or not. Either way, it’s a lifetime of therapy, just because you didn’t say yes to that puppy.