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The Health Benefits Of Pets on Newborns

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As of four days ago I am officially an uncle, its great. Working at a shelter i've heard hundreds of expecting parents tell us "We can't keep our dog, were having a baby." It's so awful to hear how easily some people could get rid of a pet. While working at the shelter I've read numerous articles from the ASPCA to Cesar Millan, to the New York Times, all stating that pets are actually very advantageous to new borns.

My household has a few dogs, one dachshund, a bulldog, cattle dog/greyhound mix and a current foster pet. This article isn't about how to introduce your pets to a baby but rather that there is no need to get rid of pets due to a newborn. I can already tell you that my dachshund is in love with the baby, she protects him, lays as close as she can to him, and cries when he cries.

It's normal thinking that when a new born enters a home that the environment must be completely sanitized, otherwise the baby will get sick. While obviously the environment must have some level of cleanliness, overly sanitized homes are not good for their overall health.


A few studies have been conducted and found stunning results. The journal Pediatrics, researchers found that babies who grew up with pets in the home, dog or cat, are less likely to become sick than children whom live without a pet in the home.

Research has linked the presence of pets with a lower risk of allergies among babies. So, how do pets bolster infants overall health? Researchers think that exposure to pet dander, as well as what pets carry into the home from outdoors, could bolster babies' still-developing immune systems and train them early to fend off assaults from common allergens and bugs. Researchers found that babies who grew up in homes with pets were 44% less likely to develop an ear infection and 29% less likely to receive antibiotics, compared with pet-free babies. Kids living in homes with such dogs were illness-free 73% of the time, whereas children living in homes without pets were healthy only about 65% of the time.

Go on now introduce those pets to your brand new baby, and congratulations!