A small study in Finland consisting of 397 infants showed that living with a dog or cat the first year of life led to healthier kids. The study showed kids living with a dog the first year of life had 31 percent fewer respiratory tract infections than kids without dogs. The study also showed infants living with a dog had 44 percent less ear infections than kids living without a dog.
There were benefits to owning a cat as well but the advantages were not as strong as living with a dog.
The study also showed dogs that were exposed to the outdoors frequently provided the best benefits to kids. Don’t be afraid to let that dog get dirty, it’s healthy. These are great statistics because in turn children are far less likely to need antibiotics which we know are very over prescribed today. Many studies like this one show evidence that exposing children to pets leads to a healthier immune system.