Pets may make children healthier
July 9th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Pets may make children healthier

Children who are born to a family with furry pets seem more able to ward off certain illnesses.

A recent study out of Finland finds babies who have a cat or dog around during their first year have fewer health problems than little ones who don't have pets.

The study, published in next month's issue of Pediatrics, followed 397 children from before birth to age 1, and noted the number of times they had contact with either a dog or cat each week.

Although it's a pretty common thing to see newborns with minor respiratory issues and ear infections, researchers found those babies who had more interaction with animals seemed to have fewer of these problems and needed less medication, even when they were sick.

Even though babies living with cats were still protected, their protection was not as strong as those babies who lived around dogs. And kids living in homes in which dogs went in and out of the house more often seemed to have the lowest risk of infections.

Although doctors acknowledge more research is needed, they say there's something about animals that affect an infant's immune system which can protect against certain childhood infections.

The people who had dogs that were mostly kept inside appeared to have less protection from the illnesses, said Dr. Eija Bergroth, a pediatrician at the Kuopio University Hospital in Kuopio, Finland and one of the study's authors. “So, we speculated that the more the dog is outside, the more dirt (and microbes) it might bring inside.”

And what does dirt have to do with keeping an infant healthy?

“The microbes in the dirt might somehow stimulate the child's immune system and the immunologic responses to respiratory viruses and bacteria later could then be more composed," said Bergroth. “Or it might be something to do with the dog itself as an animal, like dander, but this also unsure."

The researchers were not able to objectively analyze whether inner city children had different results than kids from rural and suburban areas. Since living environment can impact microbes in the dirt, children in different conditions might show different effects.

According to the authors, the children in the study are being followed as a part of a larger study mainly concentrating on allergies. So, there may be a possibility, they said to analyze the effect on respiratory infections later, as the children grow older.

soundoff (848 Responses)
  1. RV Suspension Repair Near Me

    That is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate infoÖ Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!


    June 21, 2021 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Van Mechanic Shop

    Very good information. Lucky me I came across your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!


    June 21, 2021 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Repair San Clemente California


    June 21, 2021 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Service Locations


    June 21, 2021 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Chevrolet Cargo Van Repair Shop


    June 22, 2021 at 01:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. muon thang casino

    Tin Mới Nhất Bóng Đá Vào Vòng 24h, Chuyển Nhượng, Kết Trái, ..star casinoLiverpool là đội bóng nhận ít thẻ nhất ở Premier League mùa này và đang được đứng trước cơ hội đạt giải thưởng Fair Play ở mùa giải loại 5 liên tiếp. Sau khi thăng hạng 96 toàn cầu, đội tuyển chọn Việt Nam đã lọt nhóm phân tử giống số 2 vòng loại World Cup 2022 khu vực vực châu Á.


    June 22, 2021 at 04:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Engine Repair Near Me

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this site needs far more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!


    June 22, 2021 at 04:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. purpose group

    Good information. Lucky me I found your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!


    June 22, 2021 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. success coach

    This page definitely has all of the info I wanted about this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 22, 2021 at 05:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mercedes Camper Van Repair Shop

    There's definately a lot to know about this issue. I like all the points you have made.


    June 22, 2021 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Camper RV Repair Near Me

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Thanks for sharing!


    June 22, 2021 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Repair Places Near Me

    That is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate infoÖ Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 22, 2021 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Google Marketing Business


    June 22, 2021 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. how to money podcast

    Howdy! This article could not be written much better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I am going to send this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!


    June 22, 2021 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Digital Marketing Agencies

    Very good article! We are linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    June 22, 2021 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. pharmaceptica

    chloroquine https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Content Marketing Specialist


    June 22, 2021 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. cognitive dissonance podcast


    June 22, 2021 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. SEO Marketing Agencies


    June 22, 2021 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Local Marketing Services

    Everyone loves it when folks get together and share ideas. Great website, continue the good work!


    June 23, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. csviet.infor

    Trực Tiếp Bóng Đá Hôm Nay, Links Xem Soccer Trực Tuyến 24h sảnh rồngĐội tuyển chọn nước Việt Nam chỉ muốn một kết trái hòa có bàn thắng để lần loại hai góp mặt tại World Cup futsal. Nhưng, để thực hiện được điều này


    June 23, 2021 at 04:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Roof Repair Service Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 04:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Internet Marketing Business


    June 23, 2021 at 05:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Air Conditioner Repair Near Me

    I really love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my own personal site and want to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Cheers!


    June 23, 2021 at 06:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. bet188

    Xem Thẳng Viettel Vs Tỉnh Bình Dương Trên V League 2021 Ở Kênh Nào? ku777Đội tuyển futsal Việt Nam đã có được một trận đấu đồng ý được trước đối thủ đầy sức mạnh Lebanon. Kết trái Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu vs Bình Phước ngày hôm nay 18h00 ngày 5/5, Hạng nhất nước ta.


    June 23, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Content Marketing Consultant


    June 23, 2021 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. kirk minihane podcast

    There's certainly a lot to find out about this issue. I love all of the points you have made.


    June 23, 2021 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Digital Marketing Company


    June 23, 2021 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. SEO Marketing Experts

    Iím impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this during my hunt for something concerning this.


    June 23, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. warehouse jobs near me

    Itís hard to come by well-informed people for this subject, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 23, 2021 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Social Media Marketing Services Near Me

    Excellent post. I certainly appreciate this site. Thanks!


    June 23, 2021 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Satellite Repair Near Me

    Your style is unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.


    June 23, 2021 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. fedex store near me


    June 23, 2021 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. casino phú quốc

    Tin Tức, Sự Kiện Liên Quan Tiền Đến Trực Tiếp Bóng Đá Phái Nữ kèo nhà cáiĐội tuyển chọn nước ta chỉ cần một kết quả hòa có bàn thắng nhằm lần loại hai góp mặt trên World Cup futsal. Nhưng, nhằm làm được điều đó


    June 24, 2021 at 03:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Repair Store Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 04:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Internet Marketing Firm Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 04:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Social Media Marketing Businesses

    Excellent post. I will be dealing with a few of these issues as well..


    June 24, 2021 at 04:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Repair Parts Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. 24 Hour RV Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Fridge Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Repair Near Me Now

    Itís nearly impossible to find well-informed people for this topic, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 24, 2021 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Mission Viejo


    June 24, 2021 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Best RV Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Tire Repair Near Me

    May I just say what a comfort to find an individual who really knows what they are talking about online. You definitely realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people need to read this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you aren't more popular given that you certainly have the gift.


    June 24, 2021 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Emergency RV Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. oc trailers & rvs inc


    June 24, 2021 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair Shops Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 00:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. orange county trailer supply

    Can I simply say what a relief to discover a person that really knows what they're talking about on the net. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people ought to check this out and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you're not more popular since you definitely have the gift.


    June 25, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV And Camper Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 03:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Service And Repair Near Me

    You are so interesting! I do not think I've truly read through a single thing like that before. So nice to find somebody with a few original thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!


    June 25, 2021 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.