How Your Dog Makes Your Family Healthier

Do you have a new baby in the house?  Even though it’s common for newborns to have things like minor respiratory issues and ear infections, a recent study has found that babies who have more interaction with an animal living in the house seem to have fewer of these problems and need less medication even when they are sick.  Apparently, a dog seems to be a great thing for a baby to be around.   And in addition, even those babies who lived with cats present in the home were still afforded a certain amount of protection.   It seems though, that protection was stronger in those babies who lived with dogs in their household.  It would be safe to assume that dogs (and cats) have some great benefits!

Definite BenefitsMatthew&Bronco

More and more research has been done lately on the topic of pets living in homes with children and the impact that they have on the health of those kids that they live with.   Research points to there being something about animals that affect infants’ immune systems in a positive way.  The research is even pointing towards protecting these babies against certain childhood infections.  In addition, households that have dogs that actually spend time outside seem to have children that had even higher levels of protection from common illnesses!  Perhaps this is because when the dog goes outside, he carries more “dirt” and microbes that he comes into contact with into the home, and the baby gets exposed to these microbes.  This “dirt” and the microbes that accompany it, help an infant to develop a healthier immune much faster somehow.  I suspect that is because the microbes in the dirt stimulate the baby’s immune system and the immunologic responses to respiratory viruses and bacteria later in life are then more organized in fighting off illnesses and diseases.  It would seem then, that your child’s immune system memory recognizes the offending germs and microbes and calls upon its earlier immunologic response to fight it off before it becomes a full blown illness.

I Was Scared Too!

Many new moms seem to be aversive about exposing their babies to animals in and around the home.   I was one of those moms, some 24 years ago, and being a new mom – was so paranoid (sorry there is no better word here for it) –  felt the same way.  I wanted to protect my baby.   We had an eighty five pound male boxer at the time that we had from eight weeks of age.  I KNEW he would not intentionally hurt my son, but I was very, very hesitant about letting Bronco lick and interact with the baby – at least when my son was newborn.  Once he was a couple of months old, it slowly started to change – especially once my son started to crawl and would pursue the dog!


Kids Develop Healthier Immune Systems Courtesy Of Fido

It is very interesting to note that it is now found that babies who are exposed to dogs at an earlier age seem to have a much better immune system then babies that are not exposed to dogs at a young age.  My husband and I are both avid dog lovers, and we have had dogs (specifically boxers) as a young married couple before we had children.  Both of my kids were exposed to the germs and the microbes as infants even though I never placed them on the floor until they were older, the dogs were still living in the household, and as a result, the kids became exposed to the “dirt” and the microbes.

Matthew&SpencerMy Final Thoughts

In retrospect, I suspect that both of our kids WERE so healthy because of the early exposures they had to the common dirts and microbes that they became exposed to courtesy of our boxers!   And, as an added benefit, as they have become adults, their love of dogs rivals my own!


I would love to hear your comments, feedback stories and ideas.

Scoops is a pooper scooper, dog waste clean up and pet waste clean up service located in central New Jersey – Check us out at

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