Cats and Dogs May Reduce Infection in Children

Studies show that kids who grow up with companion animals might have stronger immune systems than those who don’t.


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Besides all of the psychological benefits that companion animals can provide, recent research shows that companion animals may also strengthen the immune systems of children living in the same home. A recent study was conducted in Finland, which followed the lives of 397 kids from birth to age one. The amount of time that each child spent with their companion animal was recorded weekly. The studies showed that children with a dog at home had 31 percent fewer respiratory tract infections than those without. Also, it was reported that kids from homes with a dog had 44 percent fewer ear infections and needed fewer antibiotics than kids from homes without a dog.