In an article published last summer in the journal Pediatrics, researchers in Finland took a close look at pets and their impact on children’s respiratory health. The results? In a group of about 400 Finnish children, followed from birth to age 1, those with a dog or cat at home seemed to have fewer respiratory infections and ear infections, and needed fewer antibiotics than those without furry friends. The study also found — interestingly enough– that dogs seemed to have a greater positive effect on respiratory health than cats. Of course, this doesn’t suggest that everyone should rush out to find a pet!
You can read the full article here.
Bergroth E, Remes S, et al. Respiratory Tract Illnesses During the First Year of Life: Effect of Dog and Cat Contacts. Pediatrics Published online July 9 2012.