Why dog owners have healthier babies

istock / MilosStankovic

Many prospective parents are concerned about how their pets will interact with a new baby.

Common worries include germs, time management, potential possessive animal behaviour and even danger to a newborn.

But equally, giving up your beloved animal companion in preparation for the birth can seem like an insurmountable cruelty.

So finally, some positive news in the world of dog / baby relations.

New research suggests that households with dogs can actually provide a healthier environment for babies.

Data compiled by the University of Alberta shows that "household furry pets" (70 per cent of which were dogs) gave rise to babies with beneficial gut bacteria.
It also showed that "early-life exposure to household pets" (i.e. infants in the first few months of their lives) can reduce risk of "overweight and allergic disease".
These benefits even begin when the baby is still in the womb, during the second or third trimester.
Pre- and postnatal pet exposure enriche​d the abundance of Oscillospira and/or Ruminococcus.
​These are two gut microbiota that are associated with a lower risk of childhood obesity.

So sleep soundly...

Picture: Picture: (istock / HannamariaH )

HT Metro

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