When it comes to respiratory illnesses this may be true. A Finnish study suggests that dogs help boost the immune system in infants. In this study, children who lived with a dog in the home had fewer sinus, throat or airway infections.
Researchers collected data on 397 children from the date of birth until they reached the age of one. The results indicated that households that had dogs had healthier children. These children had fewer ear, nose and throat infections and they required fewer courses of antibiotic treatments, overall.
Researchers speculate that the additional exposure to dirt, grime and pet dander helps mature the child’s immune system. They also reference how a previous studies have indicated children with pets had lower risk of allergies.
Still caution needs to be taken with dogs around newborns. Infants should never be left alone with a dog or any other pet. But this study suggest that having a pet dog in the home can have a beneficial effect on a baby’s health. Cat’s also showed help to a child’s immune system but at a smaller influence.