Naples parents want their children to be safe and healthy. Those of us in the 33948 zip code area spend a good chunk of income on keeping kids healthy: visits to Florida pediatricians for well-child checkups; buying vitamins and medicines; and making sure they get enough exercise. Here is something that Florida parents might not have thought of: having man’s (kid’s?) best friend in the home.
A group of Finnish researchers have recently found that parents reported fewer illnesses and less need for antibiotics for their babies where there was a dog in the household.
Benefits were also associated with cats, but not as much as with dogs – and especially dogs that spend much of their time outside.
The researchers are unclear exactly why a pet dog is linked to these health benefits. It could have something to do with the animal itself, or it could be the bacteria and germs they carry, giving just the right amount of exposure to infants to help create healthy intestinal flora and immune system.
Also, most participants in the study who had dogs lived in rural environments, and those without dogs lived in more urban settings, perhaps this has something to do with the study results as well. The Finnish study found the health benefits were evident with early exposure (during the first 12 months of life). On a side note, remember that dogs are not recommended for Naples people with asthma or respiratory issues.
Three cheers for the family dog or cat! (Well maybe just two cheers for cats.)
Thanks for visiting my Naples children’s health blog. Stay healthy, safe, and keep on being the great Sarasota parents that our children deserve. To learn about my home based business selling Xobiotic, a terrific healthy snack, call me today.
The following online article was used as source material for this blog:
Daniel J.DeNoon, “Many Babies Healthier in Homes with Dogs”, WebMD, http://children.webmd.com/news/20120709/many-babies-healthier-in-homes-with-dogs, accessed on July 16, 2012.
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