“Exposing babies to puppies and other furry pets might help them accumulate two types of bacteria in their gut that are associated with a lower risk of allergies and obesity, a Canadian study suggests. When researchers analyzed fecal samples from 746 babies, they found having dogs and cats in the home during pregnancy and early infancy was associated with higher levels of two gut microbes: Ruminococcus and Oscillospira, which have been linked with lower odds of allergies and obesity, respectively.” – Reuters Health
I guess you can say this was a long time coming but I guess the report is finally here. Pet owners and animal lovers have been advocating for so long the merits of having pets around young children and this research is backing them up.
I love animals. I literally have a zoo at home, with cats, rabbits and a dog running around my house. When my wife got pregnant slightly over 2 years ago, we were a little concerned about the animals in the house and whether the baby would be allergic to them.
Of course, we argued that since both my wife and I were not allergic to any animals, our daughter would not be allergic as well. Thankfully that is true and my daughter’s best friend is my tabby cat.
This research that was carried out explains that certain bacteria can actually help to strengthen the immune system of the baby and help them have a lower risk of allergies and even help fight off obesity.
With every research and study that is conducted, we need to take everything with a pinch of salt. Yes, this study might promote having kittens and puppies around babies as a good thing but there is so much more to that.
Kittens and puppies are not just some sort of ‘medicine’ for your child. They are living breathing things that will need your love and care, just as much as your baby. Many years ago, during the year of the ‘Rabbit’, I saw many families buying pet rabbits. Why? I don’t know. I’m not sure if it brought them good luck or something but there were lots of pet rabbits being sold.
The bad part about the whole thing was that these people bought the rabbits on a whim, not realizing the amount of work that goes into looking after a pet. By the end of the year, people were getting rid of their rabbits. I even found two rabbits still in their cages thrown into a dumpster.
Having a pet is a huge responsibility and not something to be taken lightly. If you have the intention to get a pet, be prepared to be a responsible owner. Don’t do it on a whim thinking it’ll be fine or worst still, telling yourself how hard can it be?