Woof! New research shows that a dog is not only man's best friend, it can also be a baby's best friend ... by preventing infections:
The study, posted online Monday and based on 397 children who lived in rural and suburban parts of Finland, examined whether contact with dogs and cats during a baby's first year offers any protection from respiratory tract infections, such as colds and resulting common ear infections. "The children having dogs at home were healthier, they had less ear infections and they needed less antibiotics," said Eija Bergroth, the study's lead author and a pediatrician affiliated with Kuopio University Hospital in Kuopio, Finland. [...]
One theory is dogs that spend a lot of time outside likely bring more dirt and bacteria inside the home compared with dogs and cats that spend more time indoors, she said. Researchers believe that exposure to dirt and bacteria builds up babies' immune systems.
Jennifer Corbett Dooren of The Wall Street Journal has the post: Link