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Children Brought Up Around Pets Are Less Prone to Allergies and Obesity

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Dog with Baby

We all knew it really, but now research has proven it so we can shout it from the rooftops and into the faces of those nay-sayers who have a peculiar aversion to pet hair on their clothes - non-aggressively, of course...

Researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada have published their findings in the journal Microbiome which states that babies exposed to cats and dogs both pre- and post-natally (from pregnancy up to three months of age) experience a significant increase in two beneficial gut bacteria.

These two bacterial families, Oscillospira and Ruminococcus, have previously been associated with a reduced risk of obesity and childhood allergies. Most interestingly perhaps, these findings (collated from a study involving a large subsample of 746 infants) still remained valid even after accounting for a delivery via caesarean section, any antibiotics given during labour and the effects of only limited breastfeeding.

Toddler with dog in wheelbarrow

The full published study can be found here.


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