One of the problems and joys of having a research-centric blog is that I am always trailing the latest findings. I was writing something else (you may have seen the draft published by mistake) and then I came across this new Finnish study from the journal Pediatrics.
It’s more evidence on the potential beneficial effects of dog exposure during infancy, some of which I already discussed in “Dogs, Bacteria, Microbiomes and Asthma” This one adds to the evidence by being the first to track weekly pet contact and respiratory infections.
Their findings are consistent with other published works; when compared to children without dogs, children with dogs had fewer respiratory infections, less frequent ear infections and took less anti-biotics.The authors conclude:
Our results suggest that dog contacts protect children from respiratory tract infections during the first year of life.
The full paper is free and can be accessed by following the links provided.
Respiratory Tract Illnesses During the First Year of Life: Effect of Dog and Cat Contacts. Bergroth E, Remes S, Pekkanen J, Kauppila T, Büchele G, and Leea Keski-Nisula L. Pediatrics peds.2011-2825; published ahead of print July 9, 2012, doi:10.1542/peds.2011-2825