There's A Major New Health Reason Your Family Needs A Pet

by Brandon Topp

Caring for kids and caring for pets can be lot to handle at home, but new research says there's a big health benefit to adding a dog or a cat to your family that you may not have ever considered before. The very presence of a furry friend may help stave off childhood obesity or allergies, say scientists. And if Fido can do that, well, c'mere boy!

It's one more reason to get into our heartwarming new series Finding Fido, which matches shelter dogs looking for a forever home with individuals and families looking for the perfect pooch for their lifestyle (yep, it's real-life matchmaker show for humans and dogs!). Learn more about the show here, and find out where you can tune in.

Also on Z Living: Pet Ownership Benefits Your Child In More Ways Than You Know

Here's The Link Between Pets And Childhood Obesity:


Paediatric epidemiologist Anita Kozyrskyj and a team of researchers from The University of Alberta collected faecal samples from 746 infants. Over half of the infants had been exposed to a furry pet in the household while in the womb and/or after they were born. 70% of those pets were dogs. 

The ultimate findings, as reported by Science Alert, say, “Babies from families with pets are more likely to have high levels of Ruminococcus and Oscillospira—two microbes that have been associated with reduced childhood allergies and obesity—and the beneficial exposure can even be transferred to babies who are still in the womb.” 

The suspected reasoning is that exposing young children to friendly bacteria can help them build stronger immune systems and avoid future health problems—a category that surprisingly includes obesity. Apparently there’s also belief in the scientific community that caesarian babies are more likely to be obese, because they don’t get exposed to certain gastrointestinal and vaginal bacteria. 

Also on Z Living: You Won’t Believe Which County’s Babies Cry The Most (And Why) 

So, We Should Probably All Get A Dog, Huh?


It’s a lot of responsibility, but the rewards (even beyond your child’s health) are boundless. Adopting a pet can help your children become stronger physically, socially, and emotionally. Also, if you want to take a valuable step and do something good for the world at the same time, there are many benefits to opening your home to a shelter pet.  

Still on the fence? Check out our original series Finding Fidowhere host and famous dog photographer Seth Casteel pairs families with their ideal rescue dogs. That should help you see how adorable that natural-preventative-of obesity-and-allergies could be. 


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