It’s been scientifically established in the last couple of years that having pets can increase your immunity considerably. A study published in the journal Pediatrics indicated that children who had pets at home during their first year of life were healthier than those who didn’t. Contrary to common belief, they had fewer respiratory tract issues and infections as compared to kids without pets. Early indoor pet exposure, even prenatally (before birth), can decrease the risk of allergies in children.

Dr Stacey Weiland, an internist and gastroenterologist from Colorado says that antibacterial hyper-vigilance can actually hurt a child’s immune system and impede the immunity-boosting properties that interactions with pets provide. This means that children who are not exposed to enough allergens early on in life, tend to develop asthma and allergic rhinitis. Having pets exposes one to the various allergens and bacteria associated with pet animals, thus strengthening the immune system. Moreover, the love and affection given by the pet is excellent for the child’s emotional growth.

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