Friday, July 27, 2012

Moving Animals Up the Family Hierarchy

Conventional wisdom for many people is that if they are having children, they should get rid of their animals. Viewing pets as disposable family members pushes animals to the bottom of the family hierarchy quickly!

But wait on that move, for, as usual, those on the bottom of hierarchies have very much to contribute.

Researchers followed 397 children from pregnancy through their first year of life, and found that those living with dogs developed 31 percent fewer respiratory tract symptoms or infections, 44 percent fewer ear infections and received 29 percent fewer antibiotic prescriptions.Contact with cats was also linked with fewer infections, but the effect was not as drastic as contact with dogs — for example, infants living with cats were 2 percent less likely to need antibiotics.