Man’s best friend is baby’s best friend, too

Living with a dog makes babies healthier, says study


Researchers at Kuopio University in Finland have found that babies who live with a dog or a cat get fewer ear infections, coughs or runny noses and are less likely to need antibiotics, according to a report on


Researchers studied 397 babies born at the hospital and asked their parents to keep a diary of their baby’s illnesses during their first year and found that babies in contact with a dog or, to a lesser extent, a cat had fewer weeks of sickness.

Babies living with a dog enjoyed between 72% and 76% of the time healthy, compared to 65% for babies living in a dog-free home. Babies in contact with dogs were also 44% less likely to get an inner ear infection and 29% less likely to need antibiotics.

Dr Eija Bergroth, who led the study, said that the dirt and germs brought into the home by a dog may cause a baby’s immune system to mature faster, making it better at responding to viruses and bacteria.

Meanwhile, a report in the Daily Mail this week describes the strange changes that have overcome reader Rachel Rounds’ dog since Rachel became pregnant.

Rachel, who is 25 weeks pregnant, described Maxi, a seven-year-old Labrador, as clingy and over-protective since she became pregnant.

“Maxi started whining, licking my stomach, shaking her head, turning round in little circles and finally, she pushed her paw onto my stomach,” said Rachel

“It was as if she somehow knew that there was something new in there that she desperately needed to investigate,” she added.

Has your dog been acting strangely since you had a baby bump??

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