Bright Side

Kids Who Grow Up With Pets Are Healthier, According to Research

Most people think that their kids have to be in pristine environments to be healthy. But, surprisingly, this is not true. Several studies have shown that the bacteria in our homes can improve our health. And, as research shows, pets are one of the best ways to introduce microorganisms into your children’s lives.

Bright Side was fascinated by the amount of research done in this field and we couldn’t wait to present you with our conclusions.

Pets boost immunity in children.

Numerous factors affect our immune system. In fact, 20 minutes of laughter could be the immunity boost your child needs. But, pets can help too. A recent study has shown that even brief encounters with pets improve the function of the immune system. Dogs, for example, expose us to microbes from nature which strengthens health in babies.

They can reduce allergies and the risk of getting asthma.

Allergies happen when our immune system overreacts to harmless substances and microorganisms. Most people would think that avoiding pets reduces allergic reactions. However, this is not the case. As it turns out, if your child lives with a pet in their first year of life, they have a lower risk of developing allergies, especially to pets.

This study found that children who grew up next to barns and barn animals had a lower percentage of allergies. The same study found that asthma was a rare occurrence in that group. More proof is found in this study that states that newborns living with cats have a lower risk of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

People with pets are more fit.

Having a pet — especially a dog — provides numerous chances for exercise. Whether it’s just walking or playing in the backyard, moving around is an excellent way to keep your children entertained and healthy. A study tested more than 2,000 people and those who walked with a dog regularly were more likely to have a high fitness quotient.

So, if you want your children to get more exercise daily, getting a pet could be the perfect solution.

They provide stress relief.

Even the youngest members of our society go through everyday stress. But, unlike adults, they don’t always know how to deal with it. Pets seem to be an adequate solution here as well. Contact with them reduces cortisol, a stress hormone, and heart rate, according to this study. That’s why pets are often used in therapy.

Pets improve social skills in children with autism.

Parents whose children have ASD know how hard it is for them in social situations. However, with pets, autistic children feel safe. As one study has shown, autistic children laugh and talk more with their peers when animals are present. In this case, guinea pigs were present, but several ASD animal-assisted therapy programs have been launched and they involved numerous species.

What do you think about having pets around your children? Do you think they can help your kids be healthier? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Preview photo credit jon1045 / imgur