Pets bring more joy to your life. There are probably scientific studies to back this up, but just imagine coming home after a long day of work to a dog who is wagging his tail so hard, his whole body is moving. He literally whimpers as you open the door, crying as if he hasn’t seen you in an eternity.
Or think about the pair of cats you won that keep you endlessly entertained as one will bop the other in the head while it sleeps.
Yes, pets keep us young.
And it turns out exposing pets to our youngest gives our children an added boost. A new study out of Canada indicates our furry friends can introduce probiotics in the gut that help ward off allergies and even fight obesity. The study studied 746 infants who were born between 2009-2012.
As part of the study, the infants’ mothers were required to report any household pets owned during the second and third trimester of pregnancy, as well as 3 months after birth.
Around 46 percent of infants were exposed to household pets before and after birth, the team reports. Dogs accounted for around 70 percent of household pets.
Fecal samples were collected from each infant around the age of 3 months and analyzed to determine the abundance of specific gut bacteria.
The researchers found that infants who were exposed to furry animals before and after birth demonstrated a twofold increase in the abundance of Ruminococcus and Oscillospira in their guts, compared with infants not exposed to household pets.
These findings remained even after accounting for three factors that can influence an infant’s gut bacteria: delivery by cesarean section, antibiotics during birth, and limited breast-feeding.
Ruminococcus has been studied in the past for its benefits relating to childhood asthma, and oscillospira has been shown in labs to fight obesity.
It’s really cool to see what our pets can do for us, not to mention how the human body responds. Think about it.
Part of the study even tested before the children were delivered and yet the mom is passing on disease-fighting bacteria for the infant.
The ironic thing is big pharma companies will start working on a cure or match to what this study suggests. And then they will try to put it into pill form. But you can’t put tail wags and belly rubs in a pill.