How Pets Affect Infants Positive

Affect Infants

Respiratory infections during the first year of life are common and concern for all families with new members.

The most common factors favoring easy attack and disease of respiratory viruses (eg rhinovirus), are:
1. Poor hygiene
2. Infections during infancy
3. Stop Breastfeeding
4. parents Smoking
5. History of asthma in the family
The last decade has made inquiries regarding the coexistence of pets and children in relation to respiratory infections.

Initially Iatakka study discusses the relationship between respiratory symptoms in children aged 1-6 years with the coexistence of domestic, has concluded the reduction of symptoms in these children.

Followed by Gruber study population of children aged 0-2 years, with the conclusion that children who grew up with pets had fewer episodes of common cold and reduced otitis episodes. Especially children who had a dog for a pet. There were no clear conclusions about the effect on childhood asthma or cough. Also from the same study shows the protective role of the cat in terms of infections from viral croup in infants older.

Heyworth The study showed the reduction gastroenteritis episodes in children with pet dog or cat.

The most important research by Finnish scientists conducting studies in world PASTURE program (Protection against allergy in rural environments), has proven beneficial coexistence pets and babies and has been recently published in the American Academy of Pediatrics official newspaper (13 July 2012).

The population studied in this research were 208 children of the mothers who also monitored by the third trimester of pregnancy, and lived in rural areas, as well as 216 mothers with their children, who lived in urban areas and were born at Kuopio university hospital.

The parents of these children were holding diary for a total of 44 weeks, recording specific symptoms such as fever, cough, rhinitis, antibiotics, otitis, bronchospasm. Also on the calendar logging was added if the baby came into contact with a dog or cat, and how many hours a day exactly.

In total 17 124 recorded diaries of 397 infants (ie there was cooperation in 94.2% of the population). The symptoms studied were separated into groups:

1. Children without contact with dog
2. Children who have contact with the house dog <6 hours / day
3. Children who have contact with a dog at home 6-16 hours / day
4. Children who have contact with a dog at home> 16 hours / day
5. Children without contact with cat
6. Children who have contact with cat at home <6 hours / day
7. Children who have contact with cat at home 6-16 hours / day
8. Children have contact with cat at home> 16 hours / day

Study results
1. 4 children were perfectly healthy
2. 15.6% were healthy for less than half of the study weeks
3. 71.8% had fever
4. 39.5% otitis media
5. 96.7% rhinitis
6. 84.4% cough
7. 32.2% bronchospasm
8. 47.6% took antibiotics
9. 9 children had pneumonia

During the total study hours 65.2% of children dwelled without contact with dog and 75.5% without contact with cat. Children who have had contact with pets were healthier than those who did not and had to cough less frequency, otitis, rhinitis and needed less antibiotic treatment regimens compared with children who do not come into contact with animals.


By the above results, the contact with a dog or cat during early infancy, generally associated with less mortality and presumably has a protective effect in terms of reduction in respiratory symptoms and infections. Comparative contact between the dog and the cat showed contact with dog had clearer protective effect on respiratory infections and prevalence reduction in infections, especially the population would contact <6 hours a day at home. This means that pets have the option to be outside and inside the house, antigenic response basis, create stronger immune system in infants because it was “dirty”. It is the first official survey analyzes data from two different populations pets – children, and had long-term data recording (symptoms of respiratory – infections), with a wide range of population.