Can a Pet Protect Your Baby From Obesity and Allergies?

Can a Pet Protect Your Baby From Obesity and Allergies?

Image credits -


Research suggests that having pets in the house could actually protect a baby from getting obese or suffering from allergies. This is primarily due to the bacteria in pets. According pediatric epidemiologists, furry animals, especially dogs, have higher amounts of ruminococcus and oscillospira in their gut. These bacteria have been linked to reduced risk of allergies and obesity.

Canadian Research Proves Pet Bacteria is Good

Anita Kozyrskyj, an epidemiologist at the University of Alberta in Canada, worked with her team to study over 700 children in Canada. At the end of the research, they found that babies who are exposed to pet animals while theyโ€™re still in the womb (and even up to the age of 3 months) have high levels of oscillospira and ruminococcus in their bodies. As mentioned earlier, these bacteria are associated with a lower body mass index.According to Kozyrskyj, the two kinds of bacteria had a tendency to double when there was pet in the home, especially a dog. She says that when an infant is exposed to the bacteria and dirt carried around by their pet companion, it helps build and strengthen their immunity. The interesting part though is this: the exposure begins to have an impact while the baby is still in the motherโ€™s womb!Kozyrskyj says that even though the study does not establish a direction connection between having pets and the prevention of obesity or allergies, there is definitely evidence to show that exposure to pets during pregnancy could influence the gut microbe composition in the to-be-born baby. This is because it has an impact on the motherโ€™s skin or vaginal microbes.

Another Reason for Having a Pet!

As if there was any dearth of reasons for having a pet, now you have another very convincing one-the protection of your baby against lifestyle diseases and allergies. Medical science has already proven that pets have the ability to lower stress levels and blood pressure in human beings. They are also excellent companions and help prevent/reduce feelings of loneliness while boosting self-esteem. Research shows that those who have a cat or dog at home are less prone to asthma too.According to Kozyrskyj, who studies the entire birth timeline with her team, the fetusโ€™s immunity may begin to develop through transfer of bacteria from pet to the mother and continues to build for up to 3 months after birth. During this time, the immunity of the infant is not affected by any external factor, whether antibiotics, bottle feeding or C-sections.This team of medical experts in Canada also found that when a woman is in the presence of a pet during her pregnancy, there is reduced risk of transfer of vaginal GBS to the baby during birth.

Was this article helpful?