Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorThere’s no question that a pooch can be man’s best friend, but new research suggest the same benefit may hold for a newborn babe, at least when it comes to certain areas of health.

The study is in the journal Pediatrics and finds babies who spend their first year in a household with a dog have fewer infections than those in pet-free households.

By infections, we’re talking fewer ear aches, runny noses, and hacking coughs. And if the doggie is mainly an “outside” dog, the rate drops even more. (Must be the dirt tracked in — at least that’s what research believe.)

The reason for the pooch protection: a better functioning immune system. In other words, being around a dog — and its slobber — revs up an infant immune system so he or she is better able to fight off the germs that cause things like ear infections, colds, croup and bronchiolitis.

Now, having a doggie is no guarantee of perfect health, but what the heck, the combo seems like a good one. Plus that dog might be good company during those night-time feedings.


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