Good news for anyone unable to choose between puppies and babies: A new study out of Canada gives you a reason to have both.
According to data collected by researchers at the University of Alberta, enriching a household with both a baby and a dog could make for a healthier baby. The study found that households with furry pets — 70 percent of which were dogs — produced babies with higher levels of two gut bacteria linked to decreased risks of obesity and allergic disease. Intriguingly, these findings panned out prenatally: Even households who had pets during but not after pregnancy were shown to have babies with higher levels of healthy gut bacteria. (We’re going to assume that scenario meant pets died peacefully of old age after graciously scattering bacteria to benefit the upcoming baby.)
Congratulations to dogs and babies, a match now endorsed by science.