A new study by American pediatricians shows that animals are good for health. For example, children who live in a house with a dog from birth are less likely to develop asthma.
Through careful analysis, they were able to determine that babies raised from birth on farms with animals have a 50% reduced risk of developing asthma at school age. These results support the hypothesis that children are more likely to develop allergies if they grow up in a super-clean environment where parents try to keep them away from any contact with “unhygienic” objects. The study took into account factors that can increase the risk of developing asthma.
In the UK, 46% of families keep pets, mostly dogs or cats. There is no undeniable evidence that the presence of cats reduces the risk of allergies, but some research suggests that the presence of animals in the house makes children healthier.
There is also some fact that having a pet helps a child feel more popular with their peers and encourages children to develop empathy. Studies done before the advent of social media have shown that family members with pets spend more time together and enjoy it more.
In addition, animals help children develop a sense of responsibility, increase physical activity, and potentially teach them how to cope with irreparable losses.