If you're planning on having a baby, you should consider getting a dog before your bundle of joy arrives.
No, this isn't a test to make sure you can keep it alive before bringing a child into the world.
While caring for both a newborn and a dog can seem like an impossible task, new data suggests that households with dogs make for healthier babies.
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The data was taken at the University of Alberta, where they found that houses with dogs actually produced babies with some very useful gut bacteria.
The study followed 746 infants and their mothers for four years, with the mothers noting whether or not they had a pet during the second or third trimester, as well as approximately three months postpartum.
Following this information they checked the gut health of all the babies and compared the results of those who were exposed to pets during pregnancy and shortly after birth, and those who weren't.
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It found that the babies with household pets (70% of which were dogs) had a wealth of the good bacteria, Ruminococcus and Oscillospira, which are linked to a lower risk of obesity and allergic diseases in children.
If you're a pet lover, we probably don't need to twist your arm. But just in case you're still not convinced, just think of how cute your holiday cards will be.
Study: Pregnant women with dogs have healthier babies
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