So, who said dogs and babies don’t mix?
Research has found that the unlikely combo may actually be beneficial for your baby’s health!
According to a recent study conducted by The University of Alberta, babies who are born into a house with furry friends are almost twice as likely to have two useful types of gut bacteria.
The study, which looked at 746 mother and babies over 3 years, compared the health of babies who had been exposed to pets (70 per cent were dogs!) either during pregnancy or at an early age and those who had not.
The surprising results found that babies who shared their home with a pet had an abundance of Ruminococcus and Oscillospira – two types of bacteria linked to the decreased risk of obesity and childhood allergic diseases.
It is thought that the gut-friendly microbes, which live in both humans and animals, may be passed on by stroking the fur or simply being in the same environment.
The findings are so significant that we may even see a supplement, or 'dog-in-a-pill', containing these microbes in the not-so-distant future.
Anna Kozyrskyj, researcher and paediatric epidemiologist explained: “It’s not far-fetched that the pharmaceutical industry will try to create a supplement of these microbiomes, much like was done with probiotics.”
So, there you have it, babies and dogs can live in harmony after all!