A family dog may be a baby's best friend for avoiding allergies and becoming obese later in life.
Research at the University of Alberta shows infants from families with furry pets, especially dogs, showed higher levels of two types of gut microbes associated with lower risks of obesity and allergic disease.
The study theory suggests that babies exposed to dirt and bacteria from a pet's fur or paws can create early immunity.
The exposure can happen from pet-to-mother-to-unborn baby as well as during the first three months of the infant's life.
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