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Pets Might Make Kids Healthier

In this 2011 photo released by Sniff Pet Candles, Jenn Mohr, founder of Sniff Pet Candles, pets Rufus her 8-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback rescue dog in Miami, Fla. Mohr says she can't forgive Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for making his dog ride on top of the car during a 1983 family trip to Canada. But many dog owners feel the whole doggone issue is a distraction.  (AP Photo/Sniff Pet Candles)

In this 2011 photo released by Sniff Pet Candles, Jenn Mohr, founder of Sniff Pet Candles, pets Rufus her 8-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback rescue dog in Miami, Fla. Mohr says she can't forgive Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for making his dog ride on top of the car during a 1983 family trip to Canada. But many dog owners feel the whole doggone issue is a distraction. (AP Photo/Sniff Pet Candles)

Families with furry friends could help keep kids healthier according to a new study from Finland.

The study, published in the August issue of Pediatrics, followed nearly 400 children around from birth to their first birthday.

Researchers found babies that grew up with cats or dogs had fewer ear infections and respiratory problems.

The authors say animal-interaction helps a baby's immune system to mature.

They also found that kids with pets needed less medication even when they were sick.

Researchers say families with dogs that went outside fared the best.

Researchers speculate the dirt the animals track in may stimulate a baby's immune system.

Still, they say more research is needed on the subject.


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