Study: Children with pets are healthier

July 9, 2012 1:14:48 PM PDT

A Finnish study followed nearly 400 children from birth to their first birthday. Researchers found that babies who grew up with cats or dogs had fewer ear infections and respiratory problems. Kids with pets needed less medication, even when they were sick. Family dogs that spent most of their time outside are connected to the best results.

Researchers speculate that the dirt animals track may stimulate the child's immune system.

The study is published in next month's issue of "Pediatrics."

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