Man's best friend may provide health benefits for a baby.
A new study out of Finland found that children who have a dog or a cat around during the first year of life are not only healthier overall, but have fewer respiratory tract symptoms or infections than kids with no cats or dogs.
Researchers said animal contact may influence the maturity of an infant's immune system.
"So, they have less respiratory infections, less runny noses, less antibiotics, less visits to the doctor in that first year of life," pediatrician Dr. Emma Raizman said.
According to researchers, cats provide similar benefits to babies, but not as strong as dogs.