While the idea of a big furry dog approaching your little one can seem ghastly at first, experts suggest otherwise. Early exposure to pets offers a lot of positive benefits that can help your baby adjust better later in his life.
If you’re still not buying the idea, then these 6 benefits of early dog exposure should make you think twice.
1. It cuts the risk of developing asthma and allergies.Exposure to pets, particularly during your baby’s first year, decreases his chances of developing allergies later in life. Research suggests that the exposure desensitizes babies which results in a lower frequency of asthma at age 12 to 13 years. (Source)
Children, who were exposed early to pets, also have a lower number of positive skin tests for both indoor and outdoor allergens. One of the most probable reasons for this is that the exposure to dog dander and bacteria triggers a protective immune response in a baby.
Having a dog as a companion enables kids to have an outlet to vent out feelings, whether they’re happy, frightened or sad. The act of cuddling and petting dogs is also good way to relieve stress as it triggers the release of several feel-good hormones. Growing up, kids are less likely to suffer from childhood and separation anxiety.
Dog ownership also helps kids learn how to trust at an early age. Since dogs offer unconditional support, it’s not surprising to find children who can comfortably spill secrets to their pets.