Having a pet at home depends, of course, on several factors: financial resources, space, time to care for them, etc. If you have been considering the possibility of having one, but feel reluctant to put the animal close to your child, you can relax: experts guarantee that the relationship between babies and animals is very positive, for many reasons. Daily interactions stimulate companionship, friendship, a sense of responsibility, socialization and even, believe it or not, helps prevent diseases.

According to research done at the University of Alberta, in Canada, dogs reinforce children’s immune systems, lowering the risk of childhood allergies. That’s because some bacteria are “good” and can help with protection and even with avoiding weight gain, fighting childhood obesity.

Another study, conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, analyzed the particles found inside the homes of more than 400 children, during seven years, and found that, in the homes with the most cat allergens, the little ones had a lower chance of developing asthma.

And, there’s more: making friends with a dog can help calm down children on the autism spectrum. In a general sense, pets can reduce stress, anxiety and even the risk of depression.