(CNN) - A study out of Finland finds babies who have a cat or dog around during their first year have fewer health problems than little ones who don't have pets.
The study, published in next month's issue of Pediatrics, followed about 400 children from before birth to the age of one, and noted the number of times those infants had contact with either a dog or cat each week.
Although it's a pretty common thing to see newborns with minor respiratory issues and ear infections, researchers found those babies who had more interaction with animals seemed to have fewer of these problems and needed less medication, even when they were sick.
Although kiddies with cats were still protected, their protection was not as strong as those babies who lived around dogs.
And kids living in homes in which dogs went in and out of the house seemed to have the lowest risk of infections.
Although more research is needed, doctors say there's something about animals that affects an infant's immune system which can protect against certain childhood infections.
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