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Published: Jul 09, 2012

Many parents can attest to the benefits of raising their children with pets in the house, but a recent study gives scientific evidence as to why raising puppies, kittens and other pets alongside children is a good thing for both human and canine members of the family.

The study, published in the medical journal Pediatrics, suggests that children who lived with dogs or cats during their first year of life got sick less frequently than those who did not, the Los Angeles Times reports. The scientists believe sharing a home with an animal may help develop the human body's defense systems. These findings also give evidence to the belief that babies should not be raised in an overly clean environment.

Raising a dog alongside a child can also have benefits to the dog in terms of socialization. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, dog aggression can be caused by a number of things, but a lack of proper socialization can cause the dog to lash out in fear. Raising a dog alongside a child, provided you educate the child on the proper ways to treat animals, will get it used to attention from kids and expose it to a variety of different situations to make it more sociable and comfortable in many experiences.