How Pets and Farm Life Boost the Human Immune System

Posted by Stacey Venzel

If you live on a farm or have an indoor/outdoor pet, your immune system is stronger than non-pet owners.

It’s time to thank the pig for rolling in the mud and to shake the dog’s dirty paw. Fido can no longer be shamed for tracking the yard across the hardwood floor. His actions are actually benefiting your health.

While some people have allergies to pet dander or saliva, animal lovers are reaping the benefits of being covered in hay from a messy horse. Infants that grow up around a pet are less likely to catch an illness or allergies than babies in a pet-barren household.

The reasoning is simple; pets are dirty and that keeps us healthy!

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Though you should avoid letting a pet lick your newborn’s face, a life around animals certainly has positive results for your child’s longterm health.

Outdoor pets trap dirt–or soil to be more scientifically correct–in their fur. Soil-based organisms, or SBOs, are the good bacteria that keep the gut strong enough to prevent infection. Instead of running to the store to gorge on yogurt for disease prevention, we can catch plenty of probiotics by romping in the mud. Or better yet, by loving on our pets.

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Yes, soil is actually a living organism, which is why so many scientists press for a distinction between soil and dirt. The latter is essentially dead soil, so it doesn’t have the same health benefits.

More studies have proven a link between our overly-sanitized society and the increase of immune-related disorders and diseases in children. Kids used to chow down on dirt, no problem, but now parents run pacifiers through the dishwasher twice a day to prevent diseases. Though parents have good intentions, the opposite is happening. Increased sterilization is leading to increased illnesses.

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But, thankfully, pets will never stop eating soil and playing in the mud no matter how hard their parents try to stop them.

Maybe it’s time to rethink that age-old controversy of whether or not we should let our pets sleep in bed with us. Science proves pet snuggle time increases not only our mental health, but also our physical health!

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How Pets and Farm Life Boost the Human Immune System