Don’t Fret About Your Pet.

KP Black Lab Pets with Babies

I’m a neat freak.  I love order and efficiency.  I’m not as much a clean freak though.  It is definitely true that showering in a clean bathroom and slipping into clean sheets is my idea of heaven, but I’m not super crazy about dirt and germs and antibacterial-izing everything in sight.  In fact I’ve always been a proponent for not using antibacterial gels and creams and wipes.  I don’t believe killing “99.99% of all germs!” (as they usually advertise) is good for you.  Our bodies need some exposure to germs to strengthen our immune systems and learn how to fight off bad bacteria and viruses.  Good old fashioned soap and water is my personal choice for cleaning up.

And having A didn’t change how I feel.  I will admit that I did buy a pump of hand sanitizer to leave in our living room the first month we had her since we had a lot of visitors and we have no sink on our first floor.  (So instead of forcing people up or down a flight of steep steps to wash up, we were cool with just a squirt of sanitizer.)  But we don’t keep the stuff around otherwise.  And to date, A has had one fever, one ear infection, and one instance of vomiting.  That’s pretty good for nearly ten months old and hanging out in a room full of other babies at daycare 2 times a week.  So I’m pretty pleased with my anti-anti-bacterial stance.

I did, however, worry about her interactions with KP in the beginning (yes, that’s her in the picture up above).  We tried our hardest to keep A’s big hairy sister from licking her too much, but KP just loves to sniff and smooch her.  It definitely made me a little squeamish.  I mean KP eats food off the street!  Bottom line I was nervous about dog germs.

Well check out this article I came across after hearing about this on Nightly News with B-Williams tonight (and by the way, I still can’t get over the fact that he is Marnie from  Girls’ dad!).  It turns out that a new study has found that babies growing up with pets around (dogs in particular) may be healthier than those without.  Who knew?!  The article goes on to explain that it is most likely attributable to the outside germs that the animals bring in and expose the babies to in low doses, thereby building up their little immune systems.  Just like my theory with all the anti-bacterial products.  It’s an interesting read, especially if you’re a pet person with a baby in the house (or on the way!).