NutritionFacts.org

News

Which Pets Improve Children’s Health?

August 6, 2013 by Michael Greger M.D. in News with 4 Comments

To my surprise, studies of the effects of pets on human health and well-being have actually produced a mishmash of conflicting results. For example, some studies show pets lower your blood pressure—in some cases more than drugs do—but other studies found no effect, or even that pet owners have higher blood pressure!

One area where there’s a bit more consistency is children’s health. The presence of pets in the home appears to significantly decrease the risk of infectious diseases in children, including ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and gastroenteritis. But which pets work better–cats or dogs? Find out by watching my 3-min video Are Cats or Dogs More Protective For Children’s Health? (starring members of my furry family!)

Protection from respiratory infections and tummy ailments is one thing, but what about cancer? See my video Pets & Human Lymphoma.

Of course it’s best if you don’t eat them! In my video Foodborne Rabies I explore the role the consumption of cat and dog meat may be playing in massive human rabies epidemics in Asia (WARNING: folks may find some of the concepts and images in that video disturbing). Though proper cooking destroys the rabies virus, careless preparation can lead to infection. Cross-contamination of foodborne pathogens during meat preparation is an issue regardless of the species, of course. See, for example, Food Poisoning Bacteria Cross-Contamination, and Unsafe at Any Feed.

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death and More Than an Apple a Day.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dr. Michael Greger

About Michael Greger M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

View all videos by Michael Greger M.D.

Related Posts

  • What is the optimal diet for disease prevention?

  • Subscribe to our free newsletter and stay up to date with the latest discoveries in nutrition.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.