A child who gets to grow up with a pet by their side is sure to enjoy countless hours of true companionship—and they may learn a few lessons in responsibility, too. But a new University of Alberta study showed that the benefits of growing up with a pet can start off as early as infanthood. According to the study, babies from families with pets—70 percent of which were dogs—showed higher levels of two types of microbes associated with lower risks of allergic disease and obesity. So, aside from having an automatic best friend, your child could possibly reap some other not-so obvious health benefits to boot. Set their relationship up for success right from the start by taking a few steps to prepare your pet for the arrival of your new bundle of joy.
After nine months of pregnancy, labor, and a delivery, you would think the hard part is over, right? But when bringing a new baby home for the first time, your four-legged family member may be the most skeptical if not properly prepped. If you are getting ready to bring home your first child—or even a second or third—and are worried about introducing your fur baby to your real baby, here are five key tips for introducing your babies: