Many little kids think that their pets are superheros. They comfort them when they're sad, they play with them when they're lonely, they eat unwanted vegetables when Mom's not looking, and they make a pretty good pillow and snuggle buddy when it's time to sleep. But our pets really can be heroes for our kids sometimes.
Researchers have shown that kids who are raised with animals tend to be healthier than those who do not grow up with animals. Children who are exposed to dogs especially have fewer respiratory and ear infections than those who only have occasional exposure. Exposure to cats can also be beneficial, but the research showed the highest health benefits in infants who were around dogs on a daily basis.