"There are all kinds of studies that prove as we get older that pets improve our quality of life, help with blood pressure, decrease loneliness, decrease depression," said Dr. Denise Roche, a veterinarian.
And now there's another benefit to add to that list-- your health.
"It goes back to what they call the hygiene theory. Basically if you look at statistics by people who grew up in India or Third World impoverished countries, they don't have allergies and asthma," said Dr. Gregory Lux, an allergist.
Lux says the dirtier the house, the dirtier the environment, the busier your immune system is. And guess what?
"Pets are tending to make our homes dirty!" Lux said.
Mom and pet owner Amanda Wake says she has seen a difference since having a dog.
"The first couple months when I brought him home I obviously kept the pets separated. During that time I found that they had more upper respiratory infections, but since they've gotten a little bit bigger and I've let a lot of dogs have contact with them, it doesn't seem like they're as sick," Wake said.
Roche says kids typically live in a clean environment, especially with all the anti-bacterial products out there.
"As kids are growing up, they're actually getting exposed to things outside that maybe normally they wouldn't. A lot of children are growing up in a more or less isolated environment now and they're not going outside and playing, they're playing with video games," Roche said.
Lux says the bottom line is that the type of bacteria that pet bring in from the outside has beneficial effects on the immune system, keeping kids from becoming allergic to things.
"So if your immune system is challenged on a daily basis to low-grade bacteria, your immune system is busy and occupied and doing things healthy, and so you don't develop the incidental allergies that seem to be occurring in civilized, highly vaccinated populations," Lux said.
So you could be doing your kids a favor just by getting a pet.
Putting away the hand sanitizer and wipes could also help prepare their bodies at a young age to help them ward off allergies and disease, too.
Friday, May 24 2013 12:28 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:28:43 GMT
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend. So far, the impact has mainly been seen in roadMore >>
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:51 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:51:55 GMT
Over the river and throught the woods isn't just the way to grandma's house, its the way a lot of people are having to travel just to make it to their front door. Dormant brooks and sleepy streams turnedMore >>
Strong rains Thursday flooded roads in Essex.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:12 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:12:09 GMT
Vermont State Police say the following roads have been closed due to flooding:UNDERHILL: VERMONT ROUTE 15, CILLEYHILL POKER HILL ROAD NORTH UNDERHILL STATION ROAD PAIGE ROAD DAUDLIN ROAD BROWNS TRACE,More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:55 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:55:28 GMT
Four people behind bars this morning, charged with kidnapping and burglary. Brattleboro police say just before 1 p.m. Thursday, a group of people forced two women into a car at gunpoint. Police caughtMore >>
Four people behind bars, charged with kidnapping and burglary.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:58 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:58:10 GMT
A Massachusetts man is dead after an ATV crash in Concord. Police say just before 10 p.m. Thursday night, 42-year-old Frank Baker Junior was driving an ATV off of Leonard Hill Road when he lost controlMore >>
A Massachusetts man is dead after an ATV crash in Concord, Vt. More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:47 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:47:11 GMT
Many Vermont roads turned to rivers Thursday night. Flash flooding made it difficult to get around. Route 15 in Underhill became a dead end -- between Poker Hill Road and Cilley Hill Road. Gushing waterMore >>
Many Vermont roads turned to rivers Thursday night. Flash flooding made it difficult to get around.More >>