(WHAS11) -- We have all heard that dog is man's best friend, but dogs could also be baby's best friend, too.
According to a new study, infants living in households with dogs were healthier and had fewer ear infections than those without a dog. Also, research shows the more time a dog spends outdoors, the healthier the baby is.
Researchers also found that cats appear to offer some similar protection but the link was not as strong as it was with dogs.
One theory as to why this connection works is that because dogs spend time outdoors, they carry dirt and bacteria inside the home in small amounts which helps babies build their immune system.