Dogs have a positive impact on a child’s development. A 2012 report in Pediatrics journal claims children who grow up in a home with a pet are less likely to get ill than those who live pet-free. Researchers believe that a child’s exposure to pet dander and other microbes, gives the immune system a developmental boost. This exposure helps them fend off illness later and results in the decreased use of antibiotics that could cause bacterial resistance. Another study found that children who own a dog were more empathetic and social compared to children who grew up without one. Where there was a strong family bond with a dog, children benefited from greater positivity in the environment while the unconditional love of a four-legged family member gave them comfort and a sense of well-being.