After years of begging from my kids, last summer we finally caved and got a family dog. As a pediatrician, I always peeked at the studies suggesting that a family fido had benefits. Recently, though, there have been a spate of articles piling onto this notion. Today the journal Pediatrics published a study suggesting that dogs may actually protect babies from respiratory tract infections in the first year of life. Add to this Perri Klass's NY Times article from the spring chronicling the enrichment effects of household pets and you just may jump on the bandwagon like I did.