Pregnant women might want to head down to the dog shelter and pick up a new pup.

Pregnant Woman with Dog
Credit: Umkehrer/Getty Images

Dogs have a reputation for tracking in mud and doling out germy kisses, and while conventional wisdom would be to keep those adorable, furry germ magnets far away from you while you're pregnant, according to new research by the University of Alberta, women who own dogs while they're pregnant give birth to healthier babies.

The data, which was reported by The Science of Us, finds that children born into households that have pets (70% of which were dogs) have better levels of two strains of gut bacteria "linked to decreased risks of obesity and allergic disease." That means your beloved hound dog could actually help your child have fewer allergies and a lower risk of obesity throughout their lives, which sounds like a win-win situation to us.

The researchers also noted that the benefits of pet ownership on developing babies continued even after birth, maintaining higher levels of healthy gut bacteria. Meaning that if your beloved pooch goes to live on granddad's farm for a few months while you get used to having a baby around, your child will still reap the health benefits.

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That said, we recommend keeping your pups around as long as possible because your birth announcements and Facebook posts will be so much cuter when they feature your little one and your furry one.