Warding off illness is often associated with hand sanitizer and cleaning solution but this piece by The New York Times offers new thought on how your health could be improved by bringing a dog into your home. According to the article, researchers are in the early stages of discovering how living with pets may be positively impacting not just our mental well being but also our physical health. Scientists are finding that our pets — specifically dogs — are bringing a greater diversity to the microbiome inside our homes. By giving our bodies the chance to interact with a more diverse array of micro-organisms, scientists believe that we are boosting our immune systems and decreasing our chances of contracting some illnesses. Those muddy footprints tracked in by your dog may be annoying but they could also be good for your health!