Pet Ownership Shows Benefit to Children at Risk of Allergies

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We’ve always known that pets are the BEST “medicine,” but now we’ve got the study to back it up. A recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed a striking finding when babies from homes with furry pets (dogs, cats, rabbits) were compared with babies in pet-free homes.

The babies selected for the study were at-risk for allergies. When they were allergy tested at six months old, 19% of the babies displayed a reaction. NONE of the infants who had animal-specific bacteria in their systems from pets at home showed an allergic response.

This follows in the footsteps of several studies conducted in recent years that show a positive correlation between owning pets in the home and childrens’ health:

  • In one finding, kids with dogs in the home showed fewer respiratory tract illnesses, ear infections, and antibiotic prescriptions than kids with no contact with dogs.
  • A 2002 report found children exposed to two or more dogs or cats during their first year of life had fewer allergies not only to pets, but also to dust mites and ragweed.
  • Another study showed children in households with cats were 50% less likely to have cat allergies in the future.

In addition to physical health benefits, kids who grow up with pets in the home often show enhanced levels of emotional intelligence, compassion, empathy, self-esteem, cognitive development, and stress relief. Most importantly, pets provide an entire household with unconditional love <3


Nicole Apostle is the marketing director at Leo&Lucky's.

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