Babies with Pets Less Likely to Have Allergies

Ever wonder if you should adopt a pet when you have a new baby at home? Go ahead and get that dog or cat — it just might help your baby avoid allergies later in life, says a new study.

Many parents have worried that having a dog or cat may increase a babyís chances of allergic reactions, but researchers at Henry Ford Hospital found that early exposure to pets may even decrease a childís likelihood of allergies to pets.

The study involved a group of children from birth to adulthood, periodically collecting information about their lifelong exposure to dogs and cats. Researchers checked blood samples of 565 participants at age 18, measuring antibodies to dog and cat allergens.

It turned out that exposure to an animal in the first year of life was the most important period of exposure, and it appeared to offer protection to some of the studyís participants.

Among young men, those who had an indoor dog in their first year of life had about half the chance of becoming sensitized to dogs compared to those who didnít live with a dog. When it came to cats, both males and females ended up about half as likely to be sensitized to cats if they had a cat in the first year of life.

“This research provides further evidence that experiences in the first year of life are associated with health status later in life, and that early life pet exposure does not put most children at risk of being sensitized to these animals later in life,” said lead researcher Ganesa Wegienka, MS, PhD.

The study was published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy.

Related reading:
How Pets Raise Spirits and Improve Health

Source: Wiley-Blackwell (2011, June 13). Early exposure to pets does not increase children’s risk of allergies, study finds; Evidence suggests it may actually reduce likelihood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 13, 2011, from≠ /releases/2011/06/110613014443.htm



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Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney6 months ago

Pets are the best medicine for the young and old.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney7 months ago

My son and Prince the dog were always together, he even used to sleep at the end of the cot with him too, they were inseparable, call Prince and you find Lance.

Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga2 years ago

just dont the kids be cruel the pets, pulling ears, tails poking in the eyes is not ok

Megan S.
Megan S.2 years ago

Animals are great companions for children. Not only do their presence helps to strengthen the immune system of the kids, but they encourage motor skills in toddlers. Furthermore, you can teach your little ones about the importance of caring for another being.

On the down side, having both a pet and a young child at home means that you will have to double your cleaning efforts. Researches indicate that unclean carpets for instance could help trigger allergies and respiratory problems, so if you have a pet daily vacuuming is a must. Having the carpets professionally cleaned is also necessary. Here you can fing information on how often should you conduct carpet cleaning.

Dale O.

Interesting and so very true. Pets are marvellous.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams2 years ago

No surprise here.

Ness .
Ness f.2 years ago dad has always had cats in his life, and still does..she's 16 yrs and going strong, and he is HIGHLY allergic to cats..hayfever symptoms which have gotten worse with age ( allergy test showed allergic to the saliva )..yet he loves them and couldn't imagine life without a cat in it!

Penny C.
Penny C.2 years ago

signed petition.

Penny C.
Penny C.2 years ago

This is quite true.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.2 years ago

Sooner or later, they'll develop allergies caused by parasites. Read Hulda Regehr Clark's The Cure of All Diseases!