After years of hearing countless people tell us they have to “get rid of their pet” because the doctor said their child was allergic, this is very exciting news that we think everyone with children needs to know. Please share this information; it could help prevent the companion animals of our future from ending up homeless at a shelter unnecessarily!
Cats and Dogs Fight Allergies: Having Pets Reduces Allergy Risk for Kids
Aug. 27, 2002 — A new study shows children exposed to two or more cats or dogs in the first year of life are less likely to suffer from allergies than those raised without pets. “The striking finding here is that high pet exposure early in life appears to protect not only against pet allergy but also other types of common allergies, such as allergy to dust mites, ragweed, and grass,” says Marshall Plaut, MD, chief of allergic mechanisms at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Researchers followed 474 infants for about seven years and found that children exposed to two or more cats or dogs in their first year of life were 75% less likely to be sensitive to these common allergy triggers at age 6 compared with those with no pets. Compared to children that were not exposed to cats or dogs, those who were raised with two or more indoor pets were half as likely to develop common allergies. The researchers say their findings signal a drastic change in the way doctors should look at pets and allergies. Their report appears in the Aug. 28 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Excerpts printed with permission by Web MD, Author: Jennifer Warner