Pets PROTECT against allergies?
A new study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, further re-inforces past studies showing that children who were exposed to animals at a young age had lower rates of nasal allergies as adolescents.
“Family pets, in particular dogs…need not be removed to prevent allergies, and in fact may protect against them,” Melanie Matheson of the University of Melbourne, lead author of the study, told Reuters Health in an email.
Growing up with pets has been linked to a lower risk of other types of allergies. A 2010 study from the University of Cincinnati showed than owning a dog may decrease the risk of childhood eczema, a skin condition. Similarly, a 2011 study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found that growing up with pets cut kids’ risk of developing pet allergies by half.
In the new study,more than one in four respondents said they had nasal allergies. In most cases, people said their allergies started when they were adolescents.
A number of factors were linked to a higher risk of nasal allergies in the study. Some, like a family history of allergies and the mother smoking while pregnant, are well documented risk factors.
But the research team also found that small children who had lots of exposure to other little kids – because they had young siblings, for instance, or attended day care – had lower risks of nasal allergy. And the more siblings a child had, the lower the odds that the child would have nasal allergies later in life.
The scientists saw a similar pattern among people who grew up on a farm or had pets before age five. Compared to rates in people who didn’t have those experiences in early childhood, the odds of having nasal allergies in adolescence were 30 per cent lower in people who grew up on a farm, while having a dog and cat were each associated with a 15 per cent reduction.
P.S. Do I advocate that you let your house get out of control and become one massive fur ball?
But does this further help me make the argument in favor of pets against the ‘clean freaks’ of the world, and non pet owners?
The science in favor of pet ownership is HUGE, and GROWING.
Animals making us healthier in ways we are just starting to appreciate.
P.P.S. IF your pet has allergies there are MANY things that you can do, but START with Essential Fatty Acids in adequate levels to be helpful
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