Dogs and cats protect babies against allergies and asthma | ABC News

Do you go crazy for cats or do you prefer a pooch or two? Whatever you choose, owning a menagerie of pets while bringing up a baby seems to bestow lifelong benefits on the child.

A Swedish study found the more pets in a household in early life, the less likely a child will go on to develop conditions like asthma, eczema and hay fever.

Key points of the study:

  • Being around animals in your first few years of life is linked with lower allergy rates
  • Swedish survey found a dose-dependent relationship between the number of pets a child lived with as a baby and protection against asthma, eczema and hay fever
  • Having pets early in life is thought to train the immune system through exposure to more microbes and pieces of bacteria

Read the full story here.

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