Childhood Pets May Lower Risk Of Allergies

Posted: Jul 27 2011

Reuters Health reports that children exposed to cats and dogs at a young age may have a lower risk for developing nasal allergies later in life. 

According to Reuters, growing up with pets has already 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.

A new study looked at survey responses from nearly 8,500 adults from Europe and Australia and focused on those who grew up around house pets or farm animals, and those who had the troublesome runny noses, itchy eyes, and sore throats that plague nasal allergy sufferers.

"Family pets, in particular dogs...need not be removed to prevent allergies, and in fact may protect against them," concluded Melanie Matheson of the University of Melbourne, lead author of the study.


  • Posted by Jennifer Blair on July 28, 2011

    In my case I think that would make sense. I used to not be allergic to cats when I was younger. My aunt had two and I was able to play with them without any allergic reactions. Now as an adult I can’t be around any type of cat without sneezing, scratchy eyes, and difficulty breathing.
    Thanks for the interesting article!
    -Jen @

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