Exposure to pets early can lower allergy risk

July 29, 2009 (CHICAGO) The study in the journal Allergy finds being around the family cat or dog at three months of age may offer protection against allergies to dust mites and pollen later on, but it does not appear to impact the development of asthma.

The study found children with a cat or dog in the home at three months were less apt to be sensitive to various inhaled allergens at age eight.

As a result, researchers say having a pet in the first year of life should not be discouraged in order to prevent later allergies in the child.

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