How having pets can reduce risk of developing allergies
Many animals are surrendered into our Animal Centres because of owner’s allergies. But the Human-Animal Bond Initiative (HABRI) says in reality, research has shown that having pets around young children is beneficial to resisting allergies!
Here is some information from HABRI’s website on Immunity.
Having pets from a young age can:
Prevent allergies later in life
- Strengthen a child’s immune system
- Guard against conditions such as asthma and eczema
When it comes to infants, HABRI cites research conducted in 2006 by pediatrician James E. Gern, MD of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. It showed that having a pet live in the home with infants made the child:
- Less likely to show evidence of pet allergies at a rate of 19% without evidence of allergies, versus 33% that did show signs of allergic reactions.
- Less likely to have eczema, a skin condition that causes red patches and itching
- Have a stronger immune system
As you get older…
Another study HABRI cites is from the Department of Public Health Sciences at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. In 2011 they collected information from 566 children and their parents about their exposure to indoor pets and their history of allergies. The study found that:
- Teenagers who had lived with a cat during their first year of life had a 48 percent lower risk of cat allergy than their peers
- Teen boys who lived with a dog had a 50 percent lower risk of allergy
- Infant girls may not develop the same immunity as boys because they may interact differently with dogs than infant boys
Making the choice to adopt a pet always needs to be a family decision, and it’s no different when allergies are involved. Consult your doctor if you’re considering adopting a pet but you have allergies.
Alternatively, check out our blog on pets that are great for people who are allergic: Pets for Allergy Sufferers.
Wish to thank everyone involved
I wish to thank everyone involved in the care and rescue of animals, especially volunteers.