Worried that having a dog or cat around your baby might predispose her to allergies? Well, worry no more. Recent studies indicate that the opposite appears to be true. Several studies are showing that children raised with a dog or cat in their first year of life are less likely to develop a pet allergy as they age.
The most recent study in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy collected information on 566 boys and girls from birth to age 18. They were particularly interested in the children’s interactions with indoor pets. At the end of the study, lab results from blood samples taken from the children indicated that kids raised with a cat during their first year of life were half as likely to become allergic to cats as those who were not raised with them. A lower risk was seen with kids raised from infancy with dogs, too. Apparently, it’s exposure during that first year of life time period that proved crucial to the sensitization of the children.
So if you are pregnant, concerned about allergies and wondering if you should keep Fluffy or Fido around when your little one comes home, check with your child’s doc, but the answer seems to be yes. Let your pet become your child’s first friend.
You can read more about pets and other animals during pregnancy on our web site.