Babies raised in families that have pets may be less likely to get allergies and asthma, some studies show. It has to start early, ideally before a baby is 6 months old. Research studies show that babies with dogs or cats at home have fewer colds and ear infections during their first year than babies living in pet-free homes. Researchers think that exposure to pet dander, as well as the microbes that pets carry into the home from outdoors, could prime babies’ still-developing immune systems and train them early to fend off assaults from common allergens and bugs, such as from animals or other bacteria and viruses (http://healthland.time.com). A research finding in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology – shows that children exposed early on to animals tend to develop stronger immune systems overall.
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