A new 6 year study of 9,000 children published in the European Respiratory Journal indicates having a dog in the home may lower the risk of children developing a reaction to airborne allergens like pollen, mold, and dust mites.
Blood samples from children living with dogs had fewer antibodies to allergens like dust mites, which would seem to predict a lower occurrence of allergic reactions. However, the same children did not seem to have lower rates of asthma or allergic rhinitis.
These seemingly contradictory findings may mean the protective effects of living with a dog shows up later in children. The study has followed the children from birth to 6 years and will retest them when they are 10. So don’t run out to get a dog just to protect your kids from allergies.