Living with dogs or cats may lower risk of allergies in children, study says

Having pets may protect infants from developing food allergies.
Having pets may protect infants from developing food allergies.(Pxfuel)
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 9:00 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(CNN) - Having a pet in the home could lower the chance of a child developing a food allergy, according to a new study.

In the study published Wednesday in the journal, PLOS One, researchers analyzed data from over 65,000 children in Japan.

They found that babies exposed to cats or indoor dogs have about a 16% lower chance of developing food allergies, compared with babies in pet-free homes.

One of the study’s authors says the findings suggest that exposure to dogs and cats might be beneficial against the development of certain food allergies.

Kids living with cats were less likely to develop egg, wheat and soybean allergies while dog owners were less likely to have egg, milk and nut allergies.

Experts say pet exposure may strengthen an infant’s gut microbiome.