A new Swedish study has revealed that kids who have puppies or are exposed to farm animals in their first year of life have lower risk of asthma come preschool age.
According to researchers, if families with babies also have puppies, their child’s risk for asthma at six years old goes down by thirteen percent (13%).
For babies who live on a farm or are exposed to farm animals from infancy, the risk goes down by a whopping 52 percent.
Should you live on a farm or get a dog?
Researchers caution parents, though, that this doesn’t mean a pet means a direct reduction in asthma risk.
At best, the leaders of the research team said, is that parents who have puppies or dogs prior to having a baby shouldn’t feel that they have to let the pet go.
Tove Fall, lead of the research team in Sweden, says that they surveyed over a million children between 2010 and 2011.
They also found that preschoolers may benefit from having a dog in the house or being exposed to chickens, cows, ponies and horses.
When exposed to a dog during the first year of life, preschooler risk for asthma goes down by ten percent while farm animals can bring the chances of getting an asthma attack down by 21 percent.
Have as many pets as you want
Researchers say that the study does not indicate that pets and farm fauna can prevent asthma, but can possibly contribute to a lot of factors that do.
Puppies and dogs can mean that the babies are exposed earlier to germs or are more active. Living on a farm may also mean that the kids grow up more active and stay outdoors.
In the end, scientists point out that having as many pets as the family can or wants to is the best, as long as no one is allergic.