Hugging Dog

Pets + Kids = More Activity and Healthier Skin

Science has given us more reasons to own a dog: they’re good for our health! A study at the University of London shows that children with dogs are more active than those without dogs—with play time and dog-walking among the top activities. The benefits of dog ownership extend to adults as well. The same study found that adults who own dogs walk 25% more steps than those without. These researchers weren’t sure whether owning a dog made kids and parents more active or if more active families tend to have dogs. But other studies found what all dog owners already know: that the dog drives the family to more activity.

In other news, kids with allergies to dogs might be better off if they actually own one! Researchers found that when families of kids with dog allergies welcomed a pooch into their home before their child turned 1 year old, the kids were less likely to get the skin condition eczema. (According to the study in Journal of Pediatrics.) If no pooch was present, children with dog allergies were four times more likely to get the skin condition! The opposite is true for cats, by the way. The same study found that kids who were allergic to cats were over 10 times more likely to get eczema when felines roamed the home. Kids with no allergies were just fine with either pet.

Do you or someone you know have a child with dog allergies? Does owning a pooch have a negative or positive affect overall? Share your personal experience and opinion.

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