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Why Your Child Needs a Dog

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It's beneficial for a child's physical health to have a dog. Not only does having a pet as a child help with mental and emotional aspects, but it can also help combat the development of asthma . Published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, a recent study confirmed this: Individuals who grew up with dogs were found to have about 15 percent less asthma than children without dogs. It's important to note that very early and constant exposure is key as once asthma or another allergen is developed, you'll want to avoid those triggers.

It all stems from what is known as the “farming effect.” The microbes in your gut can be altered by exposure from dogs, whose fur and dander will help reduce one's immune reactivity to common allergens. But this is only one reason why your child needs a dog.

According to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, these benefits include increased physical activity, decreased blood pressure, improved survival following cardiac surgery, decreased anxiety and social isolation, and improved self-esteem and social support.

When you have a child, you may want to consider adding one more thing to the list of needs and responsibilities: a furry friend.

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