Being a dog owner will almost inevitably lead to a situation where you encounter people with allergies to your pet, or you may even love your pet despite your own allergies.
The study of allergies never seems too scientific to this layman, with reports from friends, relatives and friends of friends of a simple process of trial and error to establish causes of allergies.
However, this trial and error process only comes into play when an allergy is already established making it a case of managing rather than prevention. What leads us to have those allergies in the first instance is difficult to establish through trial and error unless you intend on having a whole tribe of children with different controlled upbringings whom you can study.
Should you expose your new born children to your dogs or other pets? Should you keep them in as sterile a bubble as possible? Opinions vary, as they are prone to doing, but some research is suggesting that exposure to dogs or other pets may reduce the risk of later pet allergies.
A study published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy has made the general findings that exposure to a pet in the first year of life does appear to reduce the incidence of sensitivity to the allergens they were exposed to.
The experiment was run over 18 years and involved collecting data about exposure to pets throughout the childhood. A study of blood at age 18 suggests that the likelihood of developing a dog allergy is roughly halved by being exposed to a pet dog in the first year of life.
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