Based on more current research studies, we now understand that exposing children to pets early in life does not lead to an increased risk of allergies or autoimmune illnesses. A study in this month’s issue of JAMA Pediatrics evaluated dog exposure among children beginning at 1 year. The researchers evaluated the children annually for several years and found that there was no association between early exposure to dogs and developing type 1 diabetes in childhood. Other studies have found that exposure to pets early in life may contribute to a decreased risk of developing allergies.
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