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Old 07-17-2013, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,485 posts, read 43,777,962 times
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I've always heard that kids who grew up with pets had fewer allergies and fewer colds. All of my kids have been raised with dogs and cats and I think I was too. I can't imagine a kid who never had a pet. How lonely that would be.

Last weekend we had a BDay party here. One of the guests, an eleven year old girl was scared of our pets- a 6 lb dogs, a 15 lb dog and two 17 lb cats. She finally told me she had never been around animals. By the end of the party she had warmed up to all 4 animals and even had a cat in her lap when her mother came to pick her up. The child was so proud of herself. The mother was horrified. I knew immediately where her fear came from. How Sad.

Then and now: Kids growing up with their four-legged friends - TODAY.com
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Northern California
970 posts, read 1,831,303 times
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My parents had a cat when I was born, but I developed horrible allergies to it. For several months they thought I was constantly getting sick. Eventually they had to get rid of their cat. It still makes me sad now even though I was too young to understand. The allergy thing obviously didn't work for me as a child; however my dad is also allergic to cats and a million other things so I blame genetics. Later they unintentionally adopted another cat (it was a stray that showed up at their house) and we discovered that my allergies had improved.

As an adult my cat allergies are much better. Exposure to unfamiliar cats can trigger a reaction, but they are not as severe as my childhood experiences. Now I actually own two cats. Constant exposure means I don't react to my cats (even if they sleep next to me) but the allergy still exists.

My sister has the opposite problem. She hasn't lived with a cat for awhile, and has actually developed both cat and dog allergies. She had no pet allergies as a child.

I think children should live with some kind of pet, even if they can't have a dog or cat. Right now my fingers are crossed that my son will remain allergy free.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:11 PM
 
21 posts, read 28,414 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I've always heard that kids who grew up with pets had fewer allergies and fewer colds. All of my kids have been raised with dogs and cats and I think I was too. I can't imagine a kid who never had a pet. How lonely that would be.

Last weekend we had a BDay party here. One of the guests, an eleven year old girl was scared of our pets- a 6 lb dogs, a 15 lb dog and two 17 lb cats. She finally told me she had never been around animals. By the end of the party she had warmed up to all 4 animals and even had a cat in her lap when her mother came to pick her up. The child was so proud of herself. The mother was horrified. I knew immediately where her fear came from. How Sad.

Then and now: Kids growing up with their four-legged friends - TODAY.com

I don't know what the scientific studies say, but I can easily believe that people who grow up around animals have fewer illnesses. Basically, the more germs you're exposed to, in modest amounts, as a kid, the stronger and more adaptable your immune system will be.

IMO people are doing their children a disservice these days with the overemphasis on hand sanitizers and the like. The people I know at work who slather themselves in the stuff are the ones who are always out sick.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:32 PM
 
549 posts, read 858,403 times
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I can't imagine ever living without a pet. We have had pets since my oldest child was 5 and he is 27 now. Once we were done with the renting thing the pets poured in.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:12 AM
 
Location: California
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I grew up with a cat and I have mild pet dander allergies as well as seasonal allergies. But my dad grew up with no pets and his allergies are much worse than mine, so who knows if it was having a cat that saved me or if I have some of my mom's allergy-free genes helping.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:20 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,318,555 times
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My son had terrible allergies. When he was tested by the allergist, he was allergic to everything but dogs, birds and mold. We had pet dogs, birds and also mold in the house. That pretty much proves that exposure helps reduce allergies to those specific allergens, but being around pets does not reduce overall allergies to other allergens.
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