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More pets, less allergies, more steps

More pets, less allergies, more steps

January 21st, 2019 by Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. in Features

In case you didn't notice this past football season (Cleveland Browns fans sure did), the Dawg Pound on Lake Erie is back! After finally getting rid of a coach who had a win/loss record of 3 and 40 over two-plus years, the Browns, led by quarterback Baker Mayfield and other fresh talent, put together their best record (7-8-1) since 2007.

Dogs have a way of being good for body and spirit. And that is confirmed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin who recently found that infants and newborns who are exposed to dogs are less likely to develop certain types of allergic diseases, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) and asthma.

Yet another study from Sweden's University of Gothenburg found that infants growing up with three or more pets had even fewer allergies at ages 7 to 9 than kids who had only one or no pets.

All the researchers believe that early-childhood exposure to animals (the Swedes call it the "mini farm" effect) bolsters or preps a child's quickly developing immune system, sort of like an inoculation. It seems if you bring a newborn into your home and you have a dog and/or a cat—and your child doesn't have an allergic reaction—well, that doubles the likelihood that the child will dodge allergies later in life.

And moms and dads with young kids, we know that you have a lot on your hands. But walking that pup will help you get in your 10,000 steps a day!

 

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

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