Contact Us

Cats and Dogs Can Be Good for Your Child’s Health

puppy and kitten
(photo by Postcardlady1, Flickr)

If you want to keep your kids from developing allergies…get a pet!

Multiple studies show that the risk of many common allergies is greatly reduced in children who grow up with dogs and cats in their home.

One study from the National Institues of Health followed kids from birth to age 7 and found that their risk of suffering from allergies was reduced by up to 50% in pet-owning households. And these dog or cat-owning children also had far fewer allergic reactions to dust mites, ragweed, and grass!

Dr. Dennis Ownby, chief of the Medical College of Allergy and Immunology (Georgia Section) says that when kids play with a cat or dog and get licked, it transfers bacteria that could help your child’s immune system respond to help protect against allergies.

Other research shows that having a cat or dog exposes children to more infections early in life. This is GOOD NEWS because that kind of exposure boosts your child’s immune system and keeps pet-owning children healtheir than their peers with no pets.

In addition to the psycical health benefits, pet ownership for children offers many positive cognitive and emotional experiences. Wonderful life lessons can result from owning a pet, like how much fun a playmate can be, how to share mom and dad’s attention with a new sibling, and how to deal with the loss of a family member.

Pet ownership can also help kids develop responsibility and discipline. Children will learn how and when to feed their pet, take their pet outside, clean or groom their pet, or take their pet for shots and check-ups…helping them to become mature adults.

Pets can be the first friend for a young child and provide a strong level of camaraderie and mututal respect. Positive relationships with pets lead to the development of trusting and respectful relationships with other humans. And the development of non-verbal communication skills cannot be overlooked.

A child who realizes that another creature’s survival depends on him builds a sense of awareness, belonging, and self-esteem

Pets can also help the family do things together like taking the dog for walks or to a park, brushing the cat, going to the pet store, celebrating your pet’s birthday or letting the kids pick out special gifts for their pet for the holidays since the pet is part of the family.

Of course if your child is allergic to pets or dander and that exposure is an asthma trigger you should follow your doctor’s advice. But some children with asthma are not allergic to animals and can live with a pet because their allergies are triggered by something else entirely. Children with asthma can be given a skin or blood test to see exactly which triggers are most important to avoid.

For more information on this and other family news topics, visit


Best of The Point

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Point Clique quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Point Clique contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.