While new parents often consider giving their dog to grandma, studies suggest that raising children with pets may actually have a positive effect on their health after all. In fact, one Swedish study found that children living with farm animals were nearly 52% less at risk of developing Asthma. This result came from a 10-year long study that observed roughly 276,000 children aged 3 years and up. Of this group, over 22,000 included children who were raised with dogs any time during their first year. Out of the entire group studied, only 11,500 children developed asthma in their lives, and researchers found that children who were raised with farm animals or dogs since birth were half as likely to develop asthma in their life. One of the study's researchers from Sweden's Uppsala University suggested that living with pets and farm animals can potentially increase a child's immune system. Allergy researchers from the University of Washington also suggest that not only do pets get kids out into the fresh air, but certain animals may also have been exposed to a bacterium that protects them against getting Asthma.
Source: JAMA Pediatrics, online November 2, 2015.