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I think that there's not a single person here who wouldn't think that their 4-legged companions have a beneficial effect on their lives. :) As an inexperienced dog owner (but I am getting into it faster than I imagined), I wondered if this article tells the truth, because as a kid I had strong allergies to germs, dust and stuff, so my parents couldn't have a dog because of me (they bought one when I grew up), but my grandparents did and even though I've never had an allergy to dogs, I used to sneeze a lot when I was around Peggy (a pekingese), so I am kind of surprised that the article states that they reduce the risk of asthma and allergies.

So what are your experiences and opinions regarding this matter?
 

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Personally I think they can help reduce allergies if children are exposed to them when they are babies and toddlers.

With your grandparents Peke it could have been any number of things about her that were setting off your allergies. If she had a long full coat it could have picked up a lot of dust, if they took her to the groomer it could have been something that the groomer used on her, her coat could have contained pollen from her going outside. The problem was that you weren't around her constantly from a very young age to develop immunity to whatever it was.
 

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I know my sister has allergies but once she gets used to being around specific animals it starts to subside. She's also more likely to get it when she first meets any of my pets,but after a half an hour will not. So she does have cats,and even planing on getting a dog in the future. Some animals have a worse reaction to her allergies like long haired dogs,goats, ferrets. She did have some early exposer to cats,I also had early exposer and don't have any allergies.

So I think it is possbile for many people who have allergies to have pets,and it is likely early exposer helps.
 

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I think they help, not 1 of the farm kids at school had allergies or bad asthma & I think much is because we out & about rolling in dirt & animal hair from a young age.
 

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I had a lot of pets growing up, but I'm not sure how much they taught me about responsibility. We had everything from fish to horses, so I put a lot of time and work into my pets - especially the horses, who were also a big part of my social life - but with hindsight I feel like I should have put a lot more time into caring for my animals. Actually, if I could do my childhood again, I think I wouldn't have had so many animals because, although they had pretty good lives, they got nothing compared to how much time and attention I give to the dog I have now. I've developed a strong sense of responsibility as I've grown up, but I think that would have happened regardless of what animals I had. The attention I now give to my dog doesn't really come from a sense of responsibility (though of course I have that too) but from a pure desire to give it, and now I know I can reach that high a standard of care, I feel like I shouldn't have had so many animals as a child as that strong desire wasn't there.

Now I have a severe chronic illness, and my dog helps me so much. I wouldn't go so far as to say she benefits me physically - I really don't see how she could do that, and since I certainly wouldn't blame her when my health deteriorates, I'm not sure I can give her any credit for my illness not being worse than it is. She's more beneficial for my emotions than I could possibly say, and I'm sure I use her as a substitute for a child since I can't have any.
 
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