Researchers Reveal the Microscopic Reasons Why Pets Protect Against Allergies

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By Alexandra Sifferlin @acsifferlinDec. 16, 20131

It’s all about dogs, dust and microbes.

Scientists have long known that kids who grow up with a pet, like a dog or cat, or live on a farm with plenty of livestock are less likely to develop asthma or allergies. They didn’t know what exactly protected these kids, but speculated that it had something to do with the “hygiene hypothesis” — the idea that modern lifestyles are too clean and therefore our immune systems aren’t exposed to enough bacteria, viruses and parasites (the kind that likely hitch rides in pet hair) to build up proper immunity.
Read more: Bacteria in Dog Dust May Protect Children Against Asthma and Allergies | TIME.com Bacteria in Dog Dust May Protect Children Against Asthma and Allergies | TIME.com

My wife has suffered from allergies for years. But, since we've had our little Chihuahua in the house, They've almost completely disappeared.
 

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