Pet Smarts: 8 Reasons Having a Dog or Cat Is Good for Your Health

By Emily G.W. Chau

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Kitten with Flowers

You'll Breathe Easier

Pets cause some folks to sneeze, to be sure. But people who grow up with a pet are less likely to have allergies and asthma later on, Swedish researchers say. Other studies have similar findings. One explanation? Early exposure to allergens -- dirt, pollen, and pet dander -- helps create a stronger immune system. One more reason to cave when your kids ask for a kitten!

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