In The News: Is There Such a Thing as an Allergy-free Dog?

| 7/12/2011 12:27:27 PM

J.PattonDogs are great. They cheer you up when you’re feeling down, are always down for a friendly game of catch, and will curl up sweetly with you when you feel like cuddling. I’m not the only one who feels this way—in 2009, there were 77.5 million owned dogs in the United States, and 39 percent of households owned at least one dog.

There are actually many health benefits of owning a pet: 

• Owning a pet can help lower blood pressure. High blood pressure affects one in three adults in the United States, and can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke.

• Keeping a pet around can also lower cholesterol levels, which can help the 42 million Americans who suffer from high cholesterol, an ailment that can often lead to heart disease.

• “Man’s best friend” helps you feel less lonely. Those who own pets report that they feel lonely less often than those who do not.

However, a recent study held bad news for dog lovers who also suffer from pet allergies. The study found that hypoallergenic dogs may not be any better for those with pet allergies than non-hypoallergenic dogs.