Pet dogs help prevent type 1

Having a pet dog in early childhood may lower the risk of developing type 1 diabetes, a Finnish study shows.

Children who have contact with an indoor dog during infancy have less than half the risk of T1DM, according to the study.

The researchers investigated microbial exposures in early life, extending a hygiene hypothesis previously associated with allergic illnesses.

“The results are unique on a worldwide scale,” says lead author Suvi Virtanen, a research professor at Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare.