Will Getting a Pet Prevent Allergies?

Will getting a pet prevent allergies for my kids?  That is a tough question.  Recent studies show a significant reduction in risk of sensitization against dog and cat only if exposed to the animals in the first year of life.  Cumulative exposure had no effect on later sensitization.  Of the 566 participants followed in the study, at age 18, 18% were allergic to dogs and 20.5% allergic to cats.  In males, exposure to a dog in the first year of life reduced the risk of dog allergy by half.  For