Owning a Dog in Childhood May Reduce Risk of Developing Schizophrenia, Study Finds

Thu, Jan 09, 2020
By Hunter Moyler

Childhood exposure to dogs may reduce a person’s likelihood of developing schizophrenia as an adult, according to a study published this month by researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine.

However, the researchers stressed that their findings were not conclusive. More research, they said, needs to be conducted to confirm whether the correlation is directly caused by exposure to dogs, as well as to more clearly define the risk of developing psychiatric problems that may result from exposing children to pets.

The study, published December 2 in the online journal PLOS One, was conducted to determine the relationship between the development of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and a person’s interaction with dogs and cats before age 13.

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