Dogs, which are already shown to reduce rates of allergies and asthma, may provide kids with yet another benefit: reducing anxiety.

Researchers say a new study shows kids who live in a home with a pet dog score far lower on clinical measures of anxiety.

It’s a small study – focusing on 643 kids between 6 and 7.

But the team at Bassett Medical Center in New York found that just 12 percent of children with pet dogs tested positive for clinical anxiety – compared to 21 percent of children without a dog.

‘It may be that less anxious children have pet dogs or pet dogs make children less anxious’ Dr. Anne Gadomski and colleagues wrote in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

It’s not an entirely surprising finding.

Pet dogs can also benefit adults and federal health officials recommend that adults consider getting a dog.

For one thing they can encourage people to exercise.

And Gadomski was aware of just how special pets can be to a child.

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