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BALTIMORE (WJW) — A new study reveals that owning a dog can help children stay healthier.

Researchers at Baltimore’s Sheppard Pratt Health System discovered that having a dog during childhood can minimize the risk of mental health problems during adulthood, the New York Times reports.

The study found that having a dog in the home as a child reduces a person’s chance of having schizophrenia by 24%.

More than half of the subjects in the study grew up with canines prior to becoming a teenager.

Researchers say that percentage more than doubled for babies who were around dogs.

The lead researcher on the study is still working to determine why there’s an apparent link between dogs and schizophrenia.