Research Shows Dogs May Reduce Asthma Symptoms In Childhood

All The More Reason To Cuddle And Snuggle From A Young Age!

By Catalina Barrios

How has your life changed since having a dog? As far as I can remember there has always been a dog in my life. Can you remember the excitement of first bringing your pup home?. Our furry friends can become our best and most loyal companions. They get to know us very well; they know when we are happy, sick, tired and when we are ready to play.

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A study recently presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts revealed that the exposure to dogs during early life may protect children against eczema as well as reduce asthma symptoms in childhood. Interesting? Right? No wonder why dogs are called a “man’s best friend”.

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Researchers leaded by Dr. Po-Yang Tsou investigated dog exposure could help reduce the severity of asthma in children. The team evaluated the consequences of two types of dog exposure. First, the exposure to the protein that causes an allergic reaction in children with dog allergies and second, the exposure to certain particles that a dog might carry, such as a bacteria.

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You may be wondering what the results were …

Researchers found that children who were exposed to bacteria and other particles from a dog experienced a reduction in asthma symptoms. Dr. Tsou describes these results as a “protective effect”, adding that the dog bacteria supported the respiratory system and allowed the child to breathe easier.

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The study also concluded that asthmatic children who had a dog allergy suffered more symptoms when they were exposed to the protein that causes the allergic reaction, the scientists warned. “Dog allergen exposure remains a major concern for kids who are allergic to dogs,” added Dr. Tsou.

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If you have a dog at home and you or a family member have a dog allergy, here are some recommendations from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology to consider::

  • Keep the dog out of the bedroom of those with the dog allergy.
  • Wash your hands very well with water and soap after hugging your dog.
  • Giving your dog a bath at least once a week can help reduce airborne dog allergen.

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This study shows yet another one of the many benefits of having a dog in our lives. What is the most memorable experience you have had with your dog?