Study Suggests That Infants Living with Dogs Breathe Easier

I am very glad to see this report. Okay, I'm biased but I have to admit I get a little tired of parents who put...

Joy  |  Dec 4th 2006


Child and dog

I am very glad to see this report. Okay, I’m biased but I have to admit I get a little tired of parents who put their own fears or just dislike of dogs off on their children by claiming the children are allergic to dogs and cats.

Sure, I know some people are allergic to dog dander. One of my absolute best friends is very allergic to a number of things, including dogs and cats. But you know what? She still has dogs and she takes medication! The point is that many times people tend to claim allergies when its a convenient way of staying away from species they don’t like.

Let me give you an example. Last weekend when I was wrapping packages for a local rescue group here, a mother with two young children came in the store. The kids, maybe 4 and 6, were fascinated by the dogs and kept dragging the mother back to see the two VERY calm Weimaraners. The mother, kept pulling back and claimed the kids are allergic to dogs. If they are, nobody bothered telling the kids. Both kids got as close as physically possible to the dogs as they could without actually touching! I swear those two kids could not have been closer to the dogs.

After a while, it became painfully obvious to me that the kids were not having any physical reactions. Of course, they didn’t actually TOUCH the dogs but there was no way they wouldn’t have inhaled the dander. I know because I’ve watched my friend WITH dog and cat allergies deal with her situation so I know merely touching isn’t the whole story.

So who had the physical reaction? The mother! She didn’t swell up with hives or start wheezing but every time those kids got an inch closer to the dogs, the mother tensed up. She might not have had a physical allergy but she sure as everything had a fear of dogs. And here she is, trying to pass it off to her unsuspecting children. At this moment in time, it doesn’t seem to be working, btw. Those kids are dog lovers to their very cores! Hopefully, sooner or later they’ll figure out that their mother is the one with the problem, not them.

Now I’m not trying to be insensitive to people with real allergies. Allergies can be life-threatening and a serious problem for people who have them. I’m just saying lets be honest.

Thanks to Local6.com for this news!

Living With Dogs May Help Babies Breathe Easier
Study: Infants Living With Dogs Wheeze Less

Dogs can offer babies all kinds of love and attention — and they might help them breathe easier, too.

Living in a home with multiple dogs may help reduce an infant’s risk for developing wheezing in the first year of life, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

University of Cincinnati researchers found that infants living in homes with high levels of endotoxins and multiple dogs were more than two times less likely to wheeze than other infants.

Endotoxins are natural compounds secreted from disease-causing agents such as bacteria that are commonly found in the intestines and feces. Scientists believe that endotoxins can stimulate our immune systems in many different ways.

“Our research presents evidence that pet ownership offers a protective effect against development of lower respiratory symptoms in young children,” lead researcher Dr. David Bernstein said in a news release.

Bernstein said the researchers don’t know why the endotoxin-multiple dog combination seems to have a protective effect on infants. He said further research is needed to determine if these early protective effects have long-term benefits.

Follow this link to read the rest of the article.