Worried that owning a dog is a risk to your baby’s health? As it turns out, having a dog in your house is great for many reasons – a household companion, a loyal friend, and now, a preventative measure against childhood asthma.
A new study conducted by the University of California indicates that owning a dog can be highly beneficial for your baby’s health and goes a long way in preventing respiratory viruses.
Pet dander study
Dr. Kei Fujimura, the leader of this new study, found that dander from dogs and other household pets work to strengthen your baby’s immune system, and helps decrease their chance of developing asthma later on.
Fujimura fed mice dust from homes with household pets, and then exposed them to RSV infection to monitor the results. As it turns out, the mice fed the dust weren’t affected by the infection, whereas a group of healthy mice that weren’t fed the dust were. The mice that were fed the dust developed immunity to the infection.
Dogs and allergies
These results show that exposure to household animals from an early age stimulates your baby’s immune system to resist the development of asthma and lessens their sensitivity to allergies.
Your baby’s constant exposure to the bacteria in your dog’s dander reduces their body’s reaction to them. Owning a dog is actually a win-win situation for you, serving as a loving companion for your baby and strengthening their immune system against viruses and infections.
Fujimura and her team have been conducting further research since then to identify what is responsible for warding off the respiratory infection. With further study, Fujimura hopes to understand to a greater extent how to prevent your baby from developing RSV and asthma altogether, as well as to find a method to treat existing conditions.
Respiratory szyncytial virus, or RSV, is a very common and contagious infection that your baby is likely to have at least once before the age of 2. Don’t worry though, RSV symptoms are the same as a common cold, and just as easy to remedy. The biggest thing you should worry about if your child has RSV is if there is a higher chance of them developing other problems down the road, such as asthma or allergies.
In light of this, owning a dog proves not only to be great as a faithful and loving friend for your baby to grow up with, but also helps prevent your child from developing a respiratory infection down the road.
So put your worries aside, a dog is not a danger to you or your baby’s health. It's okay to scrutinize over things that are this important. I remember thinking things like, “my pet needs that super special shampoo treatment before I will allow it near children!” that mentality soon faded due to the overwhelming evidence available. After reading this, you can rest assured that having a household dog is one of the best things you can do for you and your baby’s health. Now that you have that worry taken care of, you just need to worry about getting flea preventative for your dog – keeping it healthy and itch free.
This is a guest post by Nina Barton. Nina blogs about all things dogs, and tries to help people cut through all the marketing hype. She’s always been a dog lover and has a passion for helping find solutions to problems. That’s how Dogs By Nina started – now it’s a hub for great information about dogs.