Man's Best Friend Protects Against Asthma, Eczema

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Having a dog may reduce the risk for allergic eczema in young children, as well as the risk for childhood asthma, even in kids who are allergic to dogs. That’s according to studies presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston.

The first study examined the effects on eczema risk in offspring of having one or more dogs in the home for at least an hour per day during pregnancy. According to the researchers, maternal exposure to dogs is associated with a significant decrease in eczema risk by the time a child reaches age 2. However, the research suggests this protection decreases by age 10.

In the second study, researchers looked at the effects of dog exposure on children with asthma. Specifically, they were interested in the effects of allergens that affect people with dog allergies, and to bacteria and other elements typically carried by dogs. Results of this study suggest exposure to dogs carry may protect against asthma, but exposure to allergens may increase asthma symptoms in some children with dog allergies.

Sourced from: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology