Lead author Dr. Gagandeep Cheema, an allergist and member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), explained that while eczema is a condition often found in infants, not many people are aware of the "progression from eczema to food allergies to nasal allergies and asthma." She added that the team of researchers wanted to study if having a dog offered a protective effect that could slow down that progress. (Related: Are Dogs Good for Kids?)
In the first study, researchers observed mother-child pairs exposed to a dog. "Exposure" referred to keeping one or several dogs indoors for at least one hour every day.
Study co-author Dr. Edward M. Zoratti, another ACAAI member and allergist, said that a pregnant mother's exposure to dogs before giving birth is linked to a child's lowered risk of eczema by two years old. However, the protective effect isn't as effective by age 10.
For the second study, the researchers looked into the effects of two different types of dog exposure on children with asthma. The participants hailed from Baltimore.
The first type of dog exposure was the protein (or allergen) which affects children who are allergic to dogs. The second type were elements (e.g. bacteria) that a dog might carry.
Dr. Po-Yang Tsou, the lead author, commented that exposure to the allergen could produce two different effects. First is a protective effect on asthma of non-allergen dog-associated exposures, second is a harmful effect of allergen exposure.
The researchers suggest that a child’s contact with factors other than dog allergen, like bacteria or other unknown factors, can offer a protective effect. Dr. Tsou cautioned that dog allergen is still a major concern for children who have dog allergies.
The ACAAI offers some tips for people with a dog allergy who keep pet dogs at home:
Below are the other benefits that kids can enjoy when they grow up with pet dogs:
You can read more articles about pets and how they can benefit our health and emotional well-being at NaturalNewsPets.com.