Pets can protect children from allergies Pets can protect children from allergies

Pets can protect children from allergies

Little giants 22 August, 2017 Isabel Vallejo

Babies who have pets in their homes have higher levels of two types of microbes related to a lower risk of allergies.

A recent study from the University of Alberta, in Canada compared the fecal samples of 746 Canadian children who were divided into three groups: the first were children that lived with pets, the second were families that had dogs while the child was in the womb, and the third were children that do not have pets. The research found that contact with these animals is particularly beneficial for children during the first three months of life, as it allows them to reduce their chances of childhood allergies such as dermatitis and asthma, which also means the child will have a lower risk of being obese.

The study also found that babies from families that had dogs while the baby was in the womb, yet were given away before the child’s birth, also benefited from the presence of the dog; allowing for the bacteria from the dog to transfer to the mother and then onto the fetus.

For decades, different studies have suggested that it is not good for children to be in an excessively clean environment. Their contact with dirt and bacteria, as well as their early exposure to pets, helps their immune systems develop.