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14:00 PM

Dogs and Allergies

Having a dog may protect your child against two common conditions, new study finds.


Video Transcript:

Here’s some good news for dog lovers. Your furry friend may help protect your kids from some common childhood conditions, according to two new studies.

The first followed 782 mother-child pairs exposed to a dog at home. The mother underwent a prenatal interview and the children had skin exams. The results? A mom’s exposure to a dog before the birth of a child significantly lowered the risk of eczema by age 2. The protective effect diminished around age 10.

In the second study, researchers looked at the effects of different dog elements on children with asthma who lived with their pet. The children underwent allergy testing … and dust samples were taken from their homes to look for allergens and non-allergens.

The findings showed exposure to non-allergen dog elements, such as bacteria, may protect against asthma symptoms, even in those with existing disease. However, the lead author cautioned, "dog allergen exposure remains a major concern for kids who are allergic to dogs.” The authors say anyone with a dog allergy should work with an allergist to reduce exposure to the allergens.