Owning Dogs is Good for Infant Health
12 April, 2017
Many dog owners know the joy and happiness that our dogs bring to us on a daily basis. And they continue to help us and amaze us in many ways. We know dogs help us cope emotionally and are great for calming us down. And now a new study has found that owing dogs is good for infant health as they expose children to dirt and bacteria which helps create early immunity.
The study conducted in Canada divided two groups of pregnant women – dog owners and no dogs
The study, conducted at the University of Alberta, in Canada, looked at more than 700 infants from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Study, whose mothers were enrolled during pregnancy between 2009 and 2012. The mothers were asked to report on whether they owned a pet at enrollment, during the second or third trimester, and three months after birth.
The researchers compared whether the babies were exposed only during pregnancy, or both pre- and pregnancy to dogs. Over half of the studied infants were exposed to at least one furry pet in the pre- and/or postnatal periods – 70 percent being dogs.
Researchers found that owning a dog – doubled the good bacteria that helps infants!
Researchers found that pre- and postnatal dog exposure increased the amount of two types of bacteria in the gut with more than a twofold greater likelihood of high abundance. Ruminococcus and Oscillospira have been linked with reducing childhood allergies and obesity, respectively. The bacteria almost doubled with dog ownership.
Even just being exposed to a dog during pregnancy received the benefits
Exposure to dogs was shown to affect the gut microbiome indirectly – from dog to mother to unborn baby – during pregnancy as well as during the first three months of the baby’s life. Even if the dog had been given away for adoption just before the mother gave birth, the healthy microbiome exchange could still take place and help our children.
Bacteria is key to preventing allergies in kids
Children could be stopped from developing allergies and asthma by altering their stomach bacteria in their first few months of life. According to scientists, the increasingly sanitized world where children have little exposure to the bacteria of nature has led to an explosion in allergies. But by introducing mixtures of beneficial bacteria into the stomach of babies mean they are less likely to develop allergies or asthma.
Once again, having a dog can benefit mothers and children alike. We are just at the forefront of realizing so many ways dogs can help us.
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Story was first reported in the Daily Mall