Your Pet Dog Could Be An Asthma Deterrent

Happy boy with little puppy

If you’ve been on the fence about getting a family dog, consider this: research suggests that the air in a house with a dog might help ward off asthma in children.

Researchers at the University of California exposed mice to dust from homes that have dogs, and then to the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is a common virus in infants and linked to a high chance of developing asthma in childhood. The exposed mice did not develop the symptoms of RSV, and researchers also discovered the mice had an altered gastrointestinal bacterial composition compared with mice not exposed to dog dust.

These findings led researchers to suggest the mice possibly had altered immune systems as a result of their exposure, which allowed them to build up immunity to RSV. The researchers will now explore which microbe species provided by the presence of a dog is responsible for the protection against RSV.

What’s your experience with this? Do you have a dog? Have any of your children been diagnosed with asthma, or are they breathing easy?