Dogs may protect infants against eczema and asthma, says study

Having a dog during the expectant time may help a mother to protect their babies against allergic eczema and severe asthma according to studies.

Study: Having dog during pregnancy may protect infant against eczema and asthma
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Having a dog during pregnancy may help the mother to protect their babies against allergic eczema and severe asthma, according to a study. The research findings vividly revealed that mother exposed to a dog before giving birth may obtain help to protect her babies against eczema and asthma. However, the protective effects decline at the age of 10.

The findings are based on two studies presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting, which was held on Thursday, October 26. The researchers explained that exposure to dog provides a protective effect to fight asthma, even if the child is allergic to dogs.

"Although eczema is commonly found in infants, many don't know there is a progression from eczema to food allergies to nasal allergies to asthma," said lead author Gagandeep Cheema, the allergist from ACAAI.

"We wanted to know if there was a protective effect of having a dog that slowed down that progress," said Cheema. The team of researchers studied the mother-child pair exposed to a dog by taking two different types of dog exposure on children with asthma in Baltimore.

Out of the two types of exposure, the one was the protein or allergen which trigger children allergic to dogs, and the other type was bacteria that dogs might carry. However, the researchers revealed that those children exposed to the elements that dogs carry may have a protective effect against symptoms of asthma.