Your furry best friend is more than just the world’s best cuddle companion.
A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows how a child’s risk for developing allergies and asthma is reduced when a canine companion lives in the house during early infancy.
How? Believe it or not, all the dust that dogs drag in is actually beneficial.
Researchers found that asthma-associated responses in the lungs were greatly reduced in mice previously exposed to dog-associated dust, in comparison to mice that were exposed to dust from homes without pets.
They found that dogs tend to attract a bacterial species that could prevent airway inflammation from allergens and reduce activity in asthma-associated immune cells.
So, there you have it. If you have a baby on the way, it’s time to get a dog, too (I’m looking at you, dear husband).
Having a dog and a baby at the same time may sound like a lot of work, but just think of the health benefits! And, let’s face it, it also makes for many adorable photo-ops (see above).
-Katharine Watts, associate web editor