I just knew dogs were good for you!

Who doesn’t love a cute puppy? Too bad they have to grow up to be a dog! Not really, dogs are loved too and many become an important part of a family. But does having a dog (or more than one) in the same house as an infant benefit the infant or put it at risk? The safety of having a dog in the same house should be paramount, and aggressive dogs should not be left alone with an infant. Fortunately, the benefits of having a dog or two are significant. The University of California at San Francisco has published some interesting research findings related to dogs and children’s health.

The research showed that children’s risk for developing allergies and asthma is reduced when they are exposed in early infancy to a dog in the household, and why this is so.

Exposure of mice to dust from houses where canine pets are permitted both indoors and outdoors can reshape the community of microbes that live in the mouse gut — collectively known as the gastrointestinal microbiome — and also diminish immune system reactivity to common allergens, according to a new study by researchers led by Susan Lynch, PhD, associate professor with the Division of Gastroenterology at UC San Francisco, and Nicholas Lukacs, PhD, professor with the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan.

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