Scientific studies are linking pet ownership with healthier kids, and scientists are trying to find out why.
A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found some answers writ in the dust of our homes. Mice exposed to dust from households where dogs spent some time outdoors showed significant changes in the composition of bacteria that lived in their guts.
Why does that matter? Other studies have shown links between the microbes in the gut and all types of health issues, including asthma and allergies. In this case, the mice that were exposed to dog dander-infused dust had “significantly reduced allergic responses compared with mice that had been exposed to dust from homes without dogs or that weren’t exposed to any dust,” according to a recent story in The Wall Street Journal.
In essence, having dogs in the house may help create early immune responses in children that result in less sensitivity to allergens.
Or, simply: having dogs is good for kids, and a little dirt and dust doesn’t hurt. It might even help.
Kind of makes me feel proud of my home filled with dogs, cats and dust bunnies.Tweet