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Dogs may be a kids best friend

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Dogs really do make great companions for kids and adults alike. Unfortunately, some families are concerned exposure to dogs make set off allergic symptoms or even allergies in kids. However, recent research shows the opposite may be true.

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LiveScience reported on Dec. 16, 2013, that dog dust may help combat allergies and asthma. A new study in mice has suggested that exposure to dog dust, or the dried flakes of skin which fall from dogs, may actually protect against developing allergies and asthma in later life by altering intestinal bacteria in kids.

Early-life exposure to dogs has been found to be protective against allergic disease development, according to the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Clearly, dog ownership is associated with a distinct variety of house dust microbial exposures. Researchers found that mice who were exposed to dog-associated house dust are protected against airway allergen challenges.

Dog dust apparently contains bacteria that, when they are present in an animal's gut, affects the production of immune cells in the animal's airway. Study researcher Susan Lynch, who is an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, has said, "Perhaps early life dog exposure introduces microbes into the home that somehow influence the gut microbiome, and change the immune response in the airways."

It has been shown in past research that exposure to pets, particularly dogs, during infancy may prevent people from developing allergies. Research has also found that bacteria in the gut can affect allergies and asthma. This new study shows that the primary reason exposure to dog dust may prevent allergies is because the dust affects the population of gut microbes.

Having a dog around is also good for your emotional well being due to the unconditional love which is shared between people and dogs when you are nice to them. Furthermore, playing with your dog and walking your dog may help you relax and lose weight. This is of course good for your heart. Therefore, dogs may not only bea man's best friend, they may also be a kid's best friend.



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