Female Pet Dogs Can Lower Your Child’s Risk of Asthma: Study

Spending time with a female pet dog can lower a child’s risk of asthma and other diseases. 

Published
Health News
2 min read
Exposure to female dogs in early years is linked to lowered risk of allergies. 
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Yet another reason can now be added to adopt a pet dog right away! Apart from the endless snuggles and cuddles, spending time with these adorable creatures, especially female ones, has also proven to lower a child’s risk of getting asthma.

While earlier studies and observational evidence have always hinted towards the link between pet dogs and lowered risk of allergies, the latest study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, aimed to find whether specific dog characteristics impact the amount of risk reduced.

The Study

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute and Uppsala University looked a total of 23,538 infants born in Sweden from 2001 to 2004, each of whom had a dog in their homes during their first year of life.

After classifying dogs by sex, breed, size, among other parameters, they inquired into the link between each characteristic and the risk of asthma and other allergies in children at the age of six.

The prevalence of asthma at age six was 5.4%.

Children with only female dogs at home had a 16 per cent lower risk of asthma than those who grew up with male dogs, and children living with two or more dogs had a 21 per cent lower risk of asthma than those who only lived with one dog.

No association was found for the size of dog with asthma although there was a trend for lower OR with increasing size of dog.

According to the co-author of the study, Tove Fall,

The sex of the dog can affect the amount of allergens released, and we know that uncastrated male dogs express more of a particular allergen than castrated dogs and female dogs.     

India has witnessed a huge rise in asthma among children in the past decade due to a spike in environmental pollution. 10-15 per cent of children under the age of 10 in the country suffer from the respiratory disease.

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