Having a childhood dog may have prevented you from developing asthma and eczema


Attention, all kids currently assembling a PowerPoint presentation to convince your parents you need a dog: We’ve got some important facts you’ll want to include.

According to a new study, pregnant mothers may be able to influence whether their children develop eczema and asthma, simply by having a dog in the home. However, the study also found that this “protective effect” likely has a limited lifespan.

“We found a mother’s exposure to dogs before the birth of a child is significantly associated with lower risk of eczema by age 2 years, but this protective effect goes down at age 10,” Edward M. Zoratti, one of the study’s lead authors said in a news release.

But that’s not where the good news ends. A second study found that regular exposure to dogs may shield children with asthma from some of their symptoms. It’s not clear exactly what is causing this effect, but researchers think “factors other than dog allergen, such as bacteria or other unknown factors” may be responsible.

“However, dog allergen exposure remains a major concern for kids who are allergic to dogs,” Po-Yang Tsou, the study’s lead author said in a news release.

Notably, Tsou’s study also examined children’s exposure to mice, cats and cockroaches but only dogs were associated with the alleviation of asthma symptoms.

Hear that, mom?