Growing up with dogs may help kids avoid asthma

Growing Up With Dogs May Help Kids Avoid Asthma

Dogs may be man's best friend, but they may also be helpful towards preventing a common ailment in children.

A large study from Sweden has found that kids who lived with dogs from birth to age one reduced their risk of having asthma by 13 percent by the time they turned six.

The research was inspired by previous work which found that children who lived on farms had about half the rate of asthma, and the scientists wanted to see if this outcome was possible with pet dogs as well.

They believe the positive correlation may be related to a common hypothesis that exposure to allergens—like fur and shed animal skin called dander—improves people's tolerance of them.

As a result, the researchers hope the data reassures expecting or new parents that it is okay to keep their pet dogs.

However, they do caution that getting a dog will not cure allergies in a child who already has them; in fact, the animal will likely exacerbate the condition.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about nine percent of kids and eight percent of adults have asthma which is characterized by wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing

See adorable rescue dogs below:
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Growing up with dogs may help kids avoid asthma
A Dutch rescue specialist holds a dog after arriving at Eindhoven Air Base, The Netherlands, on May 6, 2015, after assisting with the search for victims of the earthquake that struck Nepal. A unit of 62 people and eight dogs from the Dutch Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) was mobilized for the mission. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN --NETHERLANDS OUT-- (Photo credit should read ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Border Collie named 'Spring' soars as he attempts to catch a frisbee during a competition at the annual 'Woofstock 90210' dog show in Beverly Hills, California on March 8, 2015. The annual event is held to raise money for animal welfare as well as find homes for rescue dogs. AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
SOUTH PORTLAND, ME - FEBRUARY 2: Sally, a mutt rescue dog owned by Andy Parker and Margie Kendrick of South Portland, tears across Willard Beach Sunday, February 1, 2015. (Photo by Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Customers Yvette El Sayad (L) and Jasmin Camarena hold rescue dogs inside the temporary Pup Up Dog Cafe during their fund raising event to raise money for a permanent dog cafe in Los Angeles, California on January 23, 2015. The organizers say this will be Americas first dog cafe where owners can bring their dogs to socialize as well as adopt rescue dogs. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
ALEXANDRIA, VA - JANUARY 6: Deirdre Hyde with 'Thel', one of about two dozen dogs rescued from South Korea by the Humane Society International group and taken to the Alexandria Animal Welfare League in Alexandria, VA on January 6, 2015. The Washington-based Humane Society International reports that 23 dogs were taken from a meat farmer and 12 were flown to the DC area yesterday. The rest are expected to arrive today, Tuesday. Dog will eventually be placed in approved home thru the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, the Fairfax County Animal Shelter, The Loudoun County Animal Services, the City of Manassas Animal Control and Adoption Center and the Washington Animal Rescue League. The farmer raised the dogs for human consumption and accepted compensation to stop farming dogs for meat but will grow bluberries instead. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WITH AFP STORY BY ROBERT MACPHERSON: LIFESTYLE-US-SKOREA-ANIMALS A dog called Snowball rescued from a dog meat farm in South Korea settles into the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria shelter January 5, 2015. A total of 23 dogs destined to be killed for human consumption in South Korea are being imported into the United States this week to be put up for adoption as pets, in the first such dog rescue of its kind. AFP PHOTO / ROBERT MACPHERSON (Photo credit should read Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images)
Kyra was thrown out to die in Northern Greece and rescued. Roosevelt Island in the Manhattan Borough of New York, New York, USA. Manhattan Borough of New York, New York, USA.
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