Has anyone seen the article citing a Finnish study that suggests that owning a dog makes for a healthier baby? As an RT, my first reaction was, “Huh?” This is very counter intuitive. Our training places pet allergens on the list of “triggers” for bronchospasm; certainly things to avoid for asthmatics and others. Counseling families to reconsider Fido is part of our M.O. It’s just plain healthy.
However this study indicates that “…babies who lived with a dog or – to a lesser extent – a cat spent fewer weeks with ear infections, coughs or running noses. They were also less likely to need antibiotics than infants in pet-free homes.” As a possible explanation scientists point to the added dirt brought into a home by the four-pawed furry. Turns out it may actually jumpstart development of the immune system! So maybe when it comes to allergies and asthma, we should start recommending the “pet protection program” from the get go? You can read more about it on Fox News.