Let Your Baby Snuggle & Kiss Your Bulldog

When I was a child we had lots of pets.  My mom loved cats and I even go to see kittens born!  We also had a couple dogs.  Alas, none were bulldogs – my love affair with English Bulldogs started when I was an adult! None of us suffered from allergies and now science may have discovered why!

I read this post from Dr Marty Becker, from his new book The Healing Power of Pets

New evidence suggests that exposure to pets early in life might actually help the body build defenses against allergies and asthma, thereby protecting children from developing reactions, rather than triggering them.

“Kids exposed to animals seemed to be better off,” said Christine Johnson, Ph.D., a senior research epidemiologist with the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Christine Johnson’s study… tracked 833 children over seven years and found that exposure to two or more cats and dogs at one year of age made children less susceptible to other allergy-inducing substances by the time they turned seven, and that the exposure even improved some boys’ lung functions.

Other research since then has supported these findings, but it’s not just allergens; it’s germs, too. It’s part of what’s known as the “hygeine hypothesis,” the idea that as standards of household cleanliness have been raised, children are being exposed to fewer and fewer germs and allergens, and their immune systems are not as robust as they would be if raised with dust, dirt, farm animals and, of course, “snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.”

One important note: It’s very important that you start early. If you have pets from birth or as toddlers, great. If you wait until you’re a teenager to get a pet to reduce allergies or asthma, not only does it not work, it may make these conditions worse.

Find out about Marty’s book at this link The Healing Power of Pets

And be sure to let your small children cuddle with your bulldog – it’s good for both of them!

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