In the past, medicals and people thought that furry pet ownership might lead to developing allergies. But in fact, new studies dispute this historical thinking.
The studies make sure that the gut flora (microbiome) plays a massive role in the proper development of the immune system and can prevent the development of allergies.
And living with furry pets actually can reduce the development of allergies and lead to changes in the human gut flora and resultant changes in the human system to block allergies.
How Furry Pets Are Useful For Kids
In fact, as a result of reducing exposure to our kids to natural environmental factors, the rate of allergic diseases dramatically increased worldwide over recent years.
And as we know, one of the essential environmental factors may be exposure to animals. And exposure to animals in kids early life, including furry pets and livestock contact, has been reported as protective against asthma and allergies in some studies.
While most of the researchers have focused on the direct immune response to this exposure.
There may be another factor – increased exposure to microbial diversity and its influence on the human microbiome.
Also, when we have cute Furry Pets, a dog, cat, or other furry animals, they would likely associate feelings of the unconditional love these animals extend to their owners.
Pets are often able to boost Kids' moods and fight off feelings of loneliness. They can also produce many other proven health benefits enhancing social skills and reducing the likelihood of allergies.
Furry Pets In Practice
To explore the relationship between furry pet exposure and the development of allergic diseases like asthma, researchers examined the gut flora of children enrolled in an ongoing randomized controlled study in children with a family history of asthma, eczema, hayfever, or food allergy.
Families had at least one furry indoor pet during pregnancy and the first year of life, and families with no pets were selected as controls in consecutive order of recruitment.
And this association was beyond coincidence and indicates that pet exposure early in life can impact the composition of the human microbiome to reduce the risk of allergic diseases.
And so ownership of furry pets or even infants, or just kids' playing with them without having them at home, can do the same effect.
So kids can acquire these bacteria and have them grow in their microbiome. It is not difficult to be exposed to these bacteria to lead to growth in the human intestine.
For example, when a dog licks an infant's face or hand, the pet-derived bacteria can be transferred to the infant's mouth and ultimately into the intestine.
Exposure to furry pets can also help improve the human microbiome. Maybe, just perhaps, some of the benefits attributed to therapy dogs (and horses) in kids on the autism spectrum and other situations may be partly due to positively influencing the microbiome.
The research study was present at the University of Turko in Finland.
Furry Pets Study Reference:
Nermes M, Endo A, Aarnio J, Salminen S, Isolauri E. Furry pets modulate gut microbiota composition in infants at risk for allergic disease. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Sep 3. pii: S0091-6749(15)01036-2.
Source: iHerb: Unexpected Benefit From Furry Pets