An obscure fact, indeed. You might be wondering how on earth the medical science community even got the idea to study such a thing. However, in some circles, this correlation between dogs and better respiratory health has been widely known about for some time.
Apparently, whatever your dog is contributing to the dust in your home can have a positive and protective effect against respiratory infection. The dog dust seems to help shelter children from the common respiratory virus RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus. RSV is the virus that can lead to the onset of asthma in children, but your mutt's dust seems to help prevent it. (And to think you used to curse the extra dust your pooch left around the house!)
The 2012 study showed that laboratory mice that were fed house dust from from a dog owner's home and then injected with the RSV virus consistently did not exhibit any symptoms of the virus.
The findings of this study are the first step in being able to identify and isolate the exact, protective microbe from your dog that is conferring this protection to children. Once this healing component of dog dust is determined, it can then be used in a more focused way to benefit even more children.
For now, dog owners with children get to enjoy this added benefit of dog ownership even before science fully understands it. As if the adventure of training, raising and having fun with a dog wasn't reason enough to consider adoption! From pure breeds to shelter dogs, mutts and rescues, any type of dog can contribute this wonderful healing benefit to the household.
So take it easy on the dusting and give your mutt some extra petting time... More than ever before, science is proving what dog owners already knew: dogs can be a major contributor to the holistic health of a household. For more articles on Asthma, kids and pets click here.