a baby and a dog
Exposure to a dog in early life may help to protect against eczema and asthma, say researchers.

Dogs are commonly hailed as “man’s best friend,” and two new studies emphasize why this title is so well deserved. Scientists have revealed that exposure to dogs during early life may protect against eczema and reduce asthma symptoms in childhood.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, dogs are the top choice when it comes to household pets in the United States; almost 54.4 million U.S. households own at least one canine companion.

That wagging tail and fun, loyal nature may be reason enough to love your four-legged friend, but science shows that there are many other reasons to cherish your dog.

One study reported by Medical News Today earlier this year, for example, found that children in households with a dog had lower stress levels, while other research has shown that having a dog can boost owners’ physical activity levels.

Research has also linked pet ownership to a lower risk of allergies and asthma, particularly among children. Two new studies build on such research, after finding that exposure to dogs in early life could help to stave off childhood eczema and ease asthma symptoms.

The results of the studies were recently presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting, held in Boston, MA.

Prenatal dog exposure reduces eczema risk

The first study was led by ACAAI member Dr. Gagandeep Cheema, and it investigated…