Your Pet Dog & Human Health – Good or Bad?

ImagePhoto courtesy of petowners.co.uk.

When you bring a dog into your house, you are not just bringing a dog, you are also introducing a suite of dog-associated taxa [bacteria and other organisms] directly into your home environment, some of which may have direct or indirect effects on human health,” write the authors of a scientific study of bacteria in our homes and their effect on our health and lives[1]. The authors go on to point out that it has long been assumed that people – especially children – living “in homes with dogs might be less at risk for allergenic diseases.” They point out recent studies that suggests that “pregnant mothers who live in houses with dogs are less likely to give birth to children who go on to develop allergies or atopic dermatitis [eczema]”[2]

NOTES (These sources,  and others in the quoted article,  are richly scientific/academic, but well worth reading for more details on the subject of the effects on human health in homes with dogs…)

1. R.R. Dunn, et al, 2013, ‘Home Life: Factors structuring the bacterial diversity found within and between homes,’ PLoS One, v.8, no.5. Online at: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0064133#s2.

2. For example, see: K.R. Fujimura, et al, 2010, ‘Man’s best friend? The effect of pet ownership on house dust microbial communities’. Online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956425/.

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About LiteraryDogs

I write and read about dogs, and admire dogs in print; ergo 'LiteraryDogs'. If you have some or all of these same sentiments, let's share our reading/writing knowledge and canine literary insights. My own writings are about Tibetan mastiffs, but I'm flexible and enjoy all dogs.
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