It is a great thing to own a dog or a cat or any kind of animal as a pet. Though they are a big responsibility, they have been found to be very beneficial as companions. Having a pet is known to keep disorders like blood pressure and stress at low levels.
A recent study has come to light that having pets can also mean that your kids might become stronger and have a better way to stay away from diseases. Here is the article discussing the study which tells about benefits of owning a dog especially how owning a dog can lessen the risk of development of asthma in your kids.
1. What is Asthma and its effects?
Asthma is a chronic disease that is related to the air pathways in the lungs. These airways are responsible to allow the flow of air in and out of the lungs.
Asthma causes these tubes to become inflamed permanently, which causes difficulty in breathing. They
swell even more and even the muscles surrounding the airways can become tight, if and when something triggers the symptoms of asthma.
Some symptoms of asthma which can trigger the muscles to swell and airways to tighten are coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath. Even children can develop asthma at a very young age.
Childhood asthma has been known to influence millions of children and their families. The most common age at which majority of children develop asthma is the age of 5. Sadly, there is no known cure for asthma, but if it is diagnosed early, a doctor can chart out a treatment plan which can easily manage the situation and condition, improving quality of life.
2. The study
Researchers from the University of Uppsala in Sweden have a good news for all the dog lovers everywhere.
They have found that children who live with dogs as pets have around 13% lower risk of getting asthma than children who grow up in homes without dogs. Researchers have analysed data of more than a million Swedish children in 9 different types of registries.
Data had covered births between 2010-2011. They found that when babies are exposed to dogs during their first year of life, there was 13% lower risk of developing asthma in school age of children. While children who had exposure to farm animals saw 52% less chance of getting asthma.
3. Reason for having pets around your children
The reason according to researchers is that the bacteria and altered atmospheric conditions brought by the dog helps the child in the house develop better immune systems.
There is a change in the way the child’s body reacts to the bacteria that causes asthma and though children with proven allergies to cats and dogs should be kept away from them, but children who are not allergic to them will benefit enormously from dogs.
“We know that children with established allergy to cats or dogs should avoid them, but our results also indicate that children who grow up with dogs have reduced risks of asthma later in life,” said Karolinska Institute epidemiologist Catarina Almqvist Malmros.
4. Other benefits of owning a pet
Apart from lowering the risk of asthma, there are many other benefits of owning a pet. Here we talk about other health benefits of owning a dog or a cat.
Cuddling with your pet can lower risks of your kid developing allergies.
Having to walk your dog means that you will also need to have some exercise. Fresh air and constant movement means that along with your dog, even you will remain fit and fine.
Presence of a pet; a cat or dog means that your heart will remain in good condition thanks to hormones released during the time spent with your pet.
Pet owners exhibit decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels- all of which can ultimately minimize their risk for having a heart attack down the road.
But with every pet, comes great responsibility. No matter how trained any animal is, it is an animal after all. But here are some precautions to take when you bring a pet into your home:
- Make sure the pet is healthy and has had all the vaccinations required.
- Make sure you adopt a pet of size that you are comfortable with. Some breeds of dog are known to grow big in size.
- Have your cat or dog neutered and/or spayed.
- Teach your children to treat the pet with respect and care. Never leave them alone with the animals.
- Look for dogs who are gentle in nature and patient with kids.
- Keep the cats indoors.