Growing Up With Female Dogs Linked to Lower Risk of Asthma

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PetMD Editorial
Published: November 16, 2018

Image via Jovanovska-Hristovska

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University in Sweden recently discovered a positive correlation between growing up with female dogs and a lower risk of asthma, but found no link between “hypoallergenic” dogs and a lower risk of asthma.

Previous studies have shown that growing up with dogs can reduce the risk of asthma, but never investigated the specific characteristics that cause this correlation. In this study, researchers tested how the sex, breed, number of dogs and size of dogs affect the risk of asthma and allergy in children raised in a home with a dog during their first year of life.

“The sex of the dog can affect the amount of allergens released, and we know that uncastrated male dogs express more of a particular allergen than castrated dogs and females dogs,” co-lead on the study, Tove Fall, says in the press release.

“Moreover, some breeds are described anecdotally as ‘hypoallergenic’ or ‘allergy-friendly’ and are said to be more suitable for people with allergies, but there is no scientific evidence for this,” says Fall.

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