Surprisingly, a recent study confirms that kids who grow up with a dog in the house show lower risks of developing dog-related allergies especially for male infants. The study also points out that teenagers who grew up without cats in the house are at a very high risk of being allergic to these pets than those who did.
Although further analysis and scientific evidence could not prove it yet, the researchers suspect that the whole process is a lot similar to our immune response to vaccines. During the early years of life, kids who are exposed to dog and cat allergens are seen to develop a stronger immune system. This creates a signature or a mark which the body recognizes. As the years go by, the immune system strengthens and becomes more resistant to these forms of allergens, thus creating an entire immune process without the usual vaccination and needles.
The lead researcher, Genessa Wegienka, Ph. D., believes that early exposure to certain allergens keeps the immune system busy and eventually helps protect the body from allergic immune profiles associated with the prolonged exposure.
Unfortunately, earlier research has also observed higher health risks for allergic reactions on kids exposed to pets. While many experts are still skeptical about the whole idea, healthcare professionals suggest proper timing and early detection. The Australian Medical Association has suggested that concerned individuals should consult a professional when seeking advice on pet-related health matters. For those located in the South West Region, it would also be helpful to consult a Busselton vet and not just a doctor, to make sure that your family can choose to have a hypoallergenic pet.
These presumptions on whether early exposure to pets may help improve the immune system of children may still be a long way from being proven, but experts hope that the primitive concept of immunization could still hold true for allergic reactions to pets and that future developments on this matter would eventually bridge the gap between humans and pet allergies.