1. The Positive Link Between Pets and Allergens
  • The Positive Link Between Pets and Allergens

    July 01, 2017

    The bacteria that call your dog “home” could boost immunity for kids.

    Dog dander can help boost your child’s immunity.

    • The next time your canine companion tracks mud through the house, remember this: He may also be patient zero for an asthma and allergy-reducing bacterial species that gives your kids a leg up on immunity, as compared to their pet-free peers.

      According to a 2013 study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), mice exposed to this particular bacterial species via doggie dander showed lower rates of airway inflammation caused by common allergens*.

      Of course, pet dander isn’t the solution to every immunity issue, but here are a few more facts to consider about the mighty bacterial species in question, known as Lactobacillus johnsonii**:

      • It’s found more readily in the dander of indoor-outdoor dogs.
      • As a dog’s dander flakes off naturally, the dead skin combines with other particles to form regular old household dust. From there, it makes its way to a baby’s gut (as well as yours) and becomes part of their overall intestinal flora. This healthy bacterium ultimately reinforces airway immunity.
      • The NIAID study supports the effectiveness of Lactobacillus johnsonii in kids exposed to the bacterial species from early infancy*. So if you’re expecting a baby, now might be the perfect time to get a puppy.

      Lactobacillus johnsonii isn’t the only organic morsel dogs contribute to the local landscape. A study from NCSU explores the microbial diversity of dog owning vs. dog-free households. Not surprisingly, households with dogs offer a far richer microbial melting pot***. Which, according to growing bodies of research, seems to be a good thing****.

      Additionally, you’ve also got parasites, fungi, fleas and ticks, and fecal matter competing for real estate on your beloved hound. And that will always be gross. Our recommendation? Lots of grooming, a stint in obedience school and a really good air filter. Try the Filtrete™ Dual-Action Micro Allergen Plus 2X Dust Defense Filter, which holds two times more dust than all other Filtrete™ filters.