If you do not have a pet dog at home yet, get one now. Not many of you would know that having one may lead to reduced risk of obesity and risk of allergy in children. A new research has found that babies from families with pets – usually dogs – showed higher levels of two types of microbes associated with lower risks of allergic disease and obesity.
The findings, published in the journal Microbiome, throw light on faecal samples collected from infants registered in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development study build on two decades of research that show children who grow up with dogs have lower rates of asthma. The researchers also found that exposure to pets in the womb or up to three months after birth increases the abundance of two bacteria – ruminococcus and oscillospira – which have been linked with reduced childhood allergies and obesity, respectively. The pet exposure was witnessed to affect the gut microbiome indirectly — from dog to mother to unborn baby — during pregnancy as well as during the first three months of the baby’s life.