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back to article Dogs reduce allergies in kids

German researchers have apparently confirmed that keeping a dog as a family pet will reduce the chance that kids will develop allergies - a finding which backs a theory that having a mutt about the house "trains the immune system to be less sensitive to potential triggers for allergies like asthma, eczema and hay fever". A team …

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IT Angle

Indeed

My parents had dogs all through my childhood, I only developed asthma and allergies to nuts, pollen and animal hair. Imagine where I'd have been without the dogs :P

I'm sure there's an IT angle here somewhere but I think it's gone for a quickie with the Paris Hilton angle..

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Paris Hilton

What a stupid study!

Did they even consider that the answer is a lot simpler? People with allergies are less likely to own a dog.

Not even Paris Hilton would be dumb enough to miss that one.

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Thumb Up

Follows common sense.

Being couped up in a protective, dust and allergen free house with electrostatic HVAC filters, tight sealing doors and windows, and a HEPA filter on every vacuum cleaner - it's no wonder why we're getting so sensitive to dust, pollen, and dander.

Let your kids have a dog, let them get dirty in the mud and dirt... they'll be healthier for it.

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Furburger

We had a dog and my sister is allergic to grass pollen. Mind you, the dog preferred me to my sister and would generally hang out only with me. Presumably the botulism from it licking my face ensured I was desensitised. The cat, however, was the reverse in hating me and preferring my sister. Perhaps it gave her allergies out of spite.

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xjy
Paris Hilton

Tumble in the dirt...

"...beneficial early exposure to germs" - way to go! Now forget doggies and moggies, when I were a nipper, the bomb site next door gave us beneficial early exposure to TB. And when tested pre-vaccination (in New Zealand of course, no way it would happen in Britain!) everyone was gobsmacked by my negative reaction. Immune! Well, well.

So everyone should get to muck around on bombsites... the kids in Iraq and Afghanistan etc don't know how lucky they are...

Anyway, somewhere between the festering and the fostering options there must be a golden mean of healthy exposure to all sorts of filth and slime. Maybe time for well-researched and germ-balanced slimepits for the kids to dive around in at IKEA?

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Silver badge
Linux

infancy

Perhaps the word infancy is inportant here.

I got a dog as ten and I am allergic to every possible animal there is to test.

Have some friends too, who had to get rid of their dogs when the children got problems.

(Some of the mothers, I think, would have rather gotten rid of the kids than the dogs)

In a way I find it funny that people want to live among animals of all sorts.

Even the old Vikings built a wall into the house to separate humans from animals.

But I suppose you could live with a horse too If you had the money to build such a house and bed.

Penguin as i am not allergic towards it yet.

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Paris Hilton

Allergies genetic

Parents have allergies thus no dog kid will have allergies. Parents have no allergies thus have a dog kid doesn't have allergies. Who does this science PH?

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Except me

As a child I was alergic to dogs :)

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Tim

Let them eat dirt

The dogs may be one vector to get the kids exposed to dirt, but it won't work unless the dog actually plays outside.

It would probably be at least as effective to get the kids exposed to dirt at a very early age. Let them make mud pies, let them eat the candy or hot dog that got dropped in the dirt.

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Thumb Down

@Follows common sense.

Indeed, that is the problem: common sense is nonsense. Just because it says what you want it to say doesn't mean it's anywhere near right.

At face value, it's not any deeper than misquoted Nietzsche "if it doesn't kill me it makes me stronger", that complete crap. (Yeah, I'll wrestle you after letting you bleed nearly to death, we'll see if that makes you stronger).

I remember the same result being published a few years ago, and everybody happy about this "confirmation of the hygiene hypothesis", that piece of 90s thinking ("nanny state, let 'em run" etc). To then find out they forgot to take the heritable component of allergies into account (as Paul points out, parents without allergies have a better-than-average chance both of owning a dog and of having nonallergic children) --- after doing that it was a negative effect of having the allergens present.

@Paul: they may have learned and taken heredity into account, we don't know without reading the article; this is just blurb and no information.

In the childhood leukemia case, for example, the "hygiene" hypothesis seems to still stand, but why my body would have evolved to resist pig's diseases (flu, that has actually first jumped through birds) none of them can explain to me. Same with exposure to mammal body products in high concentrations (in near airtight houses --- another very very recent thing, too recent to adapt to; note that people allergic to dogs have no problem being in a park with them, it's a concentration thing).

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Linux

Old news

I'm sure I heard about this in the '80s, along with the stuff about not cleaning too carefully (as per Jason Thoms, above) - but yes, apart from anything else, it's common bloody sense. Yet another grand waste of time and money, regurgitating fresh 'research' that everybody already knows.

Penguin because its fur contains dust and germs and little bitey things. I would have chosen Mr. Jobs but I'm sure he lives quite comfortably in a dust-free, clean, white, featureless iPod-esque room. Probably with a nice comfortable jacket with long sleeves, and chic white padding on the walls.

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Heart

Jason Thoms - I love you (platonically)

Why won't people realise that living in a sterile environment is not natural. Stop this anti-bacterial marketing - its ludicrous. Then hopefully MRSA etc. won't take such a stranglehold.

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Bronze badge
Coat

Re: Old news

"Penguin because its fur contains dust and germs and little bitey things."

Actually, if penguins have made the evolutionary leap from birds to mammals, that probably rates as NEW news! (...or were you having a go at the personal hygiene of Linux programmers?)

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Bronze badge

@xjy - Bombsite?

You had a bombsite in New Zealand? Who ever dropped bombs on NZ?

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Paris Hilton

@By Lars

So you want to sleep with a horse?

That might sting a little.

Paris because she would, if she could, the naughty little minx.

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Anonymous Coward

@Matt

Allergic to spelling as well, I see.

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Joke

@Furburger

Yeh, cats are evil heh heh heh, because I created them!

A loving god would never do that to his creation.

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Anonymous Coward

@@Matt

Ooo big man. Internet superhero maybe? Show us how it's done internet tough guy!

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Boffin

Nothing new here

Same results they've been finding for years. One a while back found that not letting kids eat peanuts for years for fear of an allergic reaction actually made them more likely to be allergic. The parental bias Paul mentions doesn't apply in this case.

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Data Dredge

"Significantly, children who had frequent contact with dogs but didn't have one at home lacked the same protective effect. The reason is unclear"

The reason isn't unclear to me. The reason for the difference is that there is no protective effect in the first place. This study is just a data dredge where they collect countless variables, some of which, purely by chance, appear to show some correlation.

Chances are if they ran this study again with a different set of children they would find dogs caused asthma or cheeseburgers did or something else totally random.

A few years ago two studies came out, in the same week, showing that cats both caused and prevented asthma.

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Pirate

Big man? go back to school.

"Ooo big man. Internet superhero maybe? Show us how it's done internet tough guy!"

Why not just grunt instead? If you are going to use a language, use it properly. With all that tech at your disposal, you can't get it to spell check.....so sad.

Now back on topic.

All these "western" allergies are virtually unknown in the third world, and most of these allergies started in the 1950's when everyone's whites had to be whiter, and 99% of germs had to be killed. When people started to live in a "chemical" cocktail.

In my opinion a house is not a home without a cat, dog, or other lovable furry creature running around.

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Heart

Evolution

In the days of hunter gatherers the tribe that adopted dogs had the edge.

Ear and snout early warning systems to hear and smell threats way before their homosapian masters had woken up.

Lock on to prey like a AIM-9X Sidewinder greatly increasing the chances of a successful hunt.

Defend territory against threats be it a bear, lion or another tribe.

Even today the little buggers are sniffing out semtex suited suicide bombers. Or helping the blind live independent lives. And now we learn they offer immunity to asthma and other nasty allergies.

Dogs eh... don't ya just love em.

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Stop

My only allergy is to..

Ridiculous reports which pupport to be scientific fact.

Take your start point, set your target and then selct the evidence to fit your argument. Easy peasy.

Can I have a job as a Government adviser please.

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Black Helicopters

WORMS

It's Worms, I tell you. Infants put everything in their mouth, and I'm sure they get worms from the house animals...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1632863.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4215234.stm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/sep/15/healthandwellbeing

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