Infants, pets and asthma


On September 19, 2017, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed that, according to new research, infants exposed to higher levels of pet allergens might actually have a lower risk of developing asthma by the age of 7. For individuals with the respiratory condition the concept of purposely exposing themselves to pet allergens is contradictory to everything they’ve ever been advised, so this might come as a surprise.

Asthma Investigational Studies

The research was part of an on-going study conducted by Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma (URECA) and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) through its Inner-City Asthma Consortium. In a recent news release, the NIH conveyed that while previous studies have established that reducing allergen exposure in the home helps control established asthma, the new findings suggest that exposure to certain allergens early in life, before asthma develops, may have a preventive effect.


Kids and pets, allergies and asthma

Kids & Pets

Often times, family pets must be rehomed because a youngster develops asthma after the animal is brought into the home. The suggestion that having pets before bringing newborns into the living environment or shortly there after is just one more reason not to consider giving up a dog before your bundle of joy’s arrival, which a lot of expectant parents unfortunately do. This is great news for new parents on the cusp of making that decision as well.

Preventing Asthma

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) report that more than 8 percent of U.S. kids currently suffer from asthma, a chronic respiratory disease responsible for inflaming and narrowing breathing passages. NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. stated, “We are learning more and more about how the early-life environment can influence the development of certain health conditions. If we can develop strategies to prevent asthma before it develops, we will help alleviate the burden this disease places on millions of people, as well as on their families and communities.”

If you’d like to learn more about the study results, you can click on this NIH link for additional information.