"A new study from...suggests that having a dog in the home may worsen the response to air pollution of a child with asthma." - Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC)
The scientists conducted a research on 500 children with asthma, to study the relationship between chronic cough, phlegm production or bronchitis and dog/cat ownership. Children who lived with dogs showed significant increase in coughs and phlegm production than those who lived without pets or live with cats.
Cats are highly allergenic, which means, children with asthma are often allergic to cats. However, dogs in this case have proven otherwise!! Dogs, are definitely not allergenic! A likely explanation for is an increase in level of endotoxin in homes with dogs.
Endotoxin is part of the cell wall of a common bacteria found everywhere in the environment. Having a dog at home increases the level of endotoxin and studies have found that inhaled endotoxin causes the lungs to produce an inflammatory response, which may cause the airway of people with asthma to constrict - resulting in breathing difficulties.
Studies found that allergens and endotoxins mix with air pollutants in homes and therefore increases the effect of each other.
However, it might not be really relevant that children with asthma living with dogs will be much worse off than those without pets or lived with cats. The sample size is still relatively small - 500, compared to the general population in the world!
On the other hand, it is true that having a dog (or pets) at home enhances one's life pretty much. Interaction with pets often results in the relieve of anxiety, and to top it off, I'm sure that having a dog at home livens up the mood greatly.! Dogs, I'd say, are very sensible mammals on earth and they are certainly very loyal. These undeniable facts have greatly brought the statistics of the ownership of dogs around the world up. They are great companions! =)
"Man's best friend is the dog." I would agree. But living along side with dogs on earth are many beautiful mammals, creatures. Every living creature is sacred, precious and lovely. I always believe every single mammal have the ability to comprehend the thoughts of human beings, and feel for us. Likewise, we do feel for them too.