I love all animals without exception. But I am especially fond of dogs.
My little guy, Remington, passed last year. I still miss him and think about him every day. So, when studies come across my desk like this one, I know it’s him thinking of me, too.
Dogs can do so many things for us.
They show us unconditional love… they boost mood through companionship… and they can even protect us from disease.
Let me explain…
A gut feeling
Researchers gathered data from an environmental questionnaire. Nearly 4,300 first-degree relatives of people with Crohn’s disease—who were enrolled in the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Genetic, Environmental, and Microbial (CCC-GEM) project—were surveyed.
They also collected data on factors like family size, household pets, age, living conditions, and a few dietary details.
To analyze the health effects of living with a dog, researchers genetically sequenced participant’s gut microbiomes. They also studied different factors in urinary samples.
Ultimately, they concluded that living with a pet influences the composition of your microbiome… for the better! (Isn’t that fascinating? More on that in a moment.)
Researchers ALSO found that living with a dog and with at least three other family members during the first few years of life can protect you against Crohn’s disease.
(This inflammatory disease affects the lining of the digestive tract, causing symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and more.)
In fact, children between the ages of two and four who lived with a dog were 37 percent less likely to develop Crohn’s. And those who were among a family of four (or more) were 64 percent less likely to develop the condition.
An immunity boost
As I wrote in my book, The Allergy and Asthma Cure, there’s a definite link between the environment in which we are raised and our risk of certain diseases. So, this hypothesis about dogs protecting against Crohn’s disease isn’t from left field.
Think about it…
If you live with a dog early in your life, you’re exposed to more (quantity and variety of) microbes.
And guess what that does? It BOOSTS your immune system and primes it for later challenges!
This theory was supported in the study by the altered microbiome composition finding. I mean, we are a product of what we touch, taste, feel, inhale, and more… it ALL affects the type and quality of the microbes in our gut.
Yep, gut health really IS that influential.
The bottom line? Our furry friends are there to help us… and we don’t even have to think about it.
P.S. To learn more about how pets can boost our health—and how to weigh the responsibility of being a responsible pet parent—check out the May 2022 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“The ‘furry’ secret to a longer, happier life”). Not yet a subscriber? No problem! Click here to learn about becoming one!
“Dogs Can Be Protective, Even Against Crohn’s Disease.” WebMD, 06/02/2022. (webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/crohns-disease/news/20220602/dogs-protective-against-crohns-disease-study)