Having Cats and Dogs at Home at an Early Age Reduces Allergy Risk

Having Cats and Dogs at Home at an Early Age Reduces Allergy Risk
Having Cats and Dogs at Home at an Early Age Reduces Allergy Risk

Making a statement about pet allergy within the scope of World Cat Day, Allergy Specialist and President of Allergy and Asthma Association Prof. Dr. Ahmet Akcay; "Feeding cats and dogs at home at an early age reduces the risk of allergies," he said.

Pointing out that families who want to have pets should start to have cats or dogs before their children reach the age of one, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Akçay said that having pets at an early age both reduces the child's possibility of developing allergies to animals, and also reduces the risk of developing diseases such as asthma and allergic rhinitis in the future.

'Farm life prevents the development of allergic diseases'

Studies have shown that the frequency of allergic diseases seen in children aged 7-9 years decreases proportionally with the increase in the number of pets since infancy. It is stated that cats and dogs create a "mini-farm" effect and farm life prevents the development of allergic diseases.

prof. Dr. Ahmet Akçay made a statement on the subject; 'The existence of a protective effect from allergies caused by feeding pets is also supported by immunological data. In principle, it has been stated that two different mechanisms may contribute to the protective effect of pet feeding. First, exposure to cat or dog hair containing large amounts of allergens of the relevant species can induce high-dose clinical tolerance to the allergens, thereby reducing the risk of cat and dog allergies. Many studies have shown that keeping pets at home before children reach the age of one reduces the risk of developing allergic diseases to pets. Second, cohabitation of pets can provide a “mini-farm” environment with microbes or other immunomodulatory factors that exert a wide modifying effect on the child's immune development, leading to tolerance not only to the pet itself but also to food and airway allergens. By having a flora dominated by beneficial microbes, the intestinal flora reduces intestinal permeability, and as a result, it can reduce the development of food allergy, asthma and other allergic diseases.

As a result, pet feeding at home at an early age;

  • Reduces the development of allergies to pets
  • Allergens of pets strengthen immunity and reduce the development of allergies
  • Having a large number of pets at home provides a mini-farm environment
  • Mini farm life enriches the intestinal flora and has a protective effect against allergic diseases.
  • If families who are prone to allergic diseases want to have pets, it will be beneficial for them to start feeding their children before they reach the age of one.

The prevalence of allergic disease in children aged 7-9 years decreases in a dose-response pattern with increasing number of cats and dogs in the household during the first year of life, suggesting a “mini-farm” effect that allows the pet to be fed with the pet.

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