Topic - Children raised around dogs and their Immune system.
We run a very large Australian Labradoodle UK owners Facebook group
and we see lots of questions and worries from families posting on this
group. We offer lots of advice and support to our puppy families before
and after they get their puppy, but we also do try and support families
that have purchased their puppy elsewhere from another breeder that
might not have received the same level of support or professional
advice. So, we decided to cover topics as when they come up so our
families can learn and benefit from the questions being asked.
Today’s question was: "My pup has just picked up her poop in her
mouth, gross I know, what can I do to make sure her mouth is
completely clean for my children’s sake? I don’t have a toothbrush
and paste at the moment, we have gave her water straight away,
thank you”. To add context, the puppy in question is only 8 weeks old.
As gross as it sounds, dogs pick up almost anything in their mouths
especially when they are puppies, and this question reminds me of my
son at 8 months old, having no nappy time rolling around our bathroom
floor, waiting for the bath to be ready. He did a poo and started eating it
whilst I left the room briefly to get a towel. To say I was horrified was an
understatement, when you are a first-time parent you worry about all the
germs and dangers, but in reality, its part of learning, and I learnt never
to leave them for a minute with no nappy on! It’s not my child’s fault that
he decided to try this warm snack, it was mine for leaving him
unattended whist I went to get towels. He was absolutely fine and never
got ill from the incident and it is now a funny story to bring up on
occasions and watch his horrified face at the thought he ate his own
So, when your puppy does something unwanted you can’t punish your
puppy you need to try harder to manage any unwanted behaviours the
best you can which is extremely hard with an 8-week-old puppy, but it
does get easier.
I did some research and research suggests that children raised around
dogs may have better immune systems due to several factors:
1. Microbial diversity: Dogs, especially those that spend time
outdoors, carry a diverse range of microbes on their fur and paws.
When children interact with dogs, they are exposed to these
microbes, which can help diversify their own microbiome. A
diverse microbiome is associated with a stronger immune system
and reduced risk of allergies and autoimmune disorders.
2. Reduced risk of allergies: Studies have shown that early exposure
to dogs, particularly during the first year of life, can reduce the risk
of developing allergies, including asthma and eczema. The
exposure to dog-related allergens, such as dander, in a controlled
and consistent manner helps to desensitize the immune system,
leading to decreased allergic responses.
3. Increased exposure to dirt and germs: Dogs are known to explore
and interact with their environment, including outdoor areas that
may contain various microorganisms. When children play with
dogs, they are more likely to come into contact with dirt and germs
present in the dogs environment. This exposure helps to train the
immune system, making it more robust and better equipped to
handle different pathogens.
4. Emotional well-being: Owning a dog can have positive effects on a
child's emotional well-being, reducing stress and anxiety. Lower
stress levels are associated with improved immune system
functioning. Additionally, the companionship and unconditional
love provided by dogs may contribute to a healthier psychological
state, indirectly benefiting the immune system.
5. Increased physical activity: Dogs require regular exercise and
having a dog in the family often encourages children to engage in
physical activities such as walking, running, or playing outside.
Regular exercise strengthens the immune system, promotes
overall health, and reduces the risk of various diseases.
It is important to note that while growing up around dogs can have
potential benefits for immune system development, individual factors,
such as genetics and overall lifestyle, also play significant roles in
determining a child's immune health.
So, in summary a dog could be a very good thing for your child and it is
very important that you practise good hand washing after touching your
dog and especially before eating any food.
If you have watched our puppy cam and seen our children play with our
puppies after they have eaten raw food, done a poo and trod in it and
then climbed all over our children, licked their faces and hands and I can
honestly say my boys have never been unwell with anything from the
puppies, and we are talking about multiple puppies when you go home
you only have one puppy.
I hope this puts your mind at rest with regards to puppy and transferring
germs and bacteria to your children.
As always – Thank you for reading and take care.
All my love – Shannon Willows Australian labradoodles.