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Children raised around dogs and their Immune system.

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.

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