Is Having A Pet Dog Just Like Taking Probiotics For Your Gut Health?
Smarter Reviews Looks at a Connection Between Pets & Probiotics
There's no doubt about the fact that there are countless micro-organisms infesting offices and homes at all times. People have a tendency to automatically see all of these different micro-organisms as threats, or something harmful to be feared.
The truth, though, is that the immune system needs to be exposed to a wide range of different micro-organisms in order to develop and function effectively over the long-term. Taking antibiotics actually kills the beneficial bacteria along with the harmful bacteria, and conditions the immune system to grow weaker in time.
PUPPIES And Microorganisms
When a lot of people think about their pets, they might be horrified to imagine what they're breathing in. While cats are at least known for being somewhat clean and bathing themselves, the same cannot be said for dogs. Dogs are famously dirty and some people might be concerned about even letting dogs in their homes as a result.
However, even dog-borne microbes that a lot of people worry about might actually possess powerful health benefits for the human body. Humans and dogs have spent thousands of years evolving alongside one another. The idea that living with dogs might have some tangible benefits in terms of digestive health is very possible.
Studies About Pets and microorganisms
There are many epidemiological studies that suggest that children raised in homes with family dogs are less likely to develop allergies, asthma, and other autoimmune disorders. Immune systems that don't go through their proper development are more likely to respond to benign substances as if they are true, genuine threats.
It's useful to look at studies from other cultures in order to really get a sense of how all of this works. Many studies suggest that Amish people, for instance, are a lot less likely to develop illnesses related to the immune system. People living elsewhere in the same state will have more immune-related illnesses than Amish people, so it's important to look at specific environmental factors specifically facing the Amish.
Amish people live alongside livestock and all of their associated bacteria throughout their entire lives. This has been a common arrangement throughout human history, and it is certainly a proven fact of life for people in other parts of the world today.
Of course, it doesn't look like people need to live an agricultural lifestyle in order to get many of the benefits associated with living alongside animals. It is interesting that even people living in the city seem to want to live with pets. People who live with one pet might still gain health benefits associated with owning an animal.
It's widely known that the first few years of a person's life, and especially the first few months of a person's life, are crucial to the overall development of the body and your health. Kids who are around animal micro-organisms during their first three months may be able to accumulate many of the benefits throughout their lives.
There are over five hundred different varieties of bacteria in the human gut. These days, many people have heard about probiotics. In addition to aiding in digestion and supporting the health of the intestines, probiotics may have a lot of direct benefits for the immune system, as well as supporting your digestive system.
It's interesting that dogs and dog owners often develop similar types and levels of gut bacteria over time. Living with dogs might eventually help give people a lot of the advantages associated with healthy bacteria, while making it easier for them
to fight harmful bacteria at the same time. The external microbiome can certainly have a huge impact on human health. It seems that living with a dog might have a positive effect on the internal microbiome that develops within our gut over time.
The Implications of living with pets
People might be skeptical of the idea that just passively living with a dog could have such a profound effect on anything physical or health-related. After all, most people typically wash their hands after thoroughly petting their dogs, and they certainly stay away from anything that their dogs chew on, even after washing the area.
However, bacteria is introduced into the environment subtly. Every hour on the hour, people release an estimated 38 million samples of bacteria into their immediate areas. Some of this is just through the act of breathing, so there is ultimately, nothing that people can do about it. Many of these bacteria come from human skin directly, and it isn't possible to wash them all off even if you wanted to.
Some of the bacteria will die the second they become exposed to the air. However, most of them will linger in the external environment of the area. Since people are literally capable of breathing some of them in, there is only so much that anyone can do about preparing a gameplan or strategy to deal with ingesting bacteria.
When this indoor microbiome is more varied, the immune system is stimulated more. There is no doubt that the microbiome of a household is going to be vastly different when a dog is added into the mix, then affecting your own microbiome.
The health benefits of living with a dog will tend to be drowned out by the correct observation that animal-borne microbes can certainly be unhealthy. However, people tend to focus only on the unhealthy microbes, paying less attention to the fact that a dog can have a positive effect on the entire microbiome of a household.
Those who want to avoid the negative side effects associated with living with a dog can usually stay safe just by washing their hands after touching their dogs. They should try to avoid contact with any dog saliva or waste, washing their hands afterwards if you are unable to. It's not a major undertaking to stay clean.
However, the people who take these basic and well-known precautions will usually be able to avoid many of the more negative bacterial micro-organisms associated with living alongside pets. You can then reduce any possible chance of irritation. Ultimately the pros and cons are comparable, and your body is not in danger.
Finding a way to promote the proliferation of healthy bacteria while defending against the harmful bacteria is really one of the biggest preoccupations of modern medicine, in fact. Probiotic supplements go a long way in helping optimize your digestive health, but living with a dog might also be able to give pet people something of a shortcut in that regard. Either way, it's interesting, isn't it?
Desiree has been working in the beauty industry since 2005 as a licensed cosmetologist. She enjoys writing and engaging with readers in discussions on all aspects of beauty & lifestyle.