How Dogs Help Combat Asthma in Kids

Just breathe. Your dog can help with this!
How Dogs Help Combat Asthma in Kids
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 18 November, 2023

Although having an animal in the house brings some inconveniences for certain people, shedding, allergies among others, it’s also shown that animals provide many benefits.

The American Society for Microbiology conducted a study. It shows a link between having a dog and a decreased likelihood of family members with asthma. And, it shows improvement for those suffering from asthma.

One well known cause of respiratory system infections in children is R espiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). For example, in the U.S., more than a half of children contract this virus during their first year. One consequence is the side effect of asthma. And, having dogs in the home may avoid having this problem down the road.

Analyses of dogs and asthma in children

To carry out these tests, they worked with three groups of mic. One group exposed to RSV, one group fed powder from homes with dogs and then later exposed to the virus. And, there was a control group free from the virus.

The individuals exposed to the powder didn’t show symptoms of the virus. In other words: no inflammation, mucus production, or gastrointestinal alterations.

The consequences of these analyses are clear. The microbes that exist in the powder from homes with dogs are able to colonize the intestinal tract. And, they created an immune response to protect the host from the pathogen causing asthma. These tests are a first step in locating microbial species that protect against this respiratory pathogen.

As far as cats are concerned, similar results have not been achieved in households with cats.

Dog hair is good for asthma in your child

Contrary to popular belief, animal fur is not the main culprit of allergies in our family members. It’s more likely that these problems arose from dander, saliva, urine remains and even feathers of domestic animals. Although fur is not a problem directly, it may accumulate dust mites, mold or other agents potentially capable of causing allergies.

Solutions for your children’s asthma

One possible way to relieve allergy symptoms is using an air purifier. Basically, filters eliminate particles in the atmosphere, including animal dander. A study about the use of air filters in the bedroom brought to light some surprising data, as they can reduce, in a surprising way, the allergens that come from cats and dogs.

When there are small children at home suffering from asthma, when considering the possibility of having a dog, very negative effects are foreseen. Nevertheless, while it’s true that the majority of dogs produce and spread particles. For example: dander or pollen. Some dogs breeds that produce less of it. And, they’re even beneficial for asthmatic children.

There was an analysis of breeds we can find the Yorkshire Terrier, Irish Terrier, American Terrier, Maltese, Chihuahua, etc. If the child has very developed symptoms of asthma, it’s best to consult the vet before introducing the animal into your home.


Many believe that these little dogs can cure asthmatics. Although they may bring some benefits, we don’t know about complete cures yet.

It’s easy to find different websites where grateful, asthmatic patients share experiences about their chihuahuas. They even recommend these dogs as the ideal pet for homes where there are children with asthma. Of course, the benefits will become evident over time.

Chihuahuas are between 15 and 23 cm long and weigh between one and three kilos. Among their most distinguishable characteristics is their very round head, in the shape of an apple, their pointed ears and their very long tail that is usually arched or stands in a semicircle with the tip pointed towards their spine.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.