Thursday, December 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Paws for Thought: Dogs truly do make us healthier

Annie and GuthrieW

A boy and his dog: How sweet it is and healthy, too! Young Guthrie, who is learning to talk, calls Annie “Good Girl” because everyone keeps praising Annie for being such a “good girl.” Courtesy photo

By
From page A4 | April 15, 2014 |

Remember all those cautions about dirty dogs? Well scientific evidence offers a more positive view. For starters, research shows that not only do people have 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells, but that our canine companion’s microbes add to that mix, and that’s good.

Scientists are finding that a diverse microbiome plays a critical role in human health because it helps immune systems differentiate between good and bad germs.

According to the scientific study, “Cohabiting family members share microbiota with one another and with their dogs” (eLife, April 16, 2013), researchers found that dogs transfer their bacteria by licking and pawing our skin. Once there, these microbes remain on our skin. It was also noted that, dog-owning adults share more microbiota with their household dogs than with other dogs. The result: humans and canines in the same household share and enrich each other’s microbial communities. To read the entire article, go to http://elifesciences.org/content/2/e00458.

More recently, UC San Francisco and University of Michigan researchers found that infants living in a household with a dog are less likely to develop allergies and asthma. Here’s why: Dust from these households contains “good” bacteria that become part of the child’s gastrointestinal microbiome, thus reducing reactivity to common allergens and viral respiratory infection.

Dogs that roam inside and outside provide an especially rich dust microbiome for the human gastrointestinal tract. This study was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .

Dr. Susan Lynch, lead researcher and associate professor with the Division of Gastroenterology at UC San Francisco, concludes, “Gut microbiome manipulation represents a promising new therapeutic strategy to protect individuals against both pulmonary infection and allergic airway disease.”

While there’s more to do before researchers are able to improve human health by manipulating our skin and gut micorbiomes, for now, why not ask our dogs to give us kisses and high-fives? Isn’t that more fun?

Need a dog? Adopt one from a local animal shelter or rescue and enjoy a happy, healthy and active life!

Annie’s Happy Tail: Sarah Woltz may not have known about the latest scientific research into the health benefits family dogs provide for very young children when she, her husband Phil, and her 13-month-old son, Guthrie, came to an adoption event at Land Bark Pet Supplies in Sacramento.

What they soon discovered, however, was the incredible bond that can instantaneously occur between people and pets. As Shari Crum, Front Street animal shelter’s outreach coordinator, observed, “That dog loved the family so much! The feelings were mutual. I’ve never seen a dog trying to hug the entire family at once!”

Now that Annie has been with her new family, Sarah writes, “Annie is very well. She fits in perfectly at our house. She and Guthrie are best friends — he thinks her name is ‘Good Girl,’ so that’s what he calls her. We are enrolled in dog training classes and she is doing very well — she is an excellent listener and a quick learner. She likes to play with the cats (who are very patient with her), dig up my lemon balm and go for runs with Phil and Guthrie.”

— Evelyn Dale of Davis is a volunteer and advocate for shelter animal welfare. Contact her at pawsforthought@sbcglobal.net. This column is published monthly.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Former foster youths aided by UCD’s Guardian programs

    By Sarah Colwell | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rain Recyclers saves water for another day

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Konditorei presents free holiday concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    City offices will take a winter break

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Feds will discuss Berryessa Snow Mountain protection

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    ‘Longest Night’ service Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Journalist will join post-film discussion Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Yolo County needs a few good advisers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Per Capita Davis: Time to stop fooling around

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    NAMI-Yolo offers free mental health education program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    .

    Forum

    Pollution from electric vehicles

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Marovich is a brilliant diplomat

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    And a jolly time was had by all

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Remember that all lives matter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    On skiing: What to know when buying new skis

    By Jeffrey Weidel | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devil boys host Les Curry beginning Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD women gear up for second half of swim season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men begin 4-game road trip at Air Force

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth roundup: DBC Juniors rider Kanz wins a cyclocross event

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    College Corner: How does applying for financial aid work?

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: B3

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B3

     
    Anniversary: Barbara and Jan Carter

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Something growing in the mailbox

    By Don Shor | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    Sing and dance along to Cold Shot at Froggy’s

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Point of Brew: Recollections of Christmases past

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A7

    Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Golden Bough brings Irish holidays to The Palms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, December 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Last Minute Gift Guide

    Young phenoms make YouTube success look like child’s play

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG1

    Classic or contemporary, it’s all holiday music to our ears

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG2

    Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG3

    Gift ideas for the health-conscious

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: LMG6

    Hall of Fame proudly puts these toys on the shelf

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG7