Background: It is still debatable whether dog ownership during early childhood is a risk factor for the development of allergic diseases. Objective: We investigated the association of dog ownership in early life with sensitization and asthma in childhood. Methods: Data from the Cohort for Childhood Origin of Asthma and Allergic diseases were used to investigate the association between dog ownership at any time from pregnancy to 1 year of age and sensitization to aeroallergens at 3 and 7 years old, bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), and asthma at 7 years old. We analyzed the cytokine levels in cord blood (CB) and indoor environmental measurement concentrations in the mother’s residence obtained at 36 weeks of pregnancy. Results: Sensitization to dogs at age 3 and 7 did not differ between dog ownership and nonownership, but dog ownership during early life decreased the risk of sensitization to aeroallergens at age 7 (aOR = 0.44, 95% CI 0.21–0.90). Dog ownership significantly increased the risk of nonatopic BHR (aOR = 2.86; 95% CI 1.32–6.21). In addition, dog ownership was associated with asthma, especially nonatopic asthma at 7 years old (aOR = 2.73, 95% CI 1.02–7.32; aOR = 7.05, 95% CI 1.85–26.90, respectively). There were no significant differences in the concentrations of IL-13 or interferon-γ in CB or indoor environmental measurements according to dog ownership during pregnancy. Conclusion: Early-life dog exposure in this birth cohort has been shown to reduce atopy but increase the risk of nonatopic BHR and nonatopic asthma at 7 years old.

Hwang G, Ham S, Yoon C. Prevalence of asthma in children in worldwide and Korea.
. 2018;55(1):1–12.
Burbank AJ, Sood AK, Kesic MJ, Peden DB, Hernandez ML. Environmental determinants of allergy and asthma in early life.
J Allergy Clin Immunol
. 2017;140(1):1–12.
Chi IB, Kim HJ, Kim WT, Seo GC.
Development strategies for the companion animal industry
. Naju, South Korea: Korea Rural Economic Institute; 2017. p. 34.
Takkouche B, González-Barcala FJ, Etminan M, Fitzgerald M. Exposure to furry pets and the risk of asthma and allergic rhinitis: a meta-analysis.
. 2008;63(7):857–64.
Ownby DR, Johnson CC, Peterson EL. Exposure to dogs and cats in the first year of life and risk of allergic sensitization at 6 to 7 years of age.
. 2002;288(8):963–72.
Anyo G, Brunekreef B, de Meer G, Aarts F, Janssen NA, van Vliet P. Early, current and past pet ownership: associations with sensitization, bronchial responsiveness and allergic symptoms in school children.
Clin Exp Allergy
. 2002;32(3):361–6.
Sitarik AR, Havstad S, Levin AM, Lynch SV, Fujimura KE, Ownby DR, et al. Dog introduction alters the home dust microbiota.
Indoor Air
. 2018;28(4):539–47.
Lodrup Carlsen KC, Roll S, Carlsen KH, Mowinckel P, Wijga AH, Brunekreef B, et al. Does pet ownership in infancy lead to asthma or allergy at school age? Pooled analysis of individual participant data from 11 european birth cohorts.
PLoS One
. 2012;7:e43214.
Hesselmar B, Aberg N, Aberg B, Eriksson B, Björkstén B. Does early exposure to cat or dog protect against later allergy development?
Clin Exp Allergy
. 1999;29(5):611–7.
Collin SM, Granell R, Westgarth C, Murray J, Paul ES, Sterne JA, et al. Associations of pet ownership with wheezing and lung function in childhood: findings from a uk birth cohort.
PLoS One
. 2015;10(6):e0127756.
Jung S, Noh SR, Lee S-Y, Yoon J, Cho H-J, Kim Y-H, et al. Indoor pet ownership in infancy is a risk factor for the development of sensitization to pets and asthma in childhood.
Allergy Asthma Respir Dis
. 2019;7(2):99–105.
Ojwang V, Nwaru BI, Takkinen HM, Kaila M, Niemelä O, Haapala AM, et al. Early exposure to cats, dogs and farm animals and the risk of childhood asthma and allergy.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol
. 2020;31(3):265–72.
Fall T, Lundholm C, Örtqvist AK, Fall K, Fang F, Hedhammar Å, et al. Early exposure to dogs and farm animals and the risk of childhood asthma.
JAMA Pediatr
. 2015;169(11):e153219.
Hesselmar B, Hicke-Roberts A, Lundell AC, Adlerberth I, Rudin A, Saalman R, et al. Pet-keeping in early life reduces the risk of allergy in a dose-dependent fashion.
PLoS One
. 2018;13(12):e0208472.
Collin SM, Granell R, Westgarth C, Murray J, Paul E, Sterne JA, et al. Pet ownership is associated with increased risk of non-atopic asthma and reduced risk of atopy in childhood: findings from a uk birth cohort.
Clin Exp Allergy
. 2015;45(1):200–10.
Gergen PJ, Mitchell HE, Calatroni A, Sever ML, Cohn RD, Salo PM, et al. Sensitization and exposure to pets: the effect on asthma morbidity in the us population.
J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract
. 2018 Jan–Feb;6(1):101–e2.
Roduit C, Wohlgensinger J, Frei R, Bitter S, Bieli C, Loeliger S, et al. Prenatal animal contact and gene expression of innate immunity receptors at birth are associated with atopic dermatitis.
J Allergy Clin Immunol
. 2011;127(1):179–e1.
Tun HM, Konya T, Takaro TK, Brook JR, Chari R, Field CJ, et al. Exposure to household furry pets influences the gut microbiota of infant at 3–4 months following various birth scenarios.
. 2017;5(1):40.
Yang HJ, Lee SY, Suh DI, Shin YH, Kim BJ, Seo JH, et al. The cohort for childhood origin of asthma and allergic diseases (cocoa) study: design, rationale and methods.
BMC Pulm Med
. 2014;14:109.
Beasley R. Worldwide variation in prevalence of symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and atopic eczema: Isaac.
. 1998;351:1225–32.
Miller MR, Hankinson J, Brusasco V, Burgos F, Casaburi R, Coates A, et al. Standardisation of spirometry.
Eur Respir J
. 2005;26(2):319–38.
American Thoracic S. Guidelines for methacholine and exercise challenge testing 1999.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med
. 2000;161:309–239.
Kim J, Kim S, Woo S-Y, Chung J-Y, Hong Y-S, Oh S-Y, et al. Prenatal exposure to lead and chromium is associated with il-13 levels in umbilical cord blood and severity of atopic dermatitis: Cocoa study.
Immune Netw
. 2019;19(6):e42.
Kim HB, Ahn KM, Kim KW, Shin YH, Yu J, Seo JH, et al. Cord blood cellular proliferative response as a predictive factor for atopic dermatitis at 12 months.
J Korean Med Sci
. 2012;27(11):1320–6.
Lee CM, Hong SJ, Kim YS, Park GY, Nam Goung SJ, Kim KH. Distribution features of biological hazardous pollutants in residential environments in korea.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
. 2014;21(2):1146–52.
O’Connor GT, Lynch SV, Bloomberg GR, Kattan M, Wood RA, Gergen PJ, et al. Early-life home environment and risk of asthma among inner-city children.
J Allergy Clin Immunol
. 2018;141(4):1468–75.
Zahradnik E, Raulf M. Animal allergens and their presence in the environment.
Front Immunol
. 2014;5:76.
Sandin A, Björkstén B, Bråbäck L. Development of atopy and wheezing symptoms in relation to heredity and early pet keeping in a swedish birth cohort.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol
. 2004;15(4):316–22.
Svanes C, Heinrich J, Jarvis D, Chinn S, Omenaas E, Gulsvik A, et al. Pet-keeping in childhood and adult asthma and hay fever: European community respiratory health survey.
J Allergy Clin Immunol
. 2003;112(2):289–300.
Platts-Mills T, Vaughan J, Squillace S, Woodfolk J, Sporik R. Sensitisation, asthma, and a modified th2 response in children exposed to cat allergen: a population-based cross-sectional study.
. 2001;357(9258):752–6.
Gern JE, Reardon CL, Hoffjan S, Nicolae D, Li Z, Roberg KA, et al. Effects of dog ownership and genotype on immune development and atopy in infancy.
J Allergy Clin Immunol
. 2004;113(2):307–14.
Gómez-Casado C, Díaz-Perales A. Allergen-associated immunomodulators: Modifying allergy outcome.
Arch Immunol Ther Exp
. 2016;64(5):339–47.
Lowe LA, Woodcock A, Murray CS, Morris J, Simpson A, Custovic A. Lung function at age 3 years: effect of pet ownership and exposure to indoor allergens.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med
. 2004;158(10):996–1001.
Hu LW, Qian Z, Dharmage SC, Liu E, Howard SW, Vaughn MG, et al. Pre-natal and post-natal exposure to pet ownership and lung function in children: the seven northeastern cities study.
Indoor Air
. 2017;27(6):1177–89.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.