Keep That Grubby Thing Away From my Dog!

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Photo: ktylerconk

Everyone’s seen them do it. They’re out in the yard, rooting out who knows what, pawing at all sorts of dirty things that ought to be left alone, and then they come in and kiss the unsuspecting right on the mouth! For the sake of good hygiene, humans should be trained better. At least that’s the implication of a new study from Kansas State University that indicates dog owners that kiss their pets are no more likely to be infected with dangerous strains of bacteria than those who don’t. The real risk, say the researches, is to the dog. A close examination of dog and owner poop — the duty of a graduate student, no doubt — revealed that owners’ intestinal tracts contained far more antibiotic-resistant bacteria than did the dogs’. Don’t hold back the love though. Swapping slobber with your dog isn’t too dangerous for them. In fact, the article’s authors suggest bonding with pets through kisses and food sharing underlies many of the psychological benefits of pet ownership, for both of you. It turns out the greatest danger is in allowing your dog to lick your grubby paws. “Halt! Wash your hands.” That’s a good human.