Dog germs may be good for you

shadash

Notable member
From the San Diego Union Tribute...
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/mar/17/dog-germs-probiotics/

Licking_dog_r620x349.jpg

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/mar/17/dog-germs-probiotics/
When Fido drags his saliva-drenched tongue across your face, man's best friend may be doing you a microbial favor as well as showing affection.

People are being recruited for a study of whether living with a canine improves the human microbiome. The study is led by University of Arizona researchers along with other universities, including UC San Diego.

"We essentially want to find out, is a dog acting like yogurt in having a probiotic effect?" said Kim Kelly, one of the study leaders, in a press release. Kelly is also a principal research specialist at the University of Arizona in the Department of Psychiatry and program coordinator for the Human-Animal Interaction Research Initiative.

Rob Knight, an internationally known expert on the human microbiome, is leading UC San Diego's part of the study. A newcomer to UCSD, Knight's appointment was announced in January.

Older people are being sought for the study. They will be provided with a dog from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona to live with for three months. At the start, the gut microbes of human participants will be non-invasively assessed, along with diet, activity and immune system function. Dog gut microbes and activity will likewise be assessed. Those interested in learning more should email Kelly at kkelly@psychiatry.arizona.edu

Reassessments will take place at the end of the first, second and third months to determine whether there's any benefit to the microbiome of the people or the dogs. Changes in mental health of humans and dogs will also be assessed.

Dogs have co-evolved with people for tens of thousands of years. Scientists generally agree that this symbiosis was important in human civilization. Dogs evolved from wolves, acquiring a predisposition for human companionship and a recognition of people as the top dog (most of the time).
 

Ingrid H

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I wouldn't doubt that it is good for humans to be exposed to more bacteria and viruses especially when young. I read not too long ago in Smithsonian Magazine that the living cells we carry around in and on our bodies are only 10% human. And we can't live without the microbes that surround and inhabit our bodies. We have a symbiotic relationship with many organisms.
 

Oh Little Oji

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I have heard of a study that suggested children are healthier (in terms of immune system?) growing up in a household with dogs due to the unseen stuff dogs bring with them
 

MyBuddy

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I have heard of a study that suggested children are healthier (in terms of immune system?) growing up in a household with dogs due to the unseen stuff dogs bring with them
Probably! Along with the simple fact that growing up with dogs teaches responsibility, patience, love for something other than yourself and overall creates an atmosphere of give and take that I feel is an important lesson in a child's upbringing. For me, DOG completes the family. :D Licks, germs and all!
 

JanS

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All very good points here! I don't let our dogs lick our faces party because I'm just not a fan of licking, partly because Della goes out and steals horse biscuits, carries a dead squirrel around, etc.. :D
 

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