Not So Dirty Dogs
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The debate rages on….cats versus dogs. We both have cats, Dave, but I’ve also had dogs that were a close part of our family. They’re great companions, make great service animals. Well, a new study gives us another reason to pick dogs.

It compared the microbiome in a dog’s fur to a human’s beard and guess what? Dogs have cleaner fur? Yes! Oh man, I’m gonna go wash my face now! (chuckle) Well, part of the impetus for studies like this comparing human and dog microbes is to see if we can let dogs use under-utilized MRIs meant for people.

That’s because Magnetic Resonance Imaging cost millions of dollars so there are few just for animals. Yet skeptics are concerned dogs carry diseases that can pose a risk to human patients. So, a study looked at the bacteria borne by humans and dogs to answer that question.

Scientists compared the bacterial load from the beards of eighteen men with neck fur between the shoulder blades of thirty dogs. Not only did the beards have much higher numbers of bacteria, every man had high counts whereas just twenty three of the thirty dogs did. And human pathogenic bacteria were more present in the beards.

When they compared human MRI machines with ones used by dogs, the human ones had far more bacteria which shows us that these machines should be cleaned after every use just like the ones used for dogs are sanitized each time.

Consider that every year, two million people are sickened by hospital acquired infections that kill one hundred thousand patients. So, if this study is true, having dogs share our MRIs don’t make them less sanitary. Instead, maybe we humans need to make sure we’re not passing germs onto one another.

For more information…

Would it be safe to have a dog in the MRI scanner before your own examination?
A multicenter study to determine whether it would be hygienic to evaluate dogs and humans in the same MRI scanner...

How Much Will You Spend on Your Dog in His Lifetime?
We all expect to save and set aside money for big expenses, like a new car or the down payment on a house. But, what many of us don’t consider, when we’re oohing-and-ahhhing over that adorable new puppy, is the actual cost of dog ownership...

Number of dogs in the United States from 2000 to 2017
According to a pet owners survey, there were approximately 89.7 million dogs owned in the United States in 2017...