Microbiome Awareness Month – Your Dog is a Probiotic

This is a time of year to cherish our loved ones — including man’s (and woman’s) best friend. It turns out that your dog is not only your best friend, but a friend to your gut microbiome as well.

What do we know about the effect of a canine companion on the microbiome of its human owner? Bacteria from a dog’s fur and paws is easily transferred to the skin of humans living in the same space.

There are many health benefits of dog ownership. There’s evidence that people who own dogs are happier, less-stressed, and even less likely to die of heart disease. But could it be possible that dogs might even act as a source of healthy bacteria? Could a dog in fact be a kind of probiotic?

There have been studies that do seem to point in this direction. UCSF scientists who conducted a study in 2013 suggested that living with a dog in infancy may lower a child’s risk of developing asthma and allergies, largely as a result of exposure to what they call “dog-associated house-dust”.

So, while remembering those near and dear to you this time of year, be sure to include your furry friends, as our pets can positively impact our lives in so many ways, including our health.

For more information on dogs and gut health, read our classic blog post.

If you are interested in learning more about your health and your microbiome come check out our clinical microbiome test SmartGut™.