Increase Your Probiotic Count By Getting A Dog?

    Dogs and Probiotics?We have co-evolved with dogs over the years, but nobody really knows why it feels so good to be around our furry friends.

    There’s nothing like the feeling when your dog sees you and gets so very excited, or when they gaze longingly at you hoping to go on a walk.

    However, could they also benefit your health?

    A new study is going to look into whether having a dog encourages the growth of positive microorganisms in the human gut, which could improve physical and mental health in elderly adults.
    So what’s the thinking behind this?

    Dogs are covered in germs and having a dog inside the house invites more bacteria inside, in turn people with dogs get sick less often than those without.

    Studies have proven that people living with a dog can experience heart health benefits, increases in exercise activity, reduced allergies, reduced risks of depression and a reduction in extreme depression episodes.

    As a dog owner, you may have thought your dog was just a pet that is soft and fun to play with, but they are turning out to be much more than that.

    Questions Posed About Dogs and Health

    Are Dogs Like Yogurt?

    Some research studies have shown that over a period of time dogs and their owners share a lot of the same gut bacteria.

    It’s helpful to understand that humans have 500+ kinds of bacteria that are good and bad, and probiotics are the “good” bacteria because they help our gut stay healthy and our digestive system clean.

    This in turn keeps our immune system strong.

    Charles Raison, a professor of psychiatry in the University of Arizona College of Medicine reported, “We think dogs might work as probiotics to enhance the health of the bacteria that live in our guts. These bacteria, or ‘microbiota,’ are increasingly recognized as playing an essential role in our mental and physical health, especially as we age.”

    What Will the Study Test?

    A study being done in partnership with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona will place a canine friend from the humane society in a home for three months.

    The researchers will evaluate the humans gut bacteria, their diet, physical activity levels, and immune function.

    Both the human and the dogs’ gut bacteria will be measured in a non-invasive way.

    A follow-up appointment will be scheduled for one, two, and three months to check for positive impacts on the gut microflora in both the humans and the dogs.

    The researchers will also watch for changes in mental health and emotional well-being in both the humans and the dogs.

    It’ll be interesting to see the connection, if any between dogs and probiotics!

    Living in a home with a dog is a wonderful way to improve your mood, your overall health, your life and you also get the benefits of a best friend that is loyal and cute.

    We will soon find out if improved good bacteria in the gut is another benefit of having a pet dog.

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    About the Author

    About the Author: Kate Watson is the Lead Researcher and Founder of Kate started this site after successfully using probiotics to treat some digestive issues she'd had since childhood. In her free time Kate loves nothing more than a good book (and a good glass of wine).