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New research shows that the microbes
contained in a dog’s gut could have a
probiotic effect on the human body
— fostering the growth of positive
microorganisms and enhancing overall health.
T E X T BY M O R G A N L I N D S E Y
Studies have long shown that dog owners live happier,
healthier lives, but is there more to this than just
unconditional love and companionship? The researchers
at the University of Arizona believe so. “We think dogs
might work as probiotics to enhance the health of the
bacteria that live in our guts,” says Dr. Charles Raison
of University of Arizona’s College of Medicine. “These
‘microbiota’ are increasingly recognized as playing
an essential role in our mental and physical health,
especially as we age.” It’s a proven fact that dogs
and their owners begin to share much of the same
gut bacteria over time, and now it’s time to quantify
those health benefits. We don’t expect dogs to replace
probiotic yogurt anytime soon, but give your canine
friend a big kiss today. It can’t hurt.