dog kisses improve healthScientists at the University of Arizona say that our pooches wet kisses could actually be good for our health. We know your thinking of all the unsanitary places your dog digs their nose into but these researchers believe that the microbes your dog carries in his/her gut could have a probiotic effect on your body. The live bacteria is good for your health and digestive system.

The study is a part of the universities new research program, “Human-Animal Interaction Research Initiative”. Their efforts are to study the health of both human and non-human animals in their collective relationships.

Kim Kelly is one of the investigators of this study and an anthropology doctoral student. She says there is more to dogs than just being our furry-tailed companion. Kelly and her team work together to discover the dog-lovers relationships and whether their love has gone deeper than the skin. Kelly said, “We essentially want to find out, is a dog acting like a yogurt in having a probiotic effect?”

Earlier research tells us that people who have dogs as pets are happier overall and that we actually share the same gut bacteria over time. Dr. Charles Raison is principal investigator in this study and a professor of psychiatry in the universities College of Medicine. Raison says, “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.”

In the study people will be paired with dogs from the humane society and they will live with each other for three months to find out the growth of positive microorganisms. At the beginning of the study, researchers will test their gut bacteria, diet, physical activity levels and immune function. After each month, they will be tested again to evaluate the impacts on their gut between human and dog.

So the next time your pooch leans in for a smooch, think twice before turning it down!