Ever wonder what kinds of germs you’re rubbing all over your face when you nuzzle your best dog buddy? It turns out, it’s probably less germy than the beard on your face.
Researchers in the Hirslanden Clinic in Switzerland examined the beards of 18 men and the necks of 30 dogs of different breeds to compare results. While the study was initially to determine whether or not humans could pick up dog-borne diseases from MRI scanners also used by veterinarians, they found some different, alarming news. Every beard sampled in the research was jam-packed with bacteria. Even worse, nearly half of the beards in the research had bugs that are hazardous to human health. Of the 18 men tested, seven of the men’s beards were actually harboring microbes considered to pose a threat to human health.
Not only were the beards in the study full of harmful bacteria, but also the dogs tested had much lower levels of microbes. These findings suggested to the researchers that dog fur (at least in the study) was significantly less germy than men’s beards. According to Gutzeit, these findings show that your dog’s fur is likely just as clean, if not cleaner, than many beards.
The reason? Beard hair is often curlier or coarser, which makes it easy to trap dirt, making it easier for the hair around the nostrils and the mouth to breed bacteria.
To a lot of people, this news is just another attack on bearded men, or pogonophobia, which believe it or not, is a thing. There’s likely a lot of nasty stuff on people’s hands and hair, and it probably isn’t just beard hair that’s full of bacteria.