Dog's mouth vs. human's--which is cleaner? - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Dog's mouth vs. human's--which is cleaner?

By Laura Wibbenmeyer - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - You've likely heard of the saying "a dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's."  Is there any truth to that statement?  KFVS decided to do it's own version on myth busters.  For many dog owners, their dog is more than a pet, it's family.

"She is very shy and she loves people," said 12-year-old Kirstin Weincetl.

Kirstin says her Goldendoodle, Lily, has dog breath.  She hopes that proves that her mouth is cleaner than Lily's.

Kelison Hines agrees.  She has two outdoor dogs and she says they get into everything.

"They've killed some kind of hawk that they had in their kennel and bunnies.  I don't see how their mouth could be cleaner," said Kelison.

After swabbing four humans and four dogs, the samples were left overnight in an incubator.  It only took one night, and already the bacteria growing on the dishes were obvious.

"What we are looking for is growth in the form of colonies and they will be little round circles," said biologist Shannon McNew.

McNew say all growth isn't necessarily bad, but the size, shape and color tell a lot.

"See like that larger one, that would definitely be a different species," said NcNew.

The two outdoor dogs take the cake, their mouths are definitely the dirtiest.  All four dogs grew more bacteria and different species while the humans grew much less.

"I'm surprised on the amount of difference we do see from the dogs to the humans," said McNew. "The humans had a lot less bacteria so the humans mouth was cleaner than the dogs in this case."

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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