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If you’re the kind of person who puckers up freely for their pet pooch but thinks twice about locking lips with a man with a beard, you’re not as weird as you think. Probably.

At least you can claim that canine kissing is the more sanitary habit, thanks to a study published recently in the European Radiology journal. On the whole dogs, say Swiss scientists, have fewer germs in their fur than men have in their beards. And they proved it by testing 18 bearded men and 30 dogs, finding that more of the beards contained bugs harmful to human health than the dogs’ fur.

The tests were carried out to find out if it would be hygienic to use the same MRI scanner for dogs and humans. So they they did just that. And guess what? After routine disinfection, the scanner that had been used by the dogs was found to have fewer bacteria than the scanner used by the men.

“Our study shows that bearded men harbour significantly higher burden of microbes and more human-pathogenic strains than dogs,” the researchers claim.

Well it’s hardly good news for men with beards – who aren’t very pleased about the study’s results, apparently. But it just goes to show that dogs are cleaner than we think (or perhaps we should say that we’re less clean than we think).

The question is, how many dogs do you have to kiss before you find a prince? A clean-shaven prince, preferably.


Photo by nrd on Unsplash