Most of us would draw the line at face-to-face contact with our dogs, but if your guy happens to sport a beard, Fido might be a safer bet. Surprisingly, a recent study found that men’s beards carry more germs than dogs’ fur.
To determine the hygienics of using the same MRI for humans and dogs, researchers at Switzerland’s Hirslanden Clinic conducted a study. They compared the bacterial load in CFUs (colony forming units) of human pathogenic microorganisms, using samples taken from 30 furry dogs and 18 bearded men. Additionally, they compared contamination in MRI scanners used by humans along with those used by both humans and dogs.
23 of the 30 dogs showed high microbial counts; however, all of the bearded men had high counts. Seven of the men tested carried so much bacteria in their beards, that their health was at risk.
When the researchers compared the MRI machines, the scanners used by humans alone had significantly higher bacterial counts. Andreas Gutzeit, the study’s author, said that based on these findings, dogs could be considered clean compared to bearded men. Though published in February, the study went viral on social media earlier this week.
Beard enthusiasts are less than pleased with the results of the study. Beard Liberation Front founder Keith Flett stated, “There seems to be a constant stream of negative stories about beards that suggest it is more about pogonophobia than anything else.
Perhaps there is some validity to his point, but maybe a shave is still called for every once in a while.