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Kiss your dog for a health boost

Friday March 20th 2015

Kissing your dog could actually be good for your health, scientists claim.

Researchers at the University of Arizona in the United States believe giving a pooch a peck may encourage the growth of positive microorganisms in the human body.

They say the microbes contained in a dog's gut could have a probiotic effect on humans, promoting "good" or "helpful" bacteria, especially in the digestive system.

The scientists hope to prove their hypothesis in a new study. Participants will be paired with a dog and live with the animal in their home for three months, during which time their gut bacteria will be evaluated.

Diet, physical activity levels and immune function will also be evaluated in the human participants, while the gut bacteria and physical activity levels of the dogs will be measured as well.

The tests will be carried out at the beginning of the research and then repeated after one, two and three months to find out if there have been any positive impacts in the humans or the dogs.

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Copyright Press Association 2015