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Tag Archives: pet handling

Debate: Do pets pose a significant hygiene risk?

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Pet-Hygiene

When it comes to hygiene, pet owners are a varied bunch – from the relaxed cat-lover who happily permits everything from counter-surfing to face-licking, to the anxious dog owner who won’t allow their companion upstairs and insists on post-fuss hand-washing. But who’s right? Here, Sophie Mackenzie looks at the science behind pets and hygiene, and persuades some brave pet owners to reveal their breaches of best practice.

It’s well known that people with pets, on the whole, are healthier and live longer than those without. This is partly because of the stress-busting effect our companion animals have, but also because exposure to them boosts immunity, especially in children. So at what point does close proximity to pets stop being beneficial and start being a bit unsanitary, or even dangerous?

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