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Do You Like Kissing Your Dogs? Scientists Warn Us…

Do You Like Kissing Your Dogs? Scientists Warn Us…

If you are a dog lover, you are probably used to exuberant slobbery shows of love from your furry pets. But you need to know and warn your other friends with dog too that licks across the face, especially on your mouth, can create a lot of health problems.

The first thought that comes to mind is ‘where has this dog been?’ for they are creatures who reside outdoors and sniff at everything in the vicinity. As per research, science warns us against showing affection to pets by kissing them. This isn’t just an opinion; kissing your dogs can make you very sick. John Oxford, emeritus professor of virology and bacteriology at Queen Mary University in London, said ‘It is not just what is carried in saliva. Dogs spend half of their life with their noses in nasty corners or hovering over dog droppings so their muzzles are full of bacteria, viruses and germs of all sorts.’

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The Kiss of Death

One scary example is that of a woman from the the United Kingdom who contracted an infection from the saliva of her Italian Greyhound. She spent weeks in the intensive care recovering from multiple organ failure. She suffered from blood poisoning called severe sepsis caused by the Capnocytophaga canimorsus bacteria. This bacteria is commonly found in the mouths of dogs.

Bacteria can be transferred between humans, or from dogs to humans. Humans wash their hands and clean their teeth daily. Dogs lick themselves to clean or they need you to give them a good bath. A dog’s mouth is not cleaner than yours. Their saliva naturally carries bugs that can be easily passed on to both other dogs and humans.  A Japanese team of scientists who collected dental plaque from dogs and humans confirmed that the bacteria in dog saliva can cause frequent diseases. Sometimes, such bugs are more dangerous to us than to the dogs: “The diseases we worry about most come from some of the bugs that cause gastrointestinal problems in humans,” said Dr. Sykes.

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Humans are aware when they are sick, so they’ll generally take precautions to ensure they do not pass the sickness on to friends/family members. Dogs don’t have this knowledge, and will lick an owner without realising the harm being caused. We can’t blame the dog. But we can avoid constant slobbering on our skin. Take it from Dr. Oz: “If your pooch is a scavenger, then a canine lick on the lips could jeopardize your health. The half-eaten hot dog your dog found on the street — or the feces he was nibbling on — could be loaded with germs and bacteria such as toxocara, salmonella, giardia, hookworm, tapeworm and many others, putting your family’s health at risk.”

More Common Than Rabies

Men’s Health details the various sicknesses that are commonly contracted from dogs. They include:

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  • The Stomach Bug – diarrhoea, vomiting, fever from feces lying around the house.
  • Ringworm – an infection caused by fungus, transferred from coming into contact with the same object.
  • Parasites – once again, found in feces. Even the slightest bit landing on your hand can cause the symptoms to appear.
  • Meningitis – The bacteria Pasteurella multocida
 which can be found in the mouth of dogs can cause fever, swollen lymph nodes,and in extreme cases, meningitis.

Pat Them More to Show Your Affection

All this doesn’t mean you’ll be immediately infected if you get licked or kissed by a dog. But it is wise to make your friends aware of what can happen from the slobbery kiss of a pet. While it is an affectionate act shown towards a loved one, the impact on your health can be detrimental. The ratio of such disease contraction is small, but where there is a chance, there should be concern. According to Shelley Rankin, associate professor of microbiology at Penn Vet, “There have only been about 13 cases reported in the entire United Kingdom, and I’m guessing on a similar scale in the U.S.”

When in doubt? Kiss your partner, and pat your dog.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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