Audrey Cowen

Have you ever wondered why people tell you not to let your dog lick your face? Well, I have. I was interested in investigating the transfer of microbes, specifically bacteria and fungi, from dogs to humans when a dog licks a person. I went about this by asking people to swab their dog’s mouth, and their arm after their dog licked their arm, then culturing the microbes present in the samples. As a control, I requested that people disinfect and swab their arm, before their dog licked them. I discovered that, in the majority of cases, not all of the microbes present on the mouth sample were transferred to the licked-arm sample, and that there were more bacterial colonies present when compared to fungal colonies. This work is important because it sheds light on the unintended consequences of your pet’s seemingly harmless love. My Projectboard.