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I with respect disagree. Immunity issues – when we become "sterile" fanatic and deny ourselves low risk exposure to build a functioning defence against infection and desease. I submit instead to invest in the care and upkeep of our homes to lessen concerns and ward-off the minimal risk of such issues. There are a variety of contaminants that are fixed conditions of thhe human experience. Allowing excusing them to become equal obsession is counter to wellbeing and healthy living. The thinking provokes the image of poor sanitation and inability to maintain even the lowest degree of responsible personsl care. Complacency is not proactive care. I have multiple chronic disorders and require a service dog to assist me daily with life's functionality. This requirement causes be need my close proximity of her 24/7/365 and her tasks require her to access these and other surfaces in our home and parts of my anatomy to provide this aide. 30 years of this requirement and three helper teammates later their benefit outweighed any small chance or concern over minimal exposure risk. My service dog licks my hands legs and face at time, in those tasks. It is more prudent to maintain the wellness and health care of both our lives which entails cleanliness of person / animal and environment to endure defence against potential risk. I do not say "pets" should be table settings or counter suffering adrenalin junkies, merley that over reasoning can be as harmful to heath as worry is to stress. If one choses to share home and life with pets the environment must in fact accomodate the neeeds and understanding of our companion animals primal habits and have the capacity to adapt the environment to their needs as well.

We can and do contaminate their environment using your model of thought. Spreading (germs) on towels we wipe our hands on that they may lie upon or encounter, with us.cnairs we sit on when unwell or wearing medical devices for disorders (like bowel function) everywhere we walk, eat sit lay on or touch – they are at equal risk of infection from us. The circle of cross contamination is there. ( like sharing the home with a sick child) All things being equal being "good to our pets" entails established responsible living protocols to protect both and accept the fact we ourselves are "dirty" . Exposures (even accidental over compensation or percaution) ca not deny this. It works both ways we spread Invisable bacterial matter in a snezeze or when using washroom (facilities) or eggres or exiting of a room from one environment to another. We lie in bed and exposure risk lies with us. Bacteria is part of the living condition for both. It is unavoidable and served as an early warning system to activate immune response and defence.
Why weakening the frontline of its designed benefit escaped me. There is a better and more substantial risk of posioning in food preparation on counters, use of toiletries and personal aides….towels, ect,… Our hands and our animal paws need washing or covering also to minimize exposure risk as any other potential to them or ourselves in navigating the environment we share with them (subject them to by captivity / ownership) The same exposure prevention for them from us (Invisable and) predictable by observable risks. Walking from the washroom to any environment compounds the risk. It is that "simple" Pointing a finger at pets potential to infect by hidden dangers is an excuse to deny we live with risk greater or self imposed daily on our immune system and are the better for it.

Note: Fecal transplants are saving lives as modren medical research transends the human animal barrier., in vital immune balance reasearch crossing specie barriers. Dogs eat feces for mineral extraction mitigation. (Think grass eating for self care – primal apocatherapudion) using nature as a pharmacy to heal or remedy. Biologic need to balance immunity response and maintain microbiome flora for health benefits realized.

We have an arsenal in place biologically to mount an effective defence against "minimal" risk, through that very immune system. Should it be compromised to a point of pathogenic dangers in association with co habitation then the arrangement is counter productive in sharing the environment for both. If such Low immune tolerance in ourselves minimally put them at unfair disatvange to potential risk through exposure in a closed environment where these conditions prevale regardless of concerns to affect change. You have risk as part of life. I would rather err on the side of living the best quality of life and hope for betterment of health in excersize, nutrition, stress reduction (interaction with "pets") methodologies, proper rest and adherence to medical protocols in therapy and treatment for/of self through practitioner card and intervention and education/ knowledge/ awareness of ourselves and our environment, pets included.

I do not post this as argumentative or opposition to personal feeling but, to offer my expereinces and thoughts along my journey in life with my Service Dougs and a compromised immune system in chronic illness. I humbly ask you view this writing in the intended light. Just, my thoughts. There is always the delete button.

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Replies to "I with respect disagree. Immunity issues - when we become "sterile" fanatic and deny ourselves low..."

Swingandamiss, I totally agree with you. I also have a service dog. She’s a tiny 4 pound chihuahua. Some may say what can she do. Well she has saved me several times. The first time I was driving. She has always gone everywhere with me. At that time I couldn’t take in into food related places. It’s a good thing she was with me on that day. She always rides beside me in my driver seat. She’s so tiny that she just fits. She never moves, but that day she jumped up. & put her paws on my chest. I thought as anyone would that maybe she felt sick or had to potty. She never had done that before. She just waits until we get to our destination. I immediately found a parking lot to pull over. I was on a busy street but it had plenty of places to pull off. The minute I got the car stopped I got dizzy & felt myself about to pass out. I leaned over the steering wheel. I man saw me & came to the car. I was still conscious enough to open my door. He called 911. They were there in an instant. My blood pressure was dangerously elevated & my heart was out of rhythm. I have Afib & high Bp anyway. I was transported immediately. Abbey ( my dog ) was taken with me. The ambulance driver held her until my husband got there. That was the first time we began to think she might be that intune with me. Then several other times at home she acted like that at home when I was about to have an increase in Bp. We started to ask about the process of getting her certified as a service dog. My cardiologist & vet both helped me. We went through the process & she’s certified now. That’s been about 4 years ago. She sleeps with me & is constantly touching me. She’s kept very clean. I can tell you one thing, she’s less likely to infect me with anything than a sick child or many others that never wash their hands. I’m like you, I think hygiene is the issue. My dog is cleaner than lots of human.

I'm not suggesting anything remotely resembling 'sterile' living. I'm telling you primarily that if you allow contact between your pets, your food or your food prep/storage surfaces, you are likely eating their crap.

Fecal matter in particular is absolutely notorious for causing minor food poisoning. Cats in particular track it everywhere they go. They track it far away from their litter boxes. They do so everyday without exception. Dogs transfer fecal matter on occasion.

Eating crap will make you sick. Even trace amounts will likely trigger a reaction. Trace amounts are not necessarily visible. This is why we wash our hands after wiping our butts. This is why I suggest you dry your hands only on clean towels. It's not 'sterile living'. It's basic hygiene. The same level of care should be taken to avoid eating your pet's crap.

Take my advice and rule this factor out.