Who Tracks in more Bacteria? Cats, Dogs, or Humans?

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Cats and dogs have been in the lives of humans for thousands of years. Their unique paws protect their feet from jagged surfaces and provide traction. Cats have been living among humans for around 8,000 years. They are the only known animals that have domesticated themselves.First signs of the domestication of cats sprouted from the Near East, which includes the countries of Syria, Israel, Iran, and Egypt, along with many more(https://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/29/science/29cat.html).

When humans stopped following the herds of animals and began farming staple crops like grain, cats are suspected of becoming domesticated (https://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/29/science/29cat.html). The harvested grain would attract rodents, which would attract the cats. The humans in this time watched and appreciated the rodent control against the crops. In return, humans welcomed cats into their homes where they’d protect and feed them. Dogs on the other hand, have been human companions for about 15,000 years, they are thought to be the first animal to ever be domesticated . It is said that canines were domesticated by the lure of food (https://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/29/science/29cat.html) .

During the time of humans following the herds, the canine ancestors were drawn to their camps because of the smell of food, in which the dogs hoped to score leftovers. Dogs continued to come into the camps daily, humans soon realized that these dogs would loudly bark when predators were near. After the realization, humans began to feed the dogs willingly. Since then, dogs have stayed alongside humans, loyally following and protecting. Like The paws of cats and dogs, shoes serve the same purpose, which is as protection against sharp and rocky terrain. Shoes have been worn by humans since 1600 B.C. in early civilizations, like the ones in Mesopotamia (https://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/29/science/29cat.html). The type of shoes worn by mountain peoples were soft and made out of wrapped around leather. In warmer climates, sandals would be worn, whereas in colder climates moccasins were worn.

Although the paws and soles of shoes serve as a protective layer to feet, they can track great amounts of bacteria into homes. Some examples are Salmonella, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pasteurella, and Streptococcus (https://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/29/science/29cat.html). Animals can contract Salmonella by eating or coming in contact with raw meats or eggs or feces from other animals that are infected. Salmonella can then be transferred to humans by cats or dogs by their waste or an other animals’. Infected pets may not show symptoms, but when symptoms are present in animals it causes diarrhea. Humans can become infected by contact with the feces of an infected animal. When Salmonella is contracted by humans it may cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, or abdominal cramps.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA for short, is a bacteria that is found on the skin of people and animals. It often enters the bodies through a wound. Animals can also display no sign of the disease, but if it is shown, hair loss, redness or a rash is common. If spread to humans, the symptoms can be red, swollen, or irritated skin, or possibly a fever. Pasteurella is not typically harmful to animals, but it could potentially cause infections in the ears, nose, skin, and eyes when passed through a bite and or scratch. When spread to humans however, Pasteurella can cause infections on the skin and soft tissue which could lead to having to have surgical drainage for the wound. Pets can catch Streptococcus from other infected animals by simply eating out of the same bowl, the same bedding and or roughly playing with one another. This bacteria is the same cause of strep throat and meningitis in humans.

In animals, Streptococcus can progress into Canine Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome, which leads to the pet being weak and not being able to move. Many other bacteria caused diseases stem from pets, however humans can track in the same types of bacteria by not taking off or wiping shoes off before entering homes, along with cleaning off an animal’s paws before letting them back into the house. The purpose of this experiment is to monitor the growth of bacteria in six different petri dishes of a dirty dog’s foot and wiped, a dirty cat’s paw and wiped, and lastly the bottom of a dirty show and wiped. This experiment will determine if a dog, cat, or shoes introduce more bacteria into homes.

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Who Tracks In More Bacteria? Cats, Dogs, Or Humans?. (2021, Dec 29). Retrieved June 18, 2024 , from

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