Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Friendly bacteria?

We have a healthy (or unhealthy depending on your perspective) attitude to bacteria in this household. I’m a firm believer that the modern worlds obsession with cleaning and use of bleach etc has a detrimental effect on our susceptibility to sickness later in life. Add in the fact that we have a dog and quite honestly you can’t hope to keep a baby in a perfectly clean environment.

Bracken is inherently a social dog and will be near you no matter where in the house you are or what you are doing (not upstairs though, that is strictly off limits). This includes being social with Matilda, whenever she is lying on the floor playing he lies with her, if she’s in her high chair eating he’s on the floor waiting for the rejected food items. A trick he learnt VERY quickly. Matilda also figured out very quickly that if she holds out her hand either with food in it or on it Bracken will lick it clean. No doubt this is precisely what will happen to food she doesn’t want to eat in the future also. He also joins us in the bathroom when it’s bath time for Matilda, although this may have something to do with the heated floor.

Now we do try to stop him licking her face, because let’s be honest who wants that? Plus if he’s licked her hands we try to give them some sort of wipe before they get stuffed in her mouth. But not every time and there is no way we will always see it happen (thick as thieves those 2).

But is this really a problem, are you throwing your hands up at the horror of it all? Inevitably as she starts to crawl and walk its going to get a whole lot worse isn’t it? She’ll be crawling around at the perfect height for him to lick her head. I also fully expect them to both spend lots of time snuggled up on the sofa watching TV and ‘sharing’ food, you know ‘a lick for you, a lick for me’?

 However I’m sure I’m not the only one who grew up eating soil, climbing trees, eating food after its been dropped on the floor and I turned out ok. So what say you? Healthy or unhealthy? Relaxed parenting or irresponsible?


  1. Hmmmm, I have two reactions to this: the first is that I totally agree. War of The Worlds made a very good point. Over the top cleanliness isn’t good, in my opinion and everyone needs to come into contact with stuff in order to learn how to deal with it.

    On the other hand, dogs lick their arses. Arse bacteria passed to hand passed to mouth isn’t my idea of a good combination. But, that probaly happens in every doggy household and it can’t do any real harm. Otherwise there’d be a campaign 🙂

    Sounds like you have a very sensible outlook.

    • To be honest not sure how much arse licking really goes on, certainly he licks most parts but that? Not so sure.
      Also I think I read recently that our kitchen sinks and work tops contain more germs than our toilets….

  2. I agree with David. There is such a thing as too clean. I don’t mind Moo getting grubby, a) cos our house is quite grubby and b) I think it’s better for her immune system when she’s out and about. BUT – having said that – I’m sorry, I do think you have to be careful with pets. Arse germs are not good news. Not sure how you contain the arse germs tho. Maybe something for you to think on!

    • To a certain extent I don’t think there is anything you can do completely stop the contact happening, but we certainly make sure it’s kept to a minimum. Plus keeping the hound free from disease is also probably a good step in the right direction.

  3. I used to be so much worse than I am now when it came to germs. I am still a compulsive hand washer and insist my poor husband cleans his mobile phone on a regular basis. However I also know that for a baby’s immune system to develop they need to be exposed to bacteria.
    When I was pregnant I was scared stupid by all the info out there about having a cat while pregnant- ours spent a lot of time cuddled on my tummy and no damage was done. Bracken is part of your growing family so I agree with everything you say in your post. Sensible precautions are all that are needed and you are doing them already.
    Btw fab looking high hair – is it one of those trip trap ones?

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