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SPIT IT OUT

Compare the rate of bacterial growth in dog versus human saliva

Suitable For

Grade 8

Difficulty

2

Time Required

 <2 Weeks

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

Dogs give you joy. They give you loyalty, and often they give you sloppy kisses. Of course, there is that old saying, “a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth.” Is that true? After all, dogs have to be carrying all kinds of germs in their fur and in their mouths. Are you worried about dog germs? Try the following science experiment to find out the truth:

Topics covered

Bacteria, Saliva, Mycology

What will I need?

  • MAGIC MARKER
  • NUTRIENT AGAR PETRI DISHES
  • SOAP
  • TAP WATER
  • COTTON SWABS
  • BLEACH

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

In this science experiment, it would seem that a dog’s mouth is ‘cleaner’ than a human’s mouth. However, this is more a matter of comparing apples and oranges in many respects. The bacteria in a dog’s mouth are different from the bacteria in a human being’s mouth. When dealing with different bacteria, it’s rather difficult to make a sensible comparison. The germs contained in the mouths of animals tend to be species-specific. For instance, when a dog bites another dog it would be more dangerous to the dog than if a human was bitten by the dog. Similarly, a human bite is more dangerous to another human than it would be to a dog.

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