London, April 14 : They are considered man's best friend, but dogs might not be equally friendly to their master's health, says a new research.
The research, commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) from the University of Liverpool Veterinary School, suggests that letting a dog lick your face, picking up its mess or allowing it to sleep on your bed could put you at risk of catching salmonella, campylobacter or MRSA.
During the study, researchers identified health risks in the interaction between man and dog.
Researchers said that men, in particular, might have to learn cleaner habits because it looks like they have a problem picking up dog mess.
Presently, risks of infection from dog to man are low.
Carri Westgarth, a researcher on the project, insists that she has no wish to create a scare among dog owners with the new research.
She said that owning a dog has positive health benefits also like people who walk with them tend to be fitter and have lower blood pressure.
Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, suggested that Defra should be spending resources on policies to help tackle animal welfare.
"It has told us nothing, except perhaps to use a bit of common sense," Times Online quoted her, as saying.
Carolyn Menteith, a dog behaviourist, was not in favour of the new research.
"You are more likely to catch a disease from a child than a dog," Menteith said.
"I do agree owners should clear up after their dogs, otherwise they cause a social nuisance.
"Men are worse at it and somehow think it's unmanly to be walking around with a nappy sack. But if you can't do that, don't get a dog, get a stuffed toy," Menteith added.
The research is published in The Veterinary Record.