GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The dirty truth about dog toys could be making you and your pets sick, and test results from Summit Laboratory, LLC. are revealing some growing concerns.
"You can assume your dog toys are going to have lots of different types of organisms on them," said Tom Krueger, President of Summit Laboratory.
After testing a handful of dog toys used by FOX 17's Brody Carter's dog Henry, Krueger says there's no way around it: your dog's toys have some form of bacteria on them.
Five of Henry's toys were tested for E.coli and Aerobic Plate Count (APC). All of the analysis was done at a massive dilution since the bacteria concentrations were so high for direct analysis. No E.Coli was found present, but thousands of bacterial colonies were detected after multiplying the total microbial count.
Summit Laboratory also does forensic dust analysis, saying 60 percent of the dust in a pet owner's home is from their own pet.
Veterinarian Lynn Happel at Eastown Veterinary Clinic says washing your pets' toys is key to fighting bacteria. If you don't, moisture from a pet's mouth can create a breeding ground for bacteria on their toys and transfer to their dog bowl and bedding.
She also encourages pet owners to practice good hand washing techniques, and keep your home and carpets clean.
Dr. Happel says pet owners can even get sick from dirty dog toys.
"I would be concerned about humans playing with the toys then eating a sandwich or chewing their nails, and getting some illnesses that way," Dr. Happel said.
We can't 'live in a bubble,' according to Dr. Happel. She says good food, exercise, immunization, and parasitic preventatives will also help keep your pet safe and healthy.