Arielle Tschinkel
April 18, 2019 8:21 am

We’re all for people rocking their facial hair however they like (because you do you, guys). But a new study just revealed something very interesting about beards…and admittedly pretty gross, too. Apparently, there’s more bacteria in a man’s beard than on a dog’s fur. Yep.

Researchers at the Hirslanden Clinic in Switzerland studied samples from the beards of 18 men and the fur of 30 dogs, and their findings were published in European Radiology, a peer-reviewed journal, in February. They determined that even though most pups enjoy rolling around in the grass and mud, there’s a “significantly higher bacterial load in specimens taken from men’s beards” than in dog fur.

Though 23 of the 30 dogs had “high microbial counts” on their fur, all 18 of the men did in their beards, too. According to USA Today, the full study showed that disease-causing bacteria (like the kinds that cause urinary tract infections) were also found more frequently in beards than on our four-legged friends.

The researchers took their samples from the pups’ necks, an area which vets call “particularly unhygienic” due to canine skin infections, and found that “the beards of men harbor significantly more microbes than the neck fur of dogs and these microbes were significantly more pathogenic to humans.” Basically, men’s beards are harboring more grossness than our doggo’s fur.

Even though the sample size is admittedly small, we’ve gotta say: We’re a little skeeved out. Sorry, guys. (And maybe now’s the time to invest in some beard shampoo?)