How Kissing Your Dog Or Having A Cat Affects Your Gut (Parasites!)

How Kissing Your Dog Or Having A Cat Affects Your Gut (Parasites!)

Today’s we’re talking about parasites, so let us ask you, do you…

  • Kiss your dog?
  • Have your dog sleep in the bed with you?
  • Walk barefoot outside?
  • Have a cat?
  • Eat sushi or sashimi?
  • Have smoker’s wrinkles around your mouth but don’t smoke?

If so, then you are like most of us and you should be informed that these are all ways that we can get parasites.

We asked Wellness Wiz Jack Tips, our primary clinical guest in Gut Thrive, to weigh in on today’s blog about parasites. Jack is a CCN, PhD, and has 30 years of gut healing clinical practice to share.

Here’s what he said:

You don't have to get sick to have parasites.

There are three simple conditions to acquire unwanted “dinner guests” in your gut and in your body.

1. Exposure

We all have the opportunity for exposure to parasites and the most likely are:

  • Foreign travel
  • Unsanitary restaurant food
  • Putting your hands in your mouth or in your eyes
  • Undercooked pork
  • Handling feces (clinics, daycare, diapers, hospitals, veterinary clinics, etc.)
  • Swimming in rivers and lakes
  • Kissing pets
  • Sleeping with pets in the bed
  • Sharing a bed with a person who has pinworms
  • Eating sushi and sashimi

Even walking barefooted where a dog has “been” can allow tiny parasites to enter through the pores of the feet.

The fact is, we all have exposure. Fortunately, it takes more than exposure for a parasite to gain residency inside your body.

2. A Welcoming Terrain

Parasites will typically stay and “take up residency” inside your body if your gut or immune system is compromised in some way. They prefer intestinal dysbiosis, or leaky gut syndrome, and congestion/mucoid matter as their ideal environment.

Two people can have identical exposures to parasites, but one person gets a big tapeworm and the other person doesn't.


The person who got the worm probably had dysbiosis or lack of biodiversity (not enough good bugs) in the gut microbiome.

A healthy gut microbiome has many deterrents so that the introduction of parasites or parasite eggs will meet a stiff resistance from many of the local probiotic species.

Unfortunately, many lifestyle practices today weaken the gut microbiome.

Some examples include:

  • Antibiotic use
  • Antibiotics in commercial meat and fish
  • Chlorine in tap water
  • Poor HCL production in the stomach
  • Over snacking
  • Low pancreatic enzyme production
  • The overuse of sugar or poor quality starches

3. A Weakened Immune Response

An immune system that cannot muster the troops to fight the parasite off either due to being overextended/depleted or from living in an over-sanitized environment (ditch than antibacterial hand gel 😉 is another reason parasites will set up camp inside your body and take away your health and vitality.

The modern day immune system is often completely overworked.

When it is maxed out fighting dysbiosis (leaky gut) in the intestines, other pathogens in and around the body, working on too many cooked foods (leukocytosis), struggling with allergies, confused from too many vaccinations, patrolling damaged mitochondria, overextended with inflammation responses on cell membranes, and acquired heavy metals and toxins from the environment, then a parasite can easily sneak in under the radar, take up residence, and build sufficient defenses so that your existing probiotic species and the immune system can't drive it off.

On the other side of the same coin, over-sanitized environments make a person susceptible because the immune system becomes lazy without some small exposures to keep it vigilant.

Health is all about balance.

What to do to Avoid and Rid Yourself of Parasites?

1. Minimize exposure (and stop kissing the dog – so hard, we know!)

2. Ensure a healthy digestion and healthy gut microbiome

3. Live a natural, healthy lifestyle to reduce stress and support health nutritionally. Supplements, spices in the diet, fermented vegetables!

4. When in doubt, do an herbal anti-parasitic program for general, occasional maintenance.

The healthier the person, the less the worry about parasites. When you rejuvenate your microbiome and your immune system, it’s like have your own personal Fort Knox inside of you.

At The Whole Journey, our favorite anti-parasitics are garlic, black walnut, turmeric, pomegranate seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, cloves, and wormwood. Keep in mind that spices and garden herbs are amazing to use in your diet and raw green pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds do a number on the elimination of parasites so plan to work them into your meals!

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