Science is Fun with Think Like a Dog!

In celebration of of the home premiere of Think Like a Dog, we’re using science to answer one of life’s big questions: is a dog’s mouth really cleaner than a human’s? Just like how Oliver enters a science fair in the film, we’re inviting you and your kids to show off your science skills with this doggone fun experiment. Test it out for yourself and let me know…is it cleaner?



To complete this science experiment you will need:

  • Agar plates
  • Sterile cotton swabs
  • Saran plastic wrap
  • Tupperware container
  • Desk lamp
  • Sharpie marker
  • Scotch tape
  • Bottled water
  • Portable thermometer

How to complete the experiment:

  1. Step 1: Using the Sharpie marker, label agar plates with names of all participants (humans and dogs).
  2. Step 2: Dip cotton swab in bottled water and swab mouth carefully.
  3. Step 3: Carefully roll swab 360 degrees around inside of the agar plate, and place cover (or Saran plastic wrap) over plate.
  4. Step 4: Tape shut with Scotch tape and place labeled agar plate in Tupperware container along with the thermometer.
  5. Step 5: Repeat steps 2–4 using a separate, fresh cotton swab for each participant.
  6. Step 6: Once all sealed agar plates are in the Tupperware container, cover the whole container in Saran plastic wrap.
  1. Step 7: Place sealed Tupperware container under desk lamp. Keep between 80 and 100 degrees for 4–5 days.
  2. Step 8: To determine results, look at the thickness of the lines of bacteria. The thicker the lines, the dirtier the mouth. The thinner the lines, the cleaner the mouth.
  3. Conclusion: How did you compare to your dog?

To download the PDF of this experiment click the image below and save it to your computer. Then print and start the experiment!

So how did it turn out? Are dogs mouth’s cleaner than ours?