Dog Kissing

Should you Kiss your Dog?

Is it safe? Well, no, not really. Yes, dog owners love their pets. But how about a peck on the top of the head? Or a nice doggie hug? But kissing Fido with a lip to tongue method is not recommended.

Yes, we know – dog kissing is an expression of love. And we know that many people including veterinarians are ok with it. But most doctors will advise against it because of the hygiene question and the possible bacterial transmission.

A widely quoted Japanese study in 2012 demonstrated that dogs and humans can have different bacteria in their mouths that can be harmful to the other. Dogs can carry salmonella bacteria in their mouths and that bacteria can cause severe illness in humans. Both dogs and humans have bacteria that can cause gum disease in the other. So you can give your dog gum disease. Or Fido may give it to you. And untreated gum disease can lead to periodontitis, an inflammatory disease of the mouth. Did you know that most dogs suffer from periodontitis? Either way, it is not a healthy situation.

The old adage that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth is a myth. Both Fido and you have many bacteria in your mouth. But you probably brush your teeth at least once a day and use mouthwash. Fido doesn’t do that. Plus Fido is smelling, licking, and / or eating things that you and I wouldn’t get close to, such as half-rotten garbage, doggie behinds, and doggie poop.

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