Dog Kisses: Is It Safe To Smooch With A Pet? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Dog Kisses: Is It Safe To Smooch With A Pet?

USATODAY.COM - Some people will let a dog smother their face with kisses. Others say, "Yuck, stop." Where do you stand and do you watch out for your kids? Here's a mouthful from experts that might help you decide to pucker up or not.

According to an article in WebMd, not even doctors and veterinarians agree about kissing a dog on the lips or vice versa. Thinking that dog's tongue is clean is off base, says veterinarian William Craig, but don't stop there.

"Dog spit isn't chemically cleansing. It turns out that it's the dog's rough tongue that helps to physically remove contaminants from an open wound" and likely the reason why many wounds do not get infected,'' he told Pawnation.

Craig adds "people tend to brush their teeth regularly and rinse with mouthwash. Dogs tend to lick themselves and eat things off the ground."

But if that's the case, why too is it that, as Craig puts it, "thousands, if not millions, of owners engage in dog-licking every day, and you don't hear about problems related to it"?

"Humans and dogs have different bacteria in their mouths," explains Nelle Wyatt, a veterinary technician at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center. "Not all of the bacteria are capable of causing disease in the other species."

Take, for example, the common cold. "Most upper respiratory infections are caused by viruses instead of bacteria," says Craig, "and viruses most of the time tend to be species specific. Cats have theirs, dogs have theirs, and generally, those are not shared."

Even if your puckering pooch does pass along a bit of nasty stuff, the bond behind those very kisses may deliver an immune-system boost that'll help you combat infection, they conclude.

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