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Do You Smooch Your Pooch?

Posted on January 27th, 2020

We’ve all heard the expression that a dog is a (hu)man’s best friend, and dog lovers wouldn’t disagree. There’s also a common misconception that “a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth”. As it turns out, that’s not true at all, and there are many reasons you should never let your dog kiss you on the lips or even the face.

Where Could a Dog’s Nose Have Been?

  • Garbage can
  • Toilet
  • “Greeting” another dog’s nether regions
  • Litter box

What a dog sniffs, he eats, and what he eats, he licks—so that rules out letting your dog give you kisses. Unfortunately, kissing a dog’s nose or top of his head isn’t really sanitary, either. If a dog has an ear or mouth infection, germs can end up all over his body or end up on his coat when he slobbers.

Can You & Your Dog Actually Make Each Other Sick?

Human and dog mouths both have copious amounts and varieties of bacteria. Fortunately, most of those bacteria don’t make us sick, but some can, and no amount of oral hygiene can fight them off. The diseases, pathogens and parasites dogs can pass to humans include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Hookworm
  • Roundworm
  • Giardia
  • Salmonella

Viruses (such as the flu) tend to stick to one species, but if your immune system is compromised at all, you should definitely fend off Fido. People recovering from organ transplants, fighting cancer, or living with HIV should avoid kissing pets.

Your Midlothian dental team loves dogs as much as anyone, but we want our patients to have healthy mouths, too. If you have any questions or concerns about dog kisses or oral hygiene, get in touch with Dr. Hawkins and Dr. Neidert at Hawkins Family Dentistry today.

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Written by Dr Alex Hawkins

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