Posts filed under ‘dog kisses’

What Is In A Dogs Kiss?

When dogs give kisses, some dog owners let their pup go crazy while others can’t imagine the thought of a dogs tongue on their face.  Either way, here is some information from experts that will help you determine the risks involved with dog kisses.

When a puppy is born, the first thing their mother greets them with is their tongue to clean them and instinctively stimulate them to take their first breaths.    These first signs of affection are one way puppies learn how to communicate with each other and with humans, so it only make sense that as your puppy grows it’s going to want to give its owners a kiss. 

With doctors and veterinarians unable to agree about dog kisses, here is some information I dug up about dog kisses which may help you decide whether to stop or start letting you dog give you kisses.
 When I was younger I let my dogs lick my face all the time because I personally thought that a dog’s mouth was cleaner than a humans mouth, even if the dog uses it’s tongue as its’ wash cloth and toilet paper.  It turns out I was wrong, very wrong.  So if a dog’s mouth isn’t clean, how is it that a large number of people let their dogs’ kiss them, in some cases mouth to mouth, and a very small number of people ever get sick from it?
It turns out that dogs and humans carry different bacteria in their mouths, most of which are non-transferable between one another.  However, Recent research by Dr. Richard Oehler and colleagues at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa found that there are about 30 types of bacteria that have been found in dogs that are transferable between humans and dogs that can cause serious illness and even death.  A couple of examples of transferable bacteria are C. canimorsus, Pasteurella spp., MRSA, and even plague.
The simple steps to avoid transferable bacteria from you dog are the same simple steps we use to avoid getting sick from other people we come in contact with.  First, make sure you dog is up to date on vaccinations, check ups, deworming and regular use of a preventive against ectoparasites.  Next, be sure to wash your hands, face and other places your dog has licked you before eating or preparing food.  Finally, watch the kids, especially ones with weak immune systems.

However, a separate study by Dr. Kate Stenske, a clinical assistant professor at K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, also found that regular bonding behaviors between pets and their owners are not a significant cause for concern.  In fact, the very kisses that you canine companion gives you may even deliver immune system boost that’ll help you combat infections transferred between dogs and humans according to the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center. 
After a few hours of researching the risk of dog kisses, I personally will not be neglecting kisses from my dog.  My dogs have been giving me kisses since I was a little boy and I have nor have I ever heard of anybody I know getting sick from dog kisses.

March 14, 2011 at 5:51 am Leave a comment

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