Kissing Your Dog Can Give You a Nasty Little Disease -- We’re Sad, Too

nicole fabian-weber
Sorry, dude. Party's over.
For those of you who have dogs, let me ask you something: Do you kiss them? Do you let them "kiss" you? If you're anything like me, the answer is: Why, of course I exchange kisses with my dog on the mouth! Well, bad news for us (and our dogs). A new study just revealed that kissing our beloved four-legged friends can give us a disease. Awesome! What else ya got for us, world? Will looking a photos of cute kittens online turn us blind?

A team of Japanese researchers just published a study that concluded that kissing dogs can lead to gum disease. I know. I'm disappointed, too. The scientists scraped the plaque off the teeth of 66 dogs and 81 humans, and then examined the contents under a microscope. Unfortunately, the bacteria that came from the canine mouths was filled with the things that cause gum disease in humans -- yet there were smaller percentages of the same bacteria in the humans.

So much for that whole "dogs' mouths are cleaner than humans' mouths" thing.

But don't cry. It's okay. And don't stop showering your doggie with kisses either (like you were going to anyway)! According to Dr. Ann Hohenhaus of the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, the study doesn't prove conclusively that making out with your pet will give you gum disease. She stated that the bacteria isn't present in dogs across the board. But then, veterinarian David Halpern of the Lefferts Animal Hospital in Jamaica, Queens, said: "I do kiss my dog and let him lick me, as a sign of affection. However, it should be discouraged due to the potential for infection transmission. Mostly due to fecal contaminants as dogs do self-cleanse."

Sooo, yeah. If this study didn't dissuade you from letting your dog kiss you, then that last comment probably did. Sorry, Fido.

Do you kiss your dog?


Image via Nicole Fabian-Weber

2011 year in review, pets


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nonmember avatar HS

Ew ew and more ew! NO, I do not allow my dog to lick me on my mouth or even my face and if she licks my hands, I wash them when I'm done petting her. I've had to threaten my 4 year old son by saying I'll give her away if he lets her lick him on the mouth. He thinks it's hilarious but I explain to him that it's disgusting. I've seen this dog lick her butt, chew her feet, eat other dogs poop from the ground, eat rabbit poop from the ground, vomit, and all other sorts of disgustingness from her mouth. Her mouth comes nowhere near my face and I don't need a study to tell me why that's for the best.

Vegeta Vegeta

My dog loves licking me and my family members constantly! If he can lay on your chest and just lick your eyes and up your nose and ears he's super happy. I often lick him back and he loves it. I've never been sick from it. Plus a little germs are good for you, if anything kissing him has made my immune system stronger. And to HS above: if your so disgusted with dogs why did you get one? They're waaay cleaner than 4 year old humans.

Vegeta Vegeta

Also I used to let my rat (god rest her soul) climb in my mouth and clean my teeth. Never had a cavity or gum disease. Guess I'm just more animal friendly.

yayhe... yayheadstart

OMG! Vegeta! Your comments made me want to throw up! Why would you let a disgusting animal anywhere near your mouth?! I love animals and I have 2 dogs and a turtle, but they better stay the hell away from my mouth! Sooo gross! And yeah, kids are gross too but I don't let them slobber all over my mouth either.

tesscat tesscat

psh i've had dogs my whole life and they've always kissed me and my whole family on the face and we're all fine. god people are paranod these days. also yayheadstart rats are actually very clean and loving animals when they're domesticated. do your research before you bash them ;)

yayhe... yayheadstart

Hey there tesscat, I never said rats weren't loving or clean. I just don't want them IN MY MOUTH! I have owned hundreds of animals over the years and I loved them all but I don't for one second believe they are cleaner than me. Why don't ya do some research on that. Ick.

Vegeta Vegeta

To yayheadstart: IMO animals aren't disgusting. I prefer them to humans, which for the most part I hate sharing food, shaking hands, hugging, or comming into contact with humans at all. I work in a mall where humans deficate on the carpet daily, my dog and rat never did that. Both our opinions are rightly skewed, just on opposite sides.

yayhe... yayheadstart

Vegeta, I whole-heartedly agree with you there! I think humans are totally disgusting too!

Tashinha Tashinha

yes, humans are disgusting and YES, i kiss my dog, YES she kisses me. but letting a RAT crawl INTO  your mouth to "clean" your teeth? you gotta draw the line some where! thats flat out GROSS. Get a frican TOOTH brush to clean your teeth, go to the dentist regularly or something.



QCBaby QCBaby

omg puppy and kitten kisses <3 all my favorite....when im upset, my animals lick my tears off my cheeks. i know its just for the salt content but i like to believe it's out of affection =)

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