Is it safe to kiss pets?


For pet owners, there is often a close connection with the pets they own, so often times, this leads to a playful kiss. Whether this is a kiss on the forehead of the cat or right, smack on the mouth of the dog, most pet owners have some way of showing their affection towards their pet. Often, this comes with a big, messy, lick in return. However, while this is an adorable sign of affection, it might not be the best thing to do, as these kisses can potentially cause health problems in the owners.

Often times, when kissing a pet, there are microscopic bacteria that is transferred between the pet and the owner. In a 2011 study out of Japan, researches found that bacteria found on the gums of a dog is likely to also be found on the gums of the owner, if they partake in these kisses. The particular form of bacteria the researchers found, has a direct link to gum disease, which can also eventually lead to other physical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and kidney failure. While this isn’t stating kissing a dog is going to lead to diabetes, a connection is possible.

Also, the breed of the animal can greatly affect the kind of kisses a pet owner receives in turn. Some dogs are scavengers by nature, so they are often going to chew on just about anything while outside, which can include feces and other animal deposits. It is possible these feces can contain hookworm, tapeworm or other issues, which can be directly transferred over to the human, if the two share kisses.

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