Dog lovers are very affectionate with their four-legged companions. A new study from the journal Archives of Oral Biology is cautioning against getting too affectionate. The study found that people and pets exchange harmful mouth bacteria when they kiss.
Researchers in Japan examined dental plaque from 66 dogs. They also examined dental plaque in 81 dog owners. The research found human bacteria in the mouths of dogs and dog bacteria in the mouths of humans. The study demonstrates that germs can spread easily between a human and a dog by kissing. Some of the bacteria that is spread can lead to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease.
In February of 2011 Dr. Paul Maza, co-director of the health center at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University stated that many of the bacteria in the mouths of dogs is similar to that found in humans’ mouths. He said that, “because most of the bacteria and viruses in a dog’s mouth are the same as in a person’s mouth, it is safe to kiss a dog, just like a person. You can probably catch more from kissing a human than a dog or cat.”
The new study showed that certain bacteria are more prevalent in dogs than in humans and vice versa. It is obvious that germs can be spread to you and your dog when you kiss. The new study reinforces that and encourages dog owners to think twice about kissing their dogs.