Everyone has done it, intentionally or not.  If you are an animal lover than you have probably kissed your pet on the mouth, and more than once.  The “kisses” we get from our best buddies, our cats and dogs, are too sweet to resist.  But considering the fact that our buddies use those mouths to clean themselves, just how safe are those kisses for us?

Dr. Paul Manza, Co-director of the health center at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell Medicine, explains the answer.  “Many of the different types of bacteria in dogs and cats are the same type of bacteria as in humans. At any given point in time they are probably not any dirtier than ours,” Manza said.

Dr. Manza continues by explaining that if pet owners keep up on their pets’ oral hygiene, like teeth brushing, a pet’s mouth can actually be cleaner than a human mouth.  “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,” he said.

The only people, who may want to consider avoiding kisses from a pet, would be those with a compromised immune system.

So kiss away!  Dr. Manza finished up his interview by saying that the emotional benefits of getting those licks from Fido far outweighed the bad, saying, “I kiss my dog all the time.”

-Jana Gersten

Information obtained from Fox News and Cornell University

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