(WXYZ) – Have you ever heard someone claim that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s? Well, that’s a bit of an old wives’ tale.
It turns out that your favorite pet’s mouth is actually pretty dirty — and it might even contain toxins and bacteria that can make humans very sick.
So while there’s nothing wrong with a little puppy-love now and then, you might want to consider keeping your dog’s muzzle away from your own.
Well like any animal — including humans — a dog’s mouth is loaded with viruses and bacteria.
Most of these little critters are beneficial to the dog. But when it comes to human beings, it’s a different story.
Some of these tiny organisms can wreak havoc in humans, especially if they come into contact with the mucus membranes of your eyes, nose and mouth, where saliva pathogens are absorbed far more easily.
Don’t get me wrong — dogs can be wonderful for our health. They’re great companions, and can teach us valuable lessons about loyalty, friendship, and unconditional love.
If you follow a few basic guidelines, you and your pet can live a safe and happy life. So here are my prescriptions:
- Keep your pet healthy. Make sure it’s current on all vaccines. And keep it away from the feces of other animals.
- Make sure your own hands are clean. Wash them often with soap and water when around pets to prevent the spread of dangerous bacteria.
- Keep your face away from your dog’s muzzle. There are other ways to show and receive affection.
- Keep on loving your four-legged friends! Dogs make amazing companions, and can provide great health benefits. Just be sure to love them with care.
Dogs can carry diseases like E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter. They can also pass along gum disease and intestinal parasites.
Some of these come with nasty symptoms: including diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, fever, skin lesions, fatigue, abdominal pain and shortness of breath.
So you’ll want to carefully consider the risk you’re willing to take for those doggy kisses!
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