Kissing your dog and the link to gum disease

My mother was never happy when our dog got too close and  managed to lick her on the mouth.   In the Snoopy cartoons, you might remember when Lucy would run around yelling ‘Get the iodine, get the hot water.  I’ve been kissed by a dog.’ 

It turns out that there is need for caution when considering the mouth-to-mouth contact with your dog.

Researchers from Japan have tracked a microbe that is very common in dogs but rare in humans.   In dog owners, 16% of them had the microbe and it appears that they share close contact with their dogs – including kissing.

The researchers also found ten human strains of periodontitis-related bacteria in the dogs’ mouths.  And they found that low levels of contact were enough to transmit mouth bacteria either way.

In considering the research, Dr Paul Maza, of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, told America’s Fox News:  ‘Many of the different types of bacteria in dogs and cats are the same type of bacteria as in humans. If owners practice oral hygiene on their pets, such as  brushing their teeth, a pet’s mouth can actually be even cleaner than a human mouth.’

Read the full story in the Daily Mail.

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