We tend to think that giving your dog kisses or letting him do it is a great show of affection . Of course, he is a pet … he is part of our family, we consider him one of the household. Although some studies indicate positive factors inherent in kissing animals, what is certain is the possibility that they infect us with diseases or infections.
Kissing dogs causes “cross” transmission of infections
Loving dogs is great, but excess has negative consequences, not only for the dog but also for people. Having too close contact with our four-legged friends favors the transmission of bacteria and viruses and, for example, increases the risk of developing dental diseases.
According to a study conducted by a group of Japanese researchers from Osaka University, led by Dr. Yoji Yamkazi, many people view their dog as an additional member of the family and therefore allow them to be licked on their mouth or face . These individuals have a greater propensity to get sick, as their animals transmit canine-specific viruses to them.
The study examined the health of 66 dogs and their owners, as well as veterinarians and animal shelter volunteers. The result was surprising: in most cases, people who have a habit of kissing dogs had the bacteria that cause periodontitis in their mouth .
This type of infection damages the bones and ligaments supporting the teeth, making them more likely to loosen or fall out. At the same time, dogs had bacteria in their mouths that are typical of humans .
Although the bacteria in people and dogs are different, they can be transmitted from one person to another through kissing or proximity.
What Happens When You Kiss the Dog?
If you are one of those people who sleep with their pet or show their love through kisses on the face or mouth, you should know, for example, that they may have ticks, which cause a disease called Lyme , which also includes humans can suffer.
What is the relationship between kissing a dog and this pathology? Well, dogs lick themselves where they feel pain, itch or discomfort. If they have ticks , they will try to remove them by biting the affected area. Furthermore, if these parasites spend a long time clinging to the animal’s skin sucking blood, they can infect it with a disease that is then transmitted to humans through saliva.
Another infection that can be contracted from kissing dogs is rabies . Yes, anger does not only affect animals, but also people. What’s more, it is transmitted through saliva! In dogs, it causes very high fever, aggressive behavior and even death when it spreads to the brain.
A serious consequence of dog kissing: parvovirus
This disease, known by its acronym PVC-2, is highly contagious and is contracted through two channels: saliva and feces. Parvovirus is so resistant that it can survive for a long time in extreme weather conditions (cold, heat, dryness, humidity, etc.). It mainly affects puppies up to four months old, if they are not vaccinated .
This virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted to humans by kissing dogs. The breeds most vulnerable to PVC-2 are Rottweilers and Dobermans . If your pet has not been immunized against this disease, it is more likely to contract and spread it through kissing.
For this reason, dog owners are always advised to vaccinate them, in order to prevent any form of complication , not only for them, but also for their family.
As for the practice of kissing your dog, we also advise against it if it is a very healthy or clean animal . You never know what surface your dog may have come into contact with and what viruses or bacteria have survived in his mouth.