How many times have you heard someone say, "A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's?" I don't know about you, but I grew up spouting this every time someone scoffed at the fact I let my dog lay a big wet one right on my kisser. I never questioned whether this was actually fact or fiction -- thus why I finally deemed it worthy of exploration.
The truth of the matter is that our dogs' mouths are not so clean after all. Think about it. How many times have you walked down the street and your dog picks up some unidentifiable object off the ground. Or the numerous times in one given day he sticks his nose in another dog's pee or poop, or licks the sidewalk or his private parts, for that matter. Gets you thinking about just how much bacteria is festering inside that mouth of his. Much like human hands, a dog's mouth can carry very high levels of harmful bacteria.
While I don't imagine this is going to have dog lovers totally ceasing and desisting when it comes to enjoying those warm, wonderful doggy kisses, it might cause us to reconsider how we can mitigate the risks. A couple quick tips:
- Thoroughly wash your hands and face after you and your dog share the love
- Consider brushing your dog's teeth -- this can be good for both your health and the health of your dog
- While dogs will be dogs, do your best to prevent them from picking up random objects on the sidewalk or sticking their noses and mouths where they don't belong
If you take these necessary precautions, you can still enjoy the pleasure of a loving lick from your precious pooch and ensure that everyone remains happy and healthy.
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