Can’t help but give your canine pal a hug or a little peck from time to time? A piece of advice: avoid getting too close mouth to mouth. This can be quite dangerous, according to several medical studies.
In fact, many serious diseases can be transmitted just by giving your dog a quick kiss. John Oxford, emeritus professor of virology and bacteriology at Queen Mary University in London, elaborated on the subject to The Hippocratic Post:
It is not just what is carried in saliva. Dogs spend half of their life with their noses in nasty corners or hovering over dog droppings so their muzzles are full of bacteria, viruses and germs of all sorts.
Children are the most sensitive targets
The consequences are potentially quite severe. For example, an English woman developed sepsis – blood poisoning – after contact of this nature with her pet dog. She contracted the bacteria Capnocytophaga canimorsus, found in the mouths of dogs and cats.
Children in specific are susceptible to the spread of these bacteria as more often than not their mouths are left open when receiving licks from their animal companion. Given the fact that their immune systems are not nearly as developed, this could lead to some serious trouble. So word of warning: when in doubt, stick to a hug!