Do Dogs Really Have Cleaner Mouths Than Humans Do?

Is it Safer to Kiss Your Dog Than it is to Kiss Another Human?

Many people will tell you that dogs have much cleaner mouths and far less bacteria in their mouths than humans do. But is this really true or just a myth?

A friend of mine picks up her little Chihuahua everyday and smiles and lets the dog lick her teeth. She says it helps keep her teeth clean and bacteria free. But does it really?

According to the author of “Chicken Soup for the Dog Owner’s Soul” and veterinarian Marty Becker, dogs do not have cleaner mouths than humans. Dogs eat garbage, sniff and lick each others backsides and lick their own private parts. No doubt there are plenty of humans who would do the same but most of us do not have the flexibility to do so.

Many people believe dogs have cleaner mouths than humans because dogs will continually lick their wounds to heal them faster. Becker says that works because continually licking wounds removes the dead tissues in and around the wound which speeds up the process of new tissue growth.

As far as allowing your dog to lick your teeth, while it probably does not help much as far as dental care goes it is also a harmless practice if your dog is in good health. Dogs have different types of bacterias in their mouths than humans do. So the bacteria in a dog’s mouth is generally harmless to humans just as the bacteria in a humans mouth is generally harmless to a dog.

Dogs can transmit germs though as well as ticks and fleas and other parasites. So unless your sure a dog has all its vaccines and is protected against ticks, fleas and other parasites smooching with a pooch is probably not a good idea.

In general humans are far more likely to get sick from kissing other humans than they are smooching with a dog. But in fact dogs do not have cleaner mouths than humans do.

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