Dog Kisses: Yum or Yuck?

September 3, 2019

Some people love dog kisses, some people hate them. Some people are ok with an occasional hand licking, while others think the full-face bath is the way to go. But is all that smooching good for you given what your dog eats and where that tongue has been?

Dog saliva can carry microorganisms that can be transmitted to humans including Campylobacter, Capnocytophaga canimorus, Clostridium, E. coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Group A Streptococcus. Dog saliva can also carry the Giardia and Cryptosporidiumprotozoa and even parasites like roundworms.  Frankly, all of this stuff sounds pretty gross!  But according to the folks at DogWatch, it turns out that dog saliva is not much of a threat to the average person.

Turns out that even if your dog has some of these microorganisms in their saliva the risk of transmission to you is low (thank G-d).  In fact, you’re more likely to catch any of this yucky stuff from eating improperly prepared foods or walking barefoot where an infected dog has pooped (even if you don’t step in the poop itself).  If you have a compromised immune system, drink excessive amounts of alcohol or are missing your spleen you have more to worry about and need to take more precautions.  You should also pay attention to open wounds and sores (including pimples) as these are often pathways for microbes to enter the body.

If this stuff wigs you out, there are some easy steps to take to decrease the bacteria and parasites in your dog’s mouth including:

– Daily teeth brushing (your dog’s teeth)

– Feeding prepared food instead of a raw diet

– Avoid giving your dog uncooked treats (such as pig’s ears)

But no matter what Lucy says in Peanuts, if you’re healthy and enjoy dog kisses, then pucker up!

Thanks for reading

Source: DogWatch, September 2019


Pet Camp Counselors have been getting kissed by dogs since 1997.  If you’re a San Francisco pet parent whose dog needs overnight care, doggie day care, training, or bathing (and of course lots of kisses) give us a call and see why Pet Camp is the most award-winning pet care facility in the San Francisco Bay Area.   The Pet Camp Express is the ideal way to get your camper to and from Pet Camp.  Your camper rides in safety and style and you avoid the headache of driving in San Francisco!  Avoid the chaos of the new Chase Center and let the Pet Camp Express do the driving for you.

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