- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 1 August 2017, 7:32AM
A lot of Kiwis think it's cute to give their dogs a wet sloppy kiss on the mouth.
They're probably not wrong. Dogs love giving human affection.
But if you thought receiving a whiff of bad dog breath was the worst thing that could happen then you're mistaken.
Letting your dog lick your mouth could kill you in extreme cases but, more commonly, give you one of many potential diseases.
Author and dog expert Marty Becker told Doggies Care: "All you have to do is look, watch, smell and you'll realise that is not true.
"They raid the garbage can. You know, we give each other a peck on the cheek when we say hello, they give each other a peck on the rear end."
But bad breath aside, professor of virology and bacteriology John Oxford paints a disturbing picture of the bacteria living in your dog's mouth.
He told Doggies Care: "It is not just what is carried in saliva. Dogs spend half 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."
There are a number of diseases you can catch from your friendly pooch that'll leave you squeamish.
Capnocytophaga Canimorsus: An organism carried in the mouths of dogs, and it causes a very bad sepsis infection. Symptoms range from mild fevers, vomiting, diarrhoea, malaise, abdominal pain, myalgia, confusion, dyspnoea, headaches, and skin rashes to full-blown fulminant septicaemia.
Ringworm: A ringworm infection is one of the easiest diseases for your dog to pass on to you from smooching If the ringworm bacteria is around their mouth and you engage in kissing you'll probably find yourself with the same infection.
Staphylococcus Aureus: Dogs can carry this bacterial disease and not have it affect them, but it is bad for humans with the disease more resistant to treatment.
It can also cause food poisoning, bone and joint infections and nasty skin infections.
While we all want to our loving pooch some affection, it's may be best to lay off the intimate kisses.
This article was first published on NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.