Could 'kisses' from your pet make you sick? - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

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Could 'kisses' from your pet make you sick?

Dogs are like family and though most people admit to allowing the occasional lick, others think it is gross. So, who's right?

According to a study released in the Archives of Oral Biology, dog owners and their pets may be swapping more germs than you think.

Researchers worked with dogs in Okayama, Japan. They scraped the plaque right off the teeth of 66 dogs and their owners. In those samples, they found bacteria that can cause gum disease and tooth decay in both humans and dogs. They even located bacteria inside the mouths of 13 dog owners that is rarely found in humans.

The study suggests bacteria can be transmitted from dogs to humans. Dr. Paul Howard wasn't surprised by the results. He says facial licking may actually be ingrained in a dogs DNA. "If you look at a dog pack and how they react to one another, there's a lot of facial licking. So it doesn't surprise me that they would, as being viewed as part of their pack, that they would do that to you."

He says there are plenty of other ways to let your pup know you love him.

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