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I sometimes let my dog give me a lick. But I just read that that might not be such a great idea. I don’t let him go crazy, but is a little lick of affection now and then OK, or should I avoid it altogether?

What dog owner doesn’t love that energetic, enthusiastic greeting when coming home from a long stressful day, topped off with a wet tongue kiss? Contrary popular believe, the bacterial counts on our pet’s mouth is actually worse than the human mouth. More importantly, the type of bacteria that dogs carry is significantly different than the bacteria that typically reside inside and on our bodies. There are whole host of diseases which are potentially carried by animals, also known as zoonotic diseases. In general, there is a low likelihood of transmission of zoonosis, and an occasional single lick is not likely to cause significant harm. However, the best medical wisdom and recommendation is to avoid those wet sloppy kisses from Fido on your face which carries the greatest area of transmission risk. So in summary, having a family dog has many positive health benefits, just limit or eliminate the number of wet kisses on your face!