Author Topic: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?  (Read 1284 times)

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Offline flowers

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Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« on: January 13, 2014, 12:21:18 PM »
http://shine.yahoo.com/pets/kissing-pet-okay-risky-133600390.html

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There's a controversy in veterinary medicine that divides the profession, and it's over something that many pet owners never give a second thought: kissing your pets. As you might imagine, I have some thoughts on this topic. Because, yes, I kiss my pets, and yes, I know I probably shouldn't.

To Kiss or Not to Kiss

Not long ago, Dr. Christina Winn came out in favor of pet kissing in a Veterinary Economics cover piece. Dr. Winn was looking at ways to develop better communications with pet owners so pets will be more likely to get the care they need. The antikissing contingent blew her a raspberry soon after, with a letter signed by a handful of veterinarians, including my good friend Dr. Tony Johnson, a clinical assistant professor of critical care at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. Their point: It is indeed possible to catch something from such close contact with a pet.

See Also: Should Dogs or Cat Sleep on Your Bed?


I've taken this issue on, in very public ways, and I have to admit that I can see both sides. I still remember doing a segment on Good Morning America about zoonotic diseases, or those that are transmissible from animals to humans. Looking right into the camera and pointing to my mouth for emphasis, I said, "It's really not a good idea to let your pets kiss or lick you on the mouth."

Upward of 4 million people heard my recommendation, and probably 3.9 million pet owners, including me, ignored my good advice. In fact, the evening after that show, I pulled into the garage at our Almost Heaven Ranch and opened the door of the pickup to Quixote, our 16-pound canine cocktail.

"Ah, you want to give daddy some sugars?" I said. And he did.
I Can't Help Myself

Despite recent studies about the transmission of bacteria between pets and people causing dental disease, I continue to let my pets give me kisses. And I do so knowing where those mouths have been. And while I know that my pets are in the very best of health - with regular brushings and


Online EC

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2014, 12:36:52 PM »
Our cats (and dogs, when we had them) are trained NOT to lick faces. Hands and arms are fine, just remember to wash them well after a kissing/grooming session with hot water and a good antibacterial soap.
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Offline Gazoo

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 12:58:29 PM »
I saw the promo on TLC for honey boo boo and she licks a giraffes tongue  :3:
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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2014, 01:34:35 PM »
Our cats (and dogs, when we had them) are trained NOT to lick faces. Hands and arms are fine, just remember to wash them well after a kissing/grooming session with hot water and a good antibacterial soap.

Why?    way too obsessive IMO.
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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2014, 01:41:35 PM »
Why?    way too obsessive IMO.

I prefer the grand kids not to get a nice dose of toxoplasmosis. Sort of fussy that way.
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Offline Gazoo

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 01:41:39 PM »
Yeah, they say a dogs mouth is cleaner than the human mouth and they lick their butts.
"The Tea Party has a right to feel cheated.

When does the Republican Party, put in the majority by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance"?

Offline Gazoo

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 01:45:33 PM »
I prefer the grand kids not to get a nice dose of toxoplasmosis. Sort of fussy that way.

What is toxoplasmosis? Is that what pregnant women can get if they clean the kitty litter box?
"The Tea Party has a right to feel cheated.

When does the Republican Party, put in the majority by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance"?

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 01:50:03 PM »
What is toxoplasmosis? Is that what pregnant women can get if they clean the kitty litter box?

Pretty much, though anyone can get it, especially children.

Mostly you just spend a few days sitting on the toilet and wishing you could die. Kids though, it can screw up their eyesight as well.
Considering both cats and dogs obsession with licking their own butts, washing hands is not exactly an extreme response.
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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2014, 01:54:15 PM »
Doesn't it depend on where you kiss them, or they kiss you? 

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2014, 01:57:50 PM »
If they lick your face - as dogs love to do (cat's not so much) - they are transferring whatever is on their tongue straight into your mouth and nose and eyes.

No thank you.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 01:58:25 PM by EC »
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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2014, 04:21:54 PM »
If they lick your face - as dogs love to do (cat's not so much) - they are transferring whatever is on their tongue straight into your mouth and nose and eyes.

No thank you.

Don't care for dog slobber anywhere.  Cats I don't care for on my face but elsewhere is alright.  A few bunny kisses on the cheek aren't a big deal.

Offline happyg

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2014, 06:52:08 PM »
I've never kissed a cat before, but Lizzie will give me pecks. Everyone thinks it's hilarious. She's a weird cat. Niall is normal, and does his own thing.

As for cats and dogs passing germs, I'm sure they do, but I have never heard of anyone getting any diseases from their pets.  I've gotten colds and flu from other people, though.  :silly:

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2014, 07:13:36 PM »


As for cats and dogs passing germs, I'm sure they do, but I have never heard of anyone getting any diseases from their pets.  I've gotten colds and flu from other people, though.  :silly:

Same here...there's also a lot of studies showing kids raised in germaphobic homes get sick easier and more often..No chances to build natural immunity.
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Offline NavyCanDo

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2014, 08:32:20 AM »
Our dogs sleep in our bed. Our son does not.
Our dogs lick our face. Our son does not.
Our dogs never passed on a cold or anything to us. Our son???--- He is a walking Petri dish of communicable viruses caught at school that easily pass from him to us even when avoiding kisses which at his age are really just  pecks on the cheeks.   Seems one of us is always fighting off something he brings home. 

Think about how much worse it would be if he licked our faces and slept in our bed.
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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2014, 08:48:05 AM »
We're not exactly germophobes - neither of us is all that good at housework!  :laugh:

It's just the rule for pets. Play with them, pet them, comb them - then wash your hands. Same rule as for livestock. Our cats (and dogs, in the past) are outside animals. We don't have a litter box inside unless it gets very cold, both cats slip out through the cat flap to do their business and go hunting. It gives them exercise and a varied diet of cat food, mice, rats and London pigeons (AKA flying rats). It also means they can pick up things that are not exactly pleasant.
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Offline aligncare

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2014, 08:57:42 AM »
I kiss my cats, but heck, not on the lips! (Top of the head)
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Offline alicewonders

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2014, 09:11:38 AM »
My cats are more hedonist than my dogs - so they're not much into kissing me.  When they get on my lap it is for me to shower them with affection and they purr and let me love on them.  I had one cat that would lick my hand until she almost took the flesh off (which their tongues are designed for).

My dogs, on the other hand, love, love, LOVE me so much that they will lick my face if they get close to it.  When that does happen, I turn my face to wipe it off so they won't see me.  LOL!  I try to avoid letting them do it because I know where their mouth has been.  Occasionally they lick my mouth and I kind of freak out, go get the Listerine. 

Still, like others have mentioned - I've caught way more stuff off of other people than I have from my pets. 
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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2014, 09:12:17 AM »
I kiss my cats, but heck, not on the lips! (Top of the head)

No wonder you don't feel well all the time!   LOL!


They bathe themselves with their saliva.....and the top of the head is one of the major areas on which they concentrate. 
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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2014, 09:15:04 AM »
No wonder you don't feel well all the time!   LOL!


They bathe themselves with their saliva.....and the top of the head is one of the major areas on which they concentrate.

Have a mate who swears blind that cat saliva is an amazingly good treatment for deep cuts. We all have one nutty mate.
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Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2014, 09:29:49 AM »
I've never kissed a cat before, but Lizzie will give me pecks. Everyone thinks it's hilarious. She's a weird cat. Niall is normal, and does his own thing.

As for cats and dogs passing germs, I'm sure they do, but I have never heard of anyone getting any diseases from their pets.  I've gotten colds and flu from other people, though.  :silly:

Me neither--this seems much ado about nothing.  No wonder some spiritualists call the age we're living in The Fear Age.

Offline aligncare

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2014, 10:13:23 AM »
Have a mate who swears blind that cat saliva is an amazingly good treatment for deep cuts. We all have one nutty mate.


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Offline alicewonders

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2014, 10:30:04 AM »
Don't tread on me.   8888madkitty

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Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2014, 10:57:34 AM »
To me, the goofiest pets are the most endearing.   One of my cats is a complete knucklehead.  888catlicking

Offline NavyCanDo

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2014, 11:09:53 AM »
Now to be truthful the Story title does say kissing your "pet" and doesn't specify dog.     Kissing our foxface rabbitfish would get us a fast ride to an emergecy room for anti-toxin injections.
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Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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Re: Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2014, 11:13:06 AM »
Can you post a photo of him?   :laugh:


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