There's a controversy in veterinary medicine that divides the profession: kissing your pets.

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 anti-kissing contingent claim that it is indeed possible to catch something from such close contact with a pet.

Fox news writes:

"Dr. Paul Maza, co-director of the health center at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, how close is too close when it comes to your pet?

“Many of the different types of bacteria in dogs and cats are the same type of bacteria as in humans. At any given point in time they are probably not any dirtier than ours,” Maza said. In fact, Maza said if owners practice oral hygiene on their pets, like with brushing their teeth, a pet’s mouth can actually be even cleaner than a human mouth.

“Because most of the bacteria and viruses in a dog’s mouth are the same as in a person’s mouth, it is safe to kiss a dog, just like a person. You can probably catch more from kissing a human than a dog or cat,” he said.


This is ruff: smooching your pooch could lead to gum disease.

Japanese researchers have discovered that doggie mouths are rife with the kind of bacteria that can set human teeth on edge.

“Transmission of oral bacteria between humans and their companion animals could also occur when they have routine close contact,” the researchers concluded in the Archives of Oral Biology, a leading mouth, saliva and tooth journal.

The scientists reached their conclusion after scraping plaque off the choppers of 66 dogs and 81 humans at an animal clinic and a doggie obedience school — and putting the slimy stuff under the microscope.

What they found were menaces with multisyllabic names like Porphyromonas gulae, Tannerella forsythia, and the ever-enticing Campylobacter rectus.

For the record, I kiss my Bunny Bella every chance I get.  She loves it.