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Yes, if you're the type of person who likes to show their furry friends love with some physical affection, it might be best to stick to the belly rubs from now on.
A dental health expert has warned that getting up-close and personal with your canine's canines could cause a damaging spread in bacteria between their mouth and yours.
Dr Khaled Kasem, dental expert and Chief Orthodontist at Impress explained: “Dogs aren’t known for their hygiene, they don’t (usually) brush their teeth or rinse with mouthwash, and they’ve probably never visited a dentist.
"Their daily routine consists of eating leftovers on the floor, licking their bum, and checking out dead animals left on the pavement. Ultimately, their mouth is filthy!"
He went on to share that this can cause a "build-up of bacteria in your dog’s mouth", and although this can be mostly harmless, dogs can also pick up parasites and bacteria that can make humans ill.
"Whether they’ve drank contaminated water or sniffed animal waste, these bacteria will not boost your immune health as some have argued!" he said.
Dr Kasem shared the pet parasites could cause any number of intestinal diseases in our human bodies, as well as transferring damaging bacteria to our teeth and gums.
"Severe gum disease can affect the tissues that support teeth and holds them in place. If left untreated, the jawbone can decay, opening up spaces in between the gums and teeth – resulting in tooth loss. Other common infections that dogs can transfer include salmonella, ringworm, and hookworm.
"Not only are you risking your health, but you’ve heard of the term dog breath, so would you really want the same? Think about the ingredients in their food and what that might taste like in your mouth. If your furry pal does give you a kiss, make sure to brush and floss straight away to remove any bacteria, and try to discourage the behaviour in the future."
Dr Kasem concluded that, while the odd peck for your pooch isn't a serious concern, the practice should probably be kept to a minimum.
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