Animals

Should You Let A Dog Lick Your Face?

Canine and human mouths are bacterial ecosystems, but can they harm one another?

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Man's Best Germs: Does Your Dog Influence Your Health? (UC San Diego)
"Our bodies contain around eight million genes. Yet only about 0.3 percent are human. The rest come from your microbiome - the sum total of genes from the numerous microbes (mostly bacteria, but also viruses, yeasts and fungi) that coat your skin, mouths, gut lining - just about everything."

Comparison of the Oral Microbiomes of Canines and Their Owners Using Next-Generation Sequencing (PLOS one)
"Although the dog is the most common companion animal, the composition of the canine oral microbiome, which may include human pathogenic bacteria, and its relationship with that of their owners are unclear."
"Sometimes, the oral contact between dogs and their owners can be more extensive than that between parent and child. Dogs kiss and lick their owners to express amiable emotions. This raises the possibility of transferring bacteria from the oral microbiome of dogs to their human owners."

Cultivable Oral Microbiota of Domestic Dogs (Journal Of Clinical Microbiology)
"The genera isolated from the oral cavities of dogs were typical of those found in human dental plaque and included Actinomyces, Porphyromonas,Fusobacterium, Neisseria, and Streptococcus."
"The results showed clearly that the cultivable canine oral microbiota is mainly composed of species distinct from those found in humans"