Study: Giving pooch a smooch could be harmful

Study: Giving pooch a smooch could be harmful
(Joshua Lewis / KOMO News)
We love our dogs. We consider them part of the family. We walk them, feed them, some of us even sleep with them.

But some forms of affection could be bad for both you and your furry friend.

A recent report in the Archives of Oral Biology may make you think twice next time before you give your pooch a smooch.

During that innocent little kiss, you and your pet can exchange a harmful mouth of bacteria which can result in gum disease and tooth decay for both of you.

A significant number of dogs suffer from periodontitis -- an inflammatory disease of the mouth tissue -- even though only 5 percent will ever develop a cavity.

Last year, researchers took a look at dog owners in Japan and assessed the prevalence of 10 human periodontitis-related bacteria in their pets.

Most strains were detected, two with extremely high frequency.

They also analyzed an oral microbe normally found in dogs -- but not humans -- and discovered it in 16 percent of the pet parents.

And no surprise, those bacteria were found most in those who had close-contact relationships with their dogs.