Pet owners are being warned not to let their dogs lick them on the face, and the reason is seriously gross.
Dog lovers often have a cuddle and a kiss with their pets, getting right up close and personal with their loving pets.
But Dr. Neilanjan Nandi, an assistant professor of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, has caused a stir by recommending that we all stop this behaviour at once.
Dogs mouths (like our own) contain a host of bacteria and other organisms - and some are zoonotic, which means they can pass from animals to humans and can cause disease.
These zoonotic bacteria include e.coli and salmonella.
He told the NYT: “There are some organisms unique to dogs that we were simply not meant to tolerate or combat.”
So when a dog licks your unbroken skin elsewhere, you’re usually protected from taking any of these organisms on.
“When dog saliva touches intact human skin, especially in a healthy person, it is extremely unlikely to cause any problems, as there will be very little absorption through the skin,” he added.
But your face has lots of holes in it - and the mucus membranes in your nose, mouth and eyes can absorb the harmful bacteria more easily.
All that is quite aside from the fact that dogs eat faeces and sniff each others’ bums to say hello.
So if you want to avoid gross dog germs, a lick on the hand is fine but the face? Just say no.
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