Dog Kisses and Disease


Photo courtesy of

An October 2016 article in the journal Nature World News points out the potential danger of letting your dog lick or “kiss” you or your children. Animal’s mouths are hosts for bacteria, viruses and yeast, some of which can be passed on to humans and cause illness. A dog’s saliva has proteins that may help cleanse or heal its own wounds, but these substances are unique to dogs and are not meant for transmission to humans.

Dogs, which sometimes eat other dogs’ feces, can also spread roundworm eggs to humans by licking or touching your mucus membranes, such as the eyes, nose and mouth.

Cats do not eat feces so people are unlikely to become infected from parasites from cats, but they can harbor bacteria such as pasteurella and bartonella heselae. Both of these can cause infections of skin and lymph nodes.

So love your pets, but take precautions in order to minimize the chance of spreading disease.

Katherine Kopp is a freelance writer in Chapel Hill. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

A Tale of Two Stone Mountains

Despite sharing a name, both Stone Mountains offer unique delights for families to enjoy.

8 Family-Friendly Hikes in NC

From the mountains to the sea, these trails are perfect for the entire family.

Make Painted Rock Plant Markers for Your Garden

Kids love to paint rocks, and the activity will also give them some ownership of the family garden plot.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Newsletter Sign-Up

Stay connected to what's going on for kids and families in the Triad by signing up for our FREE e-newsletters!


Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

GPS [Go. Play. See]

It's your complete family guide to Triad living. Parents are busy and on the go. Use this guide to help you explore all this great area offers for families in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point and surrounding communities.

Exceptional Child

For parents of kids with special needs, finding help and support can be challenging. We've compiled valuable resources for Triad parents in our latest annual publication, Exceptional Child, which is also available as a digital guide.