Showing affection to the ones you love is perfectly normal. That includes pets, for whom many people consider them to be essential members of the family. However, some would say there’s a limit to how much affection you should show your animal companions. In particular, they’d say that kissing your pets on the mouth is going too far, but is that actually true?
It’s safer than you think
In many cases, it isn’t dangerous to share a smooch with, say, your dog. You might be worried that doing this would cause a series of health problems because of where the animal puts their mouth on an average day. However, the presence of bacteria is usually no different in your pet’s mouth than it is in your own. The human body is typically able to handle contact with most of this stuff because if it weren’t, people would get sick non-stop. However, that isn’t to say that kissing your pets like this won’t cause any issues.
Certain individuals are more at risk
Certain bacterias that can be present in your pet’s mouth are dangerous for humans to come in contact with. This includes salmonella, staphylococcus, and ringworm. Although some of these diseases can be short-lived and asymptomatic, they’re not always the easiest to treat. What’s more, the impact they’ll have largely depends on what condition a person’s immune system is in. Those with a more suppressed immune system will be more vulnerable to such bacteria and could face more severe consequences from catching them. For them, it simply isn’t worth the risk of kissing your pets on the mouth.
Watch where their mouths go
A good way to know if it’s safe to kiss your pets on the lips is to keep track of what they put in their mouth. If you have an animal that eats a lot of stuff they shouldn’t, such as something bad, you probably shouldn’t lock lips with them. This kind of stuff is riddled with bacteria, and your body is less likely to defend itself against so much of it. Of course, you can’t typically watch your pet 24/7, so it might be hard to know what their mouths come into contact with. If that’s the case, it’s best to stay on the safe side and always kiss them somewhere else.
Consider what the pet wants
Another important element to consider is whether your pet will actually appreciate a kiss on the lips. Some animals will be reluctant to do this, and they’ll express their unwillingness by backing away, yawning, or something similar. You should always wait to do this until the animal is well established in your home, so they feel safe and secure with you. Otherwise, there’s a risk that they could bite you because they feel their space is being invaded.
Wanting to be affectionate with your pet isn’t abnormal. However, kissing the animal on the lips may be a step too far in certain situations. Unless you’re confident that it’s safe to do so, it’s probably better to steer clear.