Is It Gross to Kiss Pets?

Patty Khuly, DVM
Updated: February 03, 2016
Published: October 26, 2009
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Is it gross to kiss our animals? I don’t think so… but then, I happen to be someone who tends to think that kissing 99.99999 percent of the human population would be a disgusting experience. I’d always rather kiss an animal than an unknown human… any animal!

But not everyone agrees.

Indeed, most humans on the planet are unlikely to stoop to kissing an animal. But pet owners? Yeah, most of us are a breed apart. We’re happy to kiss our own animals.

Still, that doesn’t mean we're immune to the derision, outright condemnation or blatant disgust. Friendly ribbing, we can handle, but even that can have an undercurrent of disdain.

"It’s an animal!" they exclaim. "How can you subject yourself to all those germs?"

Meanwhile, you and I both know that while dog and cat mouths may not be as "clean" as many avid pet people would have us believe, their kisses are still far less likely to subject you to something contagious than what that kid at the nearby table in the restaurant is sneezing into the air.

So the next time some obnoxious human complains about your repulsive pet smooching behavior, tell them your veterinarian said it was OK … compared to kissing them.

Dr. Patty Khuly

Image: Andresr / Shutterstock