General Question

buster's avatar

Is a dog's mouth really cleaner than a human's mouth?

Asked by buster (10239points) June 7th, 2008

I’ve always heard this. I can’t see how its true considering my dogs lick their butts, drag around dead animals, and eat poo.

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12 Answers

osullivanbr's avatar

oh are we not supposed to do those things. Oops. Awkward moment for me here.

Ah hum anyway. If they’re not I’m going to have to call down and smack my mother across the head cause that’s what she always told me.

Allie's avatar

It’s not necessarily cleaner – a dogs mouth has different kinds of bacteria in it than a humans mouth. Usually the bacterias are species specific meaning they can’t give us doggie diseases or anything. Maybe the idea that their mouth is cleaner than ours came up since they lick their wounds. It’s their form of a Band-Aid.

andrew's avatar

There was a half-assed mythbusters about this where they showed that dogs’ mouths have less bacteria than human mouths. “Less” doesn’t equate to “cleaner” in my book, but hey, I let my cats lick me, so what do I know.

Miss_Lys's avatar

I was always unsure but i hav heard you shoul let a dog lick your wounds if it should lead to that and i think it has to do with their saliva.

shilolo's avatar

A human bite is worse than an animal bite due to the complexity of the bacteria in the human mouth. That said, a cat bite can lead to Pasteurella infection while a dog bite can result in Capnocytophaga infection.

Mrs_Dr_Frank_N_Furter's avatar

Yeah the did it on myth busters

xyzzy's avatar

I believe the idea comes from the fact that dogs’ saliva contains antibacterial properties that human saliva lacks. Not sure if this is correct though…

syz's avatar

I think the more accurate description would be “if dogs brushed their teeth regularily, by comparison, their mouths would be cleaner than a humans”.

jamzzy's avatar

i really dont care i dont share drinks with dogs lol

mcbealer's avatar

To some degree I think a good illustration in support for this idea is that even though my dog has a good diet and chews real bones, that’s the extent of her dental hygiene. Sure, her breath is rank sometimes, but she doesn’t have gingivitis, cavities, or plaque.

BTW I also let my dogs kiss me, and I often kiss their noses when I leave for the day.

pattyb's avatar

I agree with andrew, having less types of bacteria does not make it any cleaner. Rule if thumb; its as clean as the last thing that went in its mouth. So unless you have been monitoring what the dog consumed or chewed, don’t assume.

pitpuppyfan's avatar

I love my dog more than words can say. I love to snuggle with her, play with her, and even just watch her (yes, it’s that bad!). That said, as much as I love her we DO NOT do lip kisses, face kisses, or share any sort of food/dishes. Even if she were to have the most wonderful bacteria and healing mouth, I still see where it goes on a regular basis and can not get past it! I think we’re fine the same!!

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