Are Dogs’ Mouths Cleaner Than Ours?

Have you heard the myth that dogs have cleaner mouths than humans do? Take your feisty pooch Percy, for example, who’s favorite pastime is scavenging for scraps of food in the trashcan, catching squirrels in the backyard, and spending the afternoon licking every inch of his little body clean. Is Percy’s mouth miraculously more germ-free than yours is?

The short answer is NO!

It’s important to understand that the environment of a dog’s mouth and your mouth are completely different- each is species specific. Few of the diseases that dogs have can be passed on to humans. That means we are more likely to get an illness from kissing a person than planting a kiss on our pets. BUT that doesn’t mean that dogs have cleaner mouths!

The truth is, dogs’ mouths are just as dirty as ours are. The mouths of both humans and dogs are teeming with species-specific bacteria that cause a similar array of dental illnesses. Both species’ mouths are hot, damp places that are perfect breeding grounds for germs. Humans have more tooth decay than dogs do, but dogs are just as prone to gum diseases as we are.

Sorry Percy, your mouth is just as dirty as ours is. But you can keep the doggy kisses coming!

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