Footballer regularly kisses multiple dogs on the mouth with plenty of tongue. Safe?

Kissing a dog with plenty of tongue risks transference of zoonotic diseases both ways.
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Arsenal (UK Premier League team) footballer star Nuno Tavares has multiple dogs. I don’t know how many but he has uploaded videos to social media of him kissing two of his dogs “with plenty of tongue” as reported by the Daily Star. It looks as though he is kissing them passionately on the lips in some sort of “French kiss”. FYI – apparently Hindus have a thing about saliva. How would they feel about this?

Obviously, there will be a huge transference of saliva from dog to Nuno and from Nuno to his dogs. That’s the health issue. Is it safe for human and dog?

People who have seen the videos are squeamish about them. They don’t like to see them and they criticised him. I can’t show the videos or even screenshots here as I think the advertisers will object to them. I am afraid you’ll have to make do with an illustration instead.

Viewers of his videos have made some funny but critical comments such as:

“Oh, I see Nuno Tavares is trending. Perhaps we are selling him? Nope, only yet more videos of him letting dogs clean his gums.”

And

“I can’t believe that man is snogging multiple dogs. Like they are going to town inside his mouth.”

It’s highly unusual for a person to French kiss multiple dogs passionately. Common sense says that it is unhealthy to ingest a lot of your dog’s saliva.

RELATED: The transfer of antibiotic resistant bugs in saliva from pet to person

That said, I have to avoid speciesism. If we say dogs can transfer pathogens to people in their saliva, we’ve got to say that people can transfer pathogens to other people in their saliva as well. Fair point. But this is about dogs and doctors will say that you shouldn’t do this. Here are some reasons:

Zoonotic diseases: one core problem is that dogs can sometimes have zoonotic diseases which are diseases that can be transferred from animals to people and make them ill. And some zoonotic disease pathogens can be in a dog’s mouth. For example, there is leptospirosis which can cause flu-like symptoms. There is ringworm which is a fungal infection. The risk is pretty low but people should be aware of the health implications particularly people with compromised immune systems. The risk must be heightened if you snog your dogs in the style of Nuno Tavares.

Hygiene: dogs are very comfortable with exploring the environment with their mouth and they are likely to come into contact with a range of substances containing bacteria. They might come into contact with dirt and faeces. A dog’s mouth might not be clean and if you kiss the dog’s mouth there’s the possibility of a transference of these contaminants to your mouth which may cause an infection and ill-health.

Allergies: some people are allergic to dogs. If you are one of those people, kissing your dog may exacerbate an allergic reaction which would include sneezing, itching or respiratory issues.

Dog-specific health concerns: some pathogens inside a dog’s mouth can be harmless to the dog but can cause illness in a person such as Capnocytophaga canimorsus; a bacterium which can cause serious infections in humans with weakened immune systems.

Disease transference from humans to dog: I have got to mention zoonotic diseases in humans which can be transferred to a dog and cause ill-health in the dog. This is zoonosis travelling in the opposite direction i.e. from human to animal rather than animal to human. It does work both ways. So if a person is carrying a disease which is zoonotic, he or she might transfer it to their dog if they snog them passionately as is the case with Nuno. More than 60% of human pathogens are zoonotic in origin. This includes a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, parasites, and other pathogens (source: Zoonotic Diseases: Etiology, Impact, and Control). Zookeepers gave lions in Central Parks Zoo, New York, Covid-19!

RELATED: Be aware of Brucella canis a new zoonosis in the UK

Here is another related post on an associated website: Can I Get Toxoplasmosis From Kissing My Cat?

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