A Doggie Kiss A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

In this week’s edition of random-research-people-do-about-our-dogs, apparently a big, old, slobbery smooch is your ticket to good health.


I think most people get a little uncomfortable when their dog puckers up and somehow lands a sloppy kiss on the lips. In theory, it’s kind of cute. In reality, you can’t wipe it away fast enough – we do know where those mouths have been!

This proposal may come as a surprise, as you instinctively start to raise the back of your hand to your mouth at the mere mention of doggie kisses.

Apparently, smooching our pets is not so much disgusting as it is good for our health.

It is very true that dogs and humans have a unique bond, and researchers at the University of Arizona want to get to the bottom of what drives this relationship. We know a lot of it has to do with their smarts, their smiles and their infinite capacity for snuggles. But it is also true that people with dogs are healthier, and that is a trend that spans from young children all the way through to adults.

Children seem to benefit from being around dogs, by experiencing less immune problems like asthma and allergies. The researchers are proposing that the canine “cooties” we are exposed to have a probiotic effect, and that this good bacteria boosts our immune response by building healthy bacteria colonies.

It is perfectly plausible that good-guy dogs are helping us with our health at a micro-level as well as at a lifestyle level. We’ll just have to add it to the ever-growing list of the ways owning a dog significantly improves your life.

If you happen to be one of those people whose love for their dog knows no bounds, perhaps you should pucker up! I think I might wait for the results of the research to be released. Until then, I imagine I’ll continue to dodge the doggie kisses, but maybe I will hesitate before I wipe away one of those surprise smooches that they manage to land occasionally.