An article in the National Geographic here talks of the dangers of dog licks.

On the other hand, this NYT article states that dog owners tend to live longer and healthier than non-pet owners.

Is it dangerous to get licked frequently by a pet dog? Is it really necessary to wash your hands every time after touching a pet (as the CDC recommends) to forestall potential danger?

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    Can you quote the specific claim that you want evaluated? Right now, I don't totally understand what this question is asking. The National Geographic article starts with a specific example of a woman who was infected by a bacterium that apparently is commonly found in dog saliva, but not commonly found on humans. It says that she had burned her foot and the dog licked the wound. Dec 11, 2018 at 5:30
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    As far as I can see, the article doesn't say that it is "dangerous" for most people to get licked by a pet dog: it says " dogs and their full-face slobber-fests [are] usually not harmful — as long as your immune system is strong and you don’t have any wounds on your face or mouth that would let bacteria into your bloodstream." Based on that, I don't see a contradiction between the Nat Geo article and the NYT article. Dec 11, 2018 at 5:30
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    The CDC recommendation has a clear theoretical basis--hand-washing is a method that is generally used to control exposure to pathogens. Are you trying to find out if the CDC recommendations are based on any empirical studies about a potential relationship between handwashing frequency and the health of dog-owners? Dec 11, 2018 at 5:34
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    @sumelic I don't see a contradiction between the Nat Geo article and the NYT article Especially not since the NG one is about measurable bacterial infection and the NYT one is about vague statistical (not causal) correlations.
    – user22865
    Dec 11, 2018 at 9:41
  • Welcome to Skeptics! The claim here is unclear.
    – Oddthinking
    Dec 11, 2018 at 12:53


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