Remember the times when Snoopy would plant a big ol' smacker on little Lucy van Pelt and how she would run away screaming, "Germs! Disease! Infection!" - yes, those were the days.
I'm sure Lucy would be aghast to hear what Kansas State University veterinarian Kate Stenske has to say about dog spit. Stenske studied the incidence of the E. coli bacteria in both dogs and their people. The results? Dog people who were OK with face-licking were no more likely to harbor the bacteria than those who were not OK with canine smooches.
Here's the part of the study that won't really surprise dog people. People with pets had more multiple-drug resistant strains than their pets. That means people are more likely to spread the E. coli bacteria to their pet, rather than the other way around.
So, it appears, sleeping with your dog and allowing him to give your face a few licks isn't going to increase the threat of you acquiring the E. coli bacteria. But you should still wash your hands after petting your dog since you don't want to give her the germs!
The study is scheduled to appear in an upcoming issue of the
American Journal of Veterinary Research.