Are Dogs Mouth Cleaner Than Humans?

Are Dogs Mouth Cleaner Than Humans?

The saying “a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth” has certainly come up at least once in your life.

The majority of us have just assumed this to be true, but have you ever questioned whether it’s accurate? Dog and human lips are both infested with pathogens.

While there is some overlap in bacterial types between species, there are also many different dental bacteria in your dog’s mouth that you won’t find in yours. In this article let’s know are dogs mouth cleaner than humans.

Are Dogs Mouth Cleaner Than Humans?

Probably every dog owner has thought about the cleanliness of his four-legged friend’s mouth. Unlike us humans, dogs do not have the ability to brush their teeth and apply toothpaste.

However, there is little refutation of the tale that “a dog’s mouth is dirtier than a man’s.” In fact, research has confirmed that dogs actually have cleaner mouths than humans, contrary to popular belief.

Even though dogs do not have tools for cleaning their teeth, they have their own special self-cleaning mechanisms. One such mechanism is saliva, which is a natural antiseptic and contains substances that can destroy bacteria and pathogens.

Another important factor is the structure and shape of the dog’s teeth. They have a strong jaw and sharp teeth that minimize the formation of plaque and tartar. This allows them to maintain a cleaner mouth than a human’s.

The scientific explanation for this fact is due to differences in the composition of saliva. Studies have shown that dogs have less bacteria in their mouth compared to humans.

Some of these bacteria are beneficial and help maintain oral health. Dogs also have a more acidic pH balance in their mouth, which prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.

Scientists allegedly counted the number of bacterial colonies per square centimeter in the mouths of dogs and humans, and then compared the numbers.

Samples were obtained following meals. Additionally, brushing teeth before obtaining samples was not allowed.

On a scale of one to four, with one being very clean and four being exceedingly dirty, the outcomes were graded. As a result, 10% of dogs got a 1, 30% got a 3, and the remaining 60% got a 4. For humans, 70% were given a 1, 20% were given a 2, and 10% were given a 3.

According to specialists, contrasting the mouths of a canine and a human is “like comparing apples and oranges.” Both human and canine mouths are brimming with germs, however, they can occasionally be very different.

Dogs lick their wounds, which is likely where the notion that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human mouth originated. Dog saliva was historically utilized as a medicine by the Greeks and Egyptians, who held the belief that dog saliva had healing characteristics.

Is Dog Saliva Dangerous For Humans?

Every dog owner has come into contact with their dog’s saliva at some point, whether it be through a bite or an adoring lick. Dogs’ mouths and saliva,

however, are naturally brimming with bacteria. These can be harmful to people when they come into contact with blood, even if they don’t pose a problem for the animal in its natural “environment.”

Learn more about these bacteria, the hazards they pose to people, potential aggravating circumstances, observable symptoms, and the appropriate course of action to take in the event of an infection.

Sayings such as “Dog’s saliva is worth a doctor”, “A dog’s tongue is worth a doctor” or even “Dog’s tongue, doctor’s tongue” were especially true for the animal itself when licking a wound. For humans, dog saliva has not yet revealed any therapeutic benefits.

You are undoubtedly already aware of the fact that your dog utilizes his tongue on a daily basis, whether to communicate, investigate his surroundings, or lick himself.

Because it is a part of the animal’s understanding and communication process, licking is crucial to the animal. Dogs, on the other hand, frequently lick themselves, your home’s inside, and particularly the outside.

The outcome is that the dog has a bacterially-rich mouth. Of course, there are billions of them in every living thing’s body, and they help with digestion, immunity maintenance, and overall health.

However, although some are intended to maintain your dog’s mouth and overall health, others are genuinely hazardous and their contact with humans can have catastrophic consequences.

Capnocytophaga canimorsus is the most well-known bacteria that pose a serious risk to humans and that is widely present in the mouths of dogs. If it enters the bloodstream from a bite or licking of a wound, it can cause very dangerous illnesses in people.

It is naturally present in the saliva of dogs, cats, and humans. The animal is in no danger from this bacteria because it naturally exists in its body. However, once it is removed from this setting, it poses a serious risk and has the potential to develop into a pathogenic agent.

Can People Get Infected By Dog Germs?

When our dogs’ saliva comes in contact with us, we seldom ever become sick, which may be one of the reasons the saying “a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth” has gained so much traction. Kissing a dog won’t make you sick, but kissing a loved one will.

You normally won’t become sick from a routine dog kiss because the vast majority of the bacteria in your dog’s mouth are not zoonotic. However, there are other exceptions in this situation. Salmonella, which can be spread to people, is more likely to infect dogs on a raw diet.

In other words, while kissing your dog is less dangerous than kissing another person, it doesn’t necessarily follow that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a person’s; rather, a dog’s mouth just has a different collection of germs than that of a human.

Can Dog Saliva Heal Wounds?

While we’re talking about dog lips, there’s another myth you’ve certainly heard before: dog saliva speeds up the healing process for wounds.

Here, things are a little more intricate. Humans and most other mammals lick their wounds. Dog saliva was historically believed to have therapeutic benefits, and the Greeks and Egyptians both utilized dogs and dog saliva in religious healing rituals.

They might have picked up on something. Even licking itself has some wound-healing advantages. The danger of infection is decreased because the tongue clears dirt and debris from the wound site. Naturally, excessive licking can aggravate the condition and even cause self-injury, as is the case with hot spots in cats and dogs.

How to Clean a Dog’s Mouth?

Brushing your teeth is a mandatory hygiene procedure that helps prevent the development of oral diseases. Many owners ignore it for various reasons, not thinking about the dangerous consequences for the dog’s health.

If you don’t brush your dog’s teeth, a soft plaque will appear on them, which will mineralize over time and cause the formation of tartar. Then the animal will require rehabilitation and long-term treatment. See how to clean a dog’s mouth.

  • Apply some paste to the tip of your finger. Let your pet get acquainted with it.
  • Run your finger over your teeth and gums as you did before.
  • Wet the brush with warm water and apply a small amount of paste to it.
  • With one hand, lift your lips and open your jaw with your thumb.
  • Make small circular movements with the brush from top to bottom – first the outer side, then the inner.
  • Start brushing your dog’s back teeth and then move on to the front teeth.
  • The brush must be held at an angle of 45° to thoroughly clean the gum area from food debris. It is better to start with molars, premolars, and canines since plaque most often accumulates there.
  • After the manipulation, be sure to praise your pet and offer him his favorite treat. If your gums are bleeding, you may have brushed too aggressively or used a brush that is too hard.


Both dogs and people are equally susceptible to dental diseases, and only with regular daily hygiene can the oral cavity be clean and healthy. Regular tooth brushing helps people and dogs keep harmful bacteria, including those that cause periodontal disease, under control.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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