Do You – and Should You – Kiss Your Dog?

We’re not talking about a quick peck atop the head; we mean actually giving your dog a smooch on the lips (or in Chenoweth’s case, an unabashed tongue duel). It’s an issue that divides dog owners; a 2009 study showed that just about half allow and indulge in such behavior.

The debate continues: Is it sweet? Gross? More importantly, is it tantamount to germ warfare? How much interaction might be too much? We asked readers and veterinarians alike to tell us what they think.

“Fifi’s Just Showing Affection”

Personal preference, of course, dictates a Fido-phile’s decision to kiss or not to kiss. And what many dog owners prefer is letting the pet set the rules. “They show you unconditional love. It is only right to show them the same in return,” says Tina Ballash Blair of Ocala, Fla. “Hugs, kisses, love — they deserve all that and more.”

Some veterinarians happily condone kissing and admit to the habit themselves. “As long as you’ve got a close relationship with your dog and you want to suck face, I’m OK with that,” says Dr. William H. Craig, a former president of the Texas Academy of Veterinary Practice’s board of directors and co-founder of the Ingram Park Animal Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.

But not everyone agrees.

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