Partner kisses dog, then you. How to handle it.

April 17, 2017


Q: How do you tell your partner youíre not comfortable with him or her kissing the dog on the mouth?

Dog kisses on the mouth can be so laden with germs and bacteria that a good toothbrush and toothpaste with a mouthwash that contains antiseptic are required before the next human kiss.

Be direct and firm with your partner.

Let him or her know that you cannot kiss the same mouth that just kissed a puppy or a dog on the mouth, because you are concerned about the transmission of unwanted viruses and germs.

You might say, "I know how much you love your dog, and that is a wonderful relationship to have with your pet. I am really concerned about you kissing the dog and then kissing me. I need you to respect my feelings about this." Add that you are not against petting the dog.

ó Jody Haas-Wolfson, certified dog trainer and owner of ROOT Dog Training

The research on whether kisses from Fido pose health threats is mixed, but generally speaking, caution is recommended.

I would suggest treating this like other issues that require compromise in a relationship, especially with respect to cleanliness.

Talk directly and openly with your partner about your discomfort with dog kisses on the mouth, and the general reasons behind what makes you uncomfortable.

Some people, especially those who did not grow up with dogs, find their partnerís comparative lack of concern about what a pet sniffs, licks or eats a bit too much.

Say something along the lines of: "I love you, and I love the dog, but I think thereís an important difference in how we express our love for our pet." Decoupling love for the dog from the discomfort with dog kisses on the mouth may make the conversation easier and more constructive. A nonjudgmental stance would likely be helpful too.

Underscore that your discomfort with such expressions of affection doesnít mean you donít love and adore the dog. Sensitivity here is key, and so is taking your partnerís point of view. Keep in mind that, for many people, kissing their dog is the same as kissing their baby.

ó Dr. Vinita Mehta, clinical psychologist specializing in depression, life transitions and relationship issues

 

 


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