Kissing the pooch: Is it healthy? |

Kissing the pooch: Is it healthy?

It has been absolutely beautiful at the dog park this past week. All the dogs were having great fun chasing each other and playing ball. I happened to notice Merci’s curled tongue as she walked by, and that lead to a general discussion about tongues. I decided to stick my neck out and explore the world of dog’s tongues.

My mother-in-law used to say that a dog’s tongue purifies itself every 10 feet. I had also heard that dog saliva is much cleaner than ours and, if your dog licks a cut, it will accelerate healing. Having observed my dog’s questionable eating habits and taking in-to account the fact that dogs don’t brush their teeth after eating, I found that hard to believe.

According to veterinarian Marty Becker, the myth that a dog’s mouth is clean comes from their practice of licking their wounds. Licking accelerates healing because the tongue actually gets rid of the dead tissue, similar to what a surgeon does when cleaning wounds.

Kissing is another issue because kissing a dog may be safer than kissing another human. Bacteria in the mouth of a dog are species specific, so they won’t harm its owner. Infections like staph or strep for a human are not transmissible to a dog. It is of course prudent to keep vaccinations current.

So the bottom line is this: Dogs love us unconditionally, make us laugh and are our best friends. A little kiss to thank them is the least we can do. So, pucker up, pooch, for a big smooch.

As spring approaches don’t forget to get your tickets for the tree raffle; see details below.


CAPS is a happy place for animals and people. It is staggering the amount of work needed to be done to keep the animals fed, cleaned, walked and healthy. David Revels is one of the individuals who works tirelessly to make sure the cages, runs and compounds are clean. He laughed when he told me he was the pooper scooper and grounds keeper. He wishes he could take all the guests home but he’s happy to make their stay clean and healthy. David loves playing with the dogs and cats. He certainly adds a smile to everyone’s day. A big thank you goes out to David!


This week’s pet personality is Lola. She is a pit bull-Staffordshire mix who is a wiggling bundle of happiness. She was out for a walk when I met her and she was delighted to get some attention. Lola absolutely loves children. She is a pretty girl and would love to find a home without cats. We also have three darling puppies. CAPS’ policy, however, prohibits adopting out puppies or kittens under the age of six months to a home with children under five years of age. This is to protect both the children and the animal.


Flower Tree Nursery is raffling a 15-gallon Prairie-Fire crab apple tree. The raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets. Be sure to get your tickets soon. The drawing date will be announced later, and the winner doesn’t have to be present to win.

Be sure to mark May 9 on your calendars for our annual Bark in the Park 5K walk/run which will be held in honor of David Martinez. The first 100 to cross the finish line will receive a medal. Bark in the Park will be at the fairgrounds. Complete details are available on the CAPS website.

CAPS will be at Walmart on April 18 with our Kissin’ Booth and Ki. Get into the spring swing and join Ki’s fan club. CAPS also has new designs of hoodies, shirts and other items for you or your honey.

CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89406. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. Please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.

Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Contact me

Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, contributed this week’s column.