You love your dog, and it has become your trusted companion for years. An over-friendly dog means getting licks, ruffs, cuddles, and being showered with attention. Of course, you do not mind a few licks from your dog. But is a dog’s mouth cleaner than a human’s? While some will say “Yes,” others may say “No.”
But, the truth is that a dog’s mouth is different from a human’s mouth. Hence, comparing a dog’s mouth with a human mouth does not arise. A dog’s mouth can be cleaner or dirtier depending on its lifestyle and situation.
Do you have a specific question about whether or not a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
How dirty is a dog’s mouth?
Dogs’ mouths are not clean and devoid of bacteria. Well, it is also not as clean as yours. A dog’s mouth will also have microbes, bacteria, and other microbes like humans. These microbes create a complete ecosystem or Microbium inside the dog’s mouth. In short, a dog’s mouth can be a thriving place for hundreds of bacteria.
For the dirtiness part, like humans, the mouth of a dog contains both harmful and beneficial bacteria. While some of these bacteria may be disease-causing, others may be crucial for the overall gut health of your dog.
Cleanliness also depends on how to treat your dog. For example, suppose it does not get regular teeth and mouth cleaning. In that case, the dog’s mouth will have an increased percentage of harmful bacteria.
The word dirty is a different thing in this case. Since a dog’s mouth contains harmful bacteria that can cause them health problems and disease and may be harmful to you, too, their mouth is “dirty” in a sense.
How many germs are in a dog’s mouth?
Did you know that there can be 600 different bacteria in the dog’s mouth? Interestingly, humans have nearly 615 different Bacteria in their mouths.
Besides, bacteria from the environment can also be present inside a dog’s mouth.
Interestingly, dogs do have some familiar bacteria inside their mouth. For example, The Porphyromonas gulae, which causes periodontal disease in dogs, has a distant cousin, Porphyromonas gingivalis, which lives inside a human’s mouth.
These come from the same species Porphyromonas and are harmful or “dirty” bacteria.
Inside a dog’s mouth, 3.7 colonies of gram-positive bacteria were present, while the number of gram-negative bacteria was 2 colonies.
On the flip side, a human mouth will contain 0.2 colonies of gram-negative bacteria and 2.7 colonies of gram-positive bacteria. So, dog mouth germs are more numerous than a human’s mouth most of the time.
Is dog saliva clean?
The truth is a dog’s saliva is also not technically clean. Like pups’ mouths, the tongues also have multiple species of microbes, especially bacteria, and depend on the overall environment inside the dog’s mouth. If a dog’s mouth has more harmful bacteria, its tongue will also have harmful bacteria.
But, generally, a dog’s saliva is harmless and will not cause any health conditions. But, for this, you need to ensure that your dog has a cleaned mouth and a cleaned tongue. Otherwise, your dog may suffer from different mouth diseases as well.
How clean is a dog’s tongue?
Wandering, is dog tongue clean? As it has been told before, the cleanliness of a dog’s tongue depends on how clean are dog’s mouth. It remains as clean as the inside mouth cavity. So, you must take care of your dog’s dental and oral hygiene to ensure its tongue remains clean.
Is self-cleaning possible for dogs’ mouths?
How often does a dog’s mouth clean itself? It does not. A dog cannot clean its mouth itself because they do not know how to brush or wash it after each meal. On top of that, your dog may pick up things by their mouth while outside.
But, the mouth of a dog does have some mechanism to keep the bad germs away. Its immune system will detect any harmful bacteria inside the dog’s mouth. A dog’s saliva has some immunity against the bacteria and will try to kill almost every bacteria as soon as possible.
How to disinfect a dog’s mouth
Since your dog cannot clean itself, you need to take the duty to clean dogs mouth with a proper routine. In addition, you need to keep your mouth clean to avoid any future health issues like gum problems, cavities, etc., for your dog.
The best way to care for your dog’s oral health is to visit the vet regularly. Your vet will prescribe a routine for the dog’s oral health.
At present, special canine oral health products are easily available. So you can keep their mouth clean without much fuss. Here is a concise guideline on how to keep the mouth of your dog clean-
Regularly brush your dog’s teeth
Dental care is essential to keep the dog’s mouth germs at bay. So, brush their teeth at least twice a week to keep them shiny.
Canine toothpaste is available in the market, and you can buy these items easily from a pet shop or online. If your dog is picky, you can use flavored toothpaste (in beef flavor, chocolate, or peanut butter flavor) to keep them still while you brush their teeth.
If you have a small breed or a puppy, try to use a baby toothbrush with soft bristles. A regular human toothbrush with soft bristles will be enough for adults or larger breeds.
Try to brush their teeth thoroughly for two to three minutes inside and outside. After that, you can rinse the paste or leave it if you want. But rinsing is better, and it looks cleaner too!
If you are new to this, ask your vet to give proper canine brushing instructions. You will also find videos online to guide you in brushing your dog’s teeth.
Get them disinfectant mouthwash
If your dog is suffering from a bad facial odor, it is time to get a dog mouth disinfectant. You just need to add this disinfectant to your dog’s water bowl and add water to make a mixture. Then, allow your dog to drink this mixed water.
If your dog is a good girl or boy, you can easily clean their mouth without using any disinfectant.
You can use salt water, baking soda, or some virgin coconut oil. First, take a clean, soft cloth and dampen it with salt water, baking soda solution, or coconut oil. Now, gently clean the dog’s mouth without causing them any discomfort.
Their breath will always be fresh, and their mouth will be healthier too!
Give them dental teats
Your dog needs to chew things to maintain proper dental and facial health. So try to provide your dog chewable treats once daily to prevent plaque formation and tartar buildup in their teeth. On top of that, there are antibacterial dental treats that can keep harmful bacteria away.
Clean their tongue regularly
A dog’s tongue can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, resulting in bad breath. Hence, regularly clean the tongue of your dog while you brush them. You can use the same toothbrush to clean their tongue. Gently stroke the brush over their tongue to remove any bacteria or food residues from their tongue and other mouth parts.
Is a dog’s mouth cleaner than a human’s? This question has no specific answer because it depends on many factors. Your focus should be on cleaning your dog’s mouth and ensuring that no dirt accumulates.
Thanks for the blog graphics: Canva.com
Doghint.com is a participant of several affiliate programs. The list includes (but not limited to) the following: VigLink, Refersion, ShareASale, and Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Doghint.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. All published articles are meant for informational purposes only and not substitute the professional veterinary consultation.