We all love our pets and many owners will happily shower their dogs with hours of affection in the shape of kisses and cuddles and treats.

But while there's nothing wrong with giving Fido a bit of a hug, some over-enthusiastic owners have been known to get carried away and allow their pup to 'kiss' them by licking their face or mouth.

And even if you don't intentionally smooch with your pooch, many of us will have been treated to a slobbery lick in the face by and over-excited bouncing puppy.

However, now experts are warning dog owners that being overly-affectionate with their four-legged friend could be bad for their health, as canine kisses could land you with gum disease.

The warning follows research carried out in Japan last year, which found that kissing your dog could result in a harmful swap of bacteria - not good news for you or your pooch.

A potentially harmful microbe normally found in dogs, but not in human mouths, was discovered it in 16 per cent of the owners, and it was usually those who were very affectionate with their pets.

However, other experts have pointed out that if you maintain good canine oral care for your pup by feeding them high quality dry dog food and brushing their teeth on a regular basis our pet's mouths can be even cleaner than our own.

Dr Paul Maza, of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, told America's Fox News: "Many of the different types of bacteria in dogs and cats are the same type of bacteria as in humans. If owners practice oral hygiene on their pets, such as brushing their teeth, a pet's mouth can actually be even cleaner than a human mouth."

But given that your pooch spends its day eating smelly premium dog food, rolling in dirt and licking pretty much anything and everything, in terms of hygiene it's probably best to save the kisses for your partner and stick to hugs with Fido.

Written by: Hannah