In this interview, small animal expert and UC Davis Veterinary Medicine professor Dr. Jane Sykes starts right off by stating that the health benefits from dog ownership way outnumber the risks. That said, she goes on to describe some of the ways that dogs can, in fact, transmit pathogens to humans, especially those people whose immune systems have been compromised. You may think twice about letting your dog kiss you directly on the lips. . . but then again, maybe not.