NEEDHAM (CBS) – Gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman wants to take the “shame” out of kissing dogs.

The Olympic champion and Needham native got some unexpected pushback after sharing a photo Tuesday evening that shows her smooching her dog on the mouth.

Plenty of her followers thought the picture was “so cute” and “adorable,” but not everyone agreed.

“Just so you know, dog’s mouths are filthy,” one commenter wrote on Facebook. “You can get a whole host of diseases from them, especially when letting them lick you on the mouth like that.”

“And two days from now when you’re sick you’ll wonder why?” another person said.

Later that night, Raisman decided to fire back at those “judging” her for being affectionate with her pet.

So far, she’s getting lots of support from fans who love to kiss their animals too.

Where does the science come down on this? A recent New York Times article titled “Should You Let Your Dog Lick Your Face?” has some bad news for Raisman and other pet lovers who aren’t afraid to let Fido get up close and personal.

Most animals’ mouths are home to “an enormous oral microbiome of bacteria, viruses and yeast,” Dr. Neilanjan Nandi of Drexel University told The Times.

And another expert quoted in the article, virology professor John Oxford, says he would never let a dog lick his face.

“Dogs spend half of their life with their noses in nasty corners or hovering over dog droppings so their muzzles are full of bacteria, viruses and germs of all sorts,” he said.

Aly Raisman. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

Whether it’s sanitary or not, there’s no question that Raisman loves her four-legged friends. After winning two silvers and a gold medal in women’s gymnastics at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Raisman told CBS Radio about the first thing she wanted to do once back in North America.

“Lay in my backyard with my dogs. . . and do nothing,” Raisman said. “I haven’t seen my dogs in like over a month.”

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