Simon Cowell's Dog Licks Newborn's Face

A photo of Simon Cowell's dog licking his newborn's face is raising questions about safety and Cowell's parenting skills. INSIDE EDITION reports.

Does Simon Cowell need parenting lessons?

That's the question being raised after photos surfaced of Cowell's dog licking his newborn son on the face.

"That can't be hygienic," blares one headline. 

But is it really a problem?

Pediatrician Jennifer Ashton is ABC News' Senior Medical Contributor.

Ashton told INSIDE EDITION, "Canine mouths, like human mouths, are filled with bacteria. We also have to remember what dogs do with their mouths—they lick their butts."

Watch More of Dr. Ashton's Interview

The photo was taken as Cowell and his girlfriend, Lauren, took their 10-day-old son on vacation in Miami. Accompanying them were Cowell's two Yorkshire Terriers, Squiddly and Diddly. In the photo you can see Cowell lounging as Lauren holds baby Eric and the dogs scamper about. Lauren gently kissed baby Eric. But should dogs be kissing babies?

"Probably the bigger risk is really that that dog might bite the infant. We have to remember that no matter how great a pet this is, it's still an animal and this is a newborn. If you're talking about a neonate, this is a foreign creature in this pet's world," said Dr. Ashton.

INSIDE EDITION has learned that Cowell hired a New York City dog expert, Edward Alava, to teach the Yorkies to accept  baby Eric into the family.

Alava told INSIDE EDITION, "I suggested, you know, maybe getting a blanket from the newborn and putting it Squiddly and Diddly's bed so they can get used to the smell the baby brings. For the dogs, it's all about smell for them."

Cowell is devoted to his dogs. He even bought each puppy a cashmere, yes, cashmere, sweater.

Alava told INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd, "It was cold here, so we wanted to make sure they were properly attired."

Boyd asked, "Cashmere sweaters for the dogs? What do these sell for?"

"They're about $200," answered Alava.