Should You Allow Your Dog To Lick Your Face?

By January 24 | See Comments

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Our dogs mean everything to us. We want nothing but the best for them and we love them to bits. But does that mean that we should let them lick us. Are those doggy kisses as harmless as we’d think them to be? After all, we are the ones responsible for their dental and oral health so we know how clean and hygienic their mouths are right? Even so, there are certain dangers that you should be aware of.

What’s the danger in getting doggy kisses?

The mouths of our dogs contain a vast oral microbiome of viruses, bacteria, and yeast. Although the saliva of a dog has certain proteins that will help with cleansing its own wounds, it also contains certain microorganisms that our immune systems are simply not ready to combat or even tolerate. Some of these bacteria found inside a dog’s mouth are zoonotic. Which means that the dog can pass it on to humans, inevitably leading to disease.

So what should I do?

You are understandably very fond of those precious doggy kisses so avoiding them entirely seems kind of cruel. If your skin is the only place that your dog’s saliva touches, then you should be pretty safe as there is not a lot of absorption that can be done through the skin. The problem is when he kisses your face – specifically your nose, mouth, and even eyes. These parts contain mucous membranes and when a dog’s saliva comes in contact with your mucous membranes, illnesses can be transmitted.Besides the diseases and bacteria that a dog carries in his saliva, think of all the other places where his mouth has been. They usually have their muzzles in nasty places like dirt or even their own droppings. So the bacteria they pick up from places like that are countless.

What other possible hazards are there?

Sometimes we love doggy kisses so much that we forget that some dogs just simply don’t want to be kissed or even hugged. We get all caught up in the moment and put our faces close to theirs and sometimes this confuses and even frightens them. If you’re not careful, instead of a kiss, you might get a nasty bite instead. Try reading his body language. At the first sign of discomfort, take a step back and let him breathe.

What are some of the precautions that you should take?
  • Make sure that your dog is updated on all his vaccines
  • De-worm all new pets
  • Keep your dog away from all feces.
  • Wash your hands on a regular basis using water and soap.

Instead of kissing them full on the mouth, plant a kiss on the top of their heads. You’ll find that this can be just as affectionate. Just like people, pets crave love and affection too. AS long as you keep it healthy.

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