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Why You Should Never Let Your Dog Lick You

Cute slobbery kisses from your furry canine friends might melt your heart, but they can also cause some fairly serious health issues.

Cute slobbery kisses from your furry canine friends might melt your heart, but they can also cause some fairly serious health issues. You might have heard that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s, but that’s a big myth! So if you or your loved ones enjoy a little puppy love now and then, you should never let your dog lick you … especially your face.

Why is this harmful?

Most animal’s mouths are loaded with bacteria and viruses, and man’s best friend is no exception. Not surprising when you think about some of their habits. They stick their noses just about anywhere and will eat just about anything … including dog droppings. And if you’ve ever seen dogs greet each other, you know their way of saying hello isn’t as sanitary as a kiss on the cheek. Their muzzles carry all kinds of organisms. Some of which are beneficial to the dog, but simply not tolerated by humans. So while the presence of this bacteria typically doesn’t impact the dog’s health, it does pose a threat to yours.


What’s the risk?

A dog’s saliva coming into contact with your skin is not extremely likely to cause any problems as the skin tends to absorb only a small amount. However, saliva and pathogens are much more likely to be absorbed through the mucus membranes of your eyes, nose and mouth. This is why a dog licking your face can lead to serious infection. Dr. Leni k. Kaplan of cornell university’s college of veterinary medicine advises that bacteria commonly passed from dogs include clostridium, e. Coli, salmonella and campylobacter (which can cause severe gastrointestinal disease in humans). Mrsa (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), gum disease and intestinal parasites such as hookworms and roundworms can also be passed from dog to human. These infections can cause symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, fever, skin lesions, fatigue, abdominal pain and shortness of breath, so you’ll want to carefully consider the risk you’re willing to take for those doggy kisses. If you’re a dog owner, i’m betting that your pet is an important part of your tribe. Why wouldn’t it be? Dogs give us companionship, friendship, loyalty and unconditional love. You can give all of these things right back to your dog … and protect your health. So keep showing that love and affection. But consider saving those kisses for your two-legged pack members. Make healthy living a part of every day. The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste. Dr. Nandi if you found this helpful and want to see more, join my newsletter community! (you’ll get access to some very helpful free ebooks when you sign up!)

Partha’s prescriptions

  • Keep your pet healthy. Make sure your pet is current on all vaccines, and do your best to keep it away from the feces of other animals.
  • Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water to prevent the spread of bacteria and illness.
  • Keep loving your four-legged friends! While it’s important to protect your health, there are plenty of ways to show your dog affection without letting it lick your face. In fact, there are many health benefits of owning a dog!

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Partha Nandi

Partha Nandi M.D., F.A.C.P is the creator and host of the medical lifestyle television show, “Ask Dr. Nandi”.

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Ruth E BarnhartSepiso LaTanya-Marie IlilongaMarisaAlexandra StevensonSuzan Muhialdeen Recent comment authors
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Angeliki Anastasia
Member

Doctor Nandi your articles are always masterpieces!!! Thank you for your life saving advice!!! We all know that a dog 🐶 is a Man’s and Woman’s best friend!!! They have extreme love and they will protect their masters until the end!!! They will gladly give their precious life for their lovely masters!! When we forbid them to kiss us and show their extreme love we hurt their very loving souls!!! Just like when a human being won’t allow his endless love ❤️ to show her extreme affection!!! Very disappointing!!! I value very much the facts that science has to offer!!! Only one humble question Doctor. When we kiss our lovable doggies do we transmit any disease to them? Great Gratitude to All Doctors for saving our lives!!! 🙏🙏🙏

Lesley
Guest
Lesley

The only time I get sick is when I’m around children or anything they touch. I have 15 horses and 2 dogs and absolutely no issues. Put me in a room w a 3 year old kid….. I’m sick!

Pablo dela Cruzp
Guest
Pablo dela Cruzp

I really can’t believe when i read that dogs saliva is cleaner than human, and this article explain it all.

PRABHAKAR RAJARAPU
Guest
PRABHAKAR RAJARAPU

BUT GOOD ARTICLE

Melissa Rose Rothschild
Member

Love my fur babies ❤️

Robina fazal
Member

😃😀😄💖💐Nice article.. Doc.Nandi…To have a pet…and to keep it..never my wish..Do wish in future to have a little furry puppy.. But it takes a lot training to keep it sound and health.. and to your good faithful companion always loving and caring..As it’s my wish to have a furry little puppy..but as you told to keep them healthy and Sound needs training..and to save your self from any harm they may cause…is imp..for one’s health.. but it’s quite a nice Article for those who keep dogs as pets.. really inspiring for them…Thanks for Sharing ..Namaste…

Daisy Edberg
Guest
Daisy Edberg

I agree ,thank you

Margo
Member

I don’t have a dog, but my Son and his Wife do. I don’t see the dog very often though as they live far away. When I visit, the dog licks me. I’ve been in people’s houses who allow their dogs to jump up and lick you whether you like it or not. I have to say, I’m not keen on it. But it happens. I’m not keen on anyone touching my face though. I don’t even touch my own face unless my hands are spotless clean. I’ve had too many bad experiences. It has never done me any serious harm in my life, when a dog has licked me. I’m sure people who own dogs get licked all the time. Are they any different from any other germ carrying vessel though? We touch bins, and toilet door handles etc etc I’m not keen on it but, I also allow it because I like dogs and it’s their way of greeting you. I just stick my chin up. Lol. I guess I’m happy to be licked by someone who likes me. I’m thinking that their tongues/body has its own cleaning system to an extent. Some humans carry more diseases than dogs. Dogs have been licking humans since time began. The article is very interesting, but it’s been happening for Centuries. I’m now even more aware of the dangers, but I’m not sure it will stop people from allowing their dogs to lick them. It’s just one of the many warnings that we have to remember if we want to stay healthy. I’m not sure. As I said, I’ve had more illness from humans than a licking dog. But I see both sides.

PARAS
Guest
PARAS

When I was in jalandhar pg, (Punjab) the she dog just kissed me on my lips that was the most yukky moment I felt dirty it just happened very quickly .I am having no pet dog and don’t want to have one though I love them for their loyalty and generosity.

Linda Smith
Member

Thanks for the head’s up! Great info! Just cannot give up doggie kisses!! Albeit, I will be on the lookout!
Thanking you in advance,

Linda Smith

Blanca Bueso
Guest
Blanca Bueso

Thank Dr. Nandy,
I worked in Medical Laboratory over 10 years and I do not dislike dogs but I avoid myself any contacts with dogs body fluids but some people I new in the past that owns dogs, if you tell them about it they do not like it.
I advice them about the risk of getting contaminated unfortunately they get offended.
I have a certification in parasitism in tropical countries I thank God that used my knowledge to take care my family.

Very good article God bless you.

Warm regards.
Blanca B.

Ruth E Barnhart
Guest
Ruth E Barnhart

That is interesting, and very helpful. I will be looking at getting a small dog as soon as I am fully moved into my house. Thank you for this information prior to my buying a pet. Ruth

Sepiso LaTanya-Marie Ililonga
Guest
Sepiso LaTanya-Marie Ililonga

My p3tz and I have reviewed this “article” per say and would like to know why if animals are so unsavory and germy then why do humans keep getting animals for pets. Also my canine heard somewhere that if you let humans rub animals too much that the animals fur falls out. She said that’s where mange comes from and is prolly the reason why lots of humans wear wigs and hair weave.But my pup is a lady, so we decided not to speculate on this. Stops getting pets of your just gonna talk shit about them and treat them like lepers. That’s All….

Cheryl Mcrae
Guest
Cheryl Mcrae

Totally Agree

Tiffany Newsome
Guest
Tiffany Newsome

Brilliant! I’m glad you shared this info with others.

Amy Peters
Guest
Amy Peters

Great read , thanks for the info

Dno Nibley
Guest
Dno Nibley

I have Dogs and Cat since I was a kid I always Love my pets 🙂 <3 and this is a good reminders Thank you and GOD Bless!

David Collins
Guest
David Collins

ii have always thought you should never let a dog or cat lick your face for the obvious reasonsit amazes me how many people i see allowing dogs and cats to lick them and there childrens facesand that to me is totally wrong i love animals as much as the next person but we have to be aware of the dangers of doing so i cant beleive that they dont know the dangers of letting this happen to there childreneven babys in some cases pleas i implore you all to stop this practice now if your not aware then cheque with your doctor of health proffesional if you have a dog or a cat stop them from doing this practice before they cause any more unhealthy dieses to pass to any more humans

Penny Stewart
Guest
Penny Stewart

I meant what kind of dog he is his name is Taco

Penny Stewart
Guest
Penny Stewart

My little guy is very loving & keeps it all for me , when I have to leave him ,he hides at my sons place until he hears my voice . He will love on dauther. In. Law . Hes little and his name is taco can you guess his name ?? Lololol

PRABHAKAR RAJARAPU
Guest
PRABHAKAR RAJARAPU

I HAVE NO DOG

Marisa
Guest
Marisa

Thank you its very useful!!

Alexandra Stevenson
Guest
Alexandra Stevenson

The article was just amazing because dogs do have germs in their mouths and those germs can get into our mouths when dogs lick us in the mouth.I just read this article and there’s so many amazing things in this article that we can learn and start doing so we can be better in life.

Suzan Muhialdeen
Guest
Suzan Muhialdeen

I am animals lover since my childhood ,i am still remembering that I was going with my grandmother to the popular market for shopping and in our way to home, I was holding a basket and inside it thier is a chicken🐔 or duck🦆 ,i raised many kinds of animals like dove🕊, love birds ,rabbit 🐇,squarel🐿, sheep🐑, parrot 🐦,except dogs and cats ,cats 🐱were familiar to be seen walking around the house in the garden 🌱where I could feed them and play with them ,but I couldn’t raise a dog because I was told that it has bacteria in his mouth and needs special health care so this info is familiar to me ,but I love💖 dogs🐶 for their loyal companion and smartness specially they are the stars ⭐🌟🌟of Facebook, Anstgram and all social media.

Vasudevan Bhattathir
Member

this article is very informative which most us are unaware of thank you

Margo
Member

I should add, I think it depends also, on whether the dog is a cared for pet, or a stray. It’s just common sense, I think. It’s a very good article, and thought provoking. Often we need information to guide us and prevent us from ill health rather than try to treat the consequences of it.

Raul V fregoso
Guest
Raul V fregoso

Dic this seamed to ACCURATE AT THE RIGHTTIMING i have shown something like.little pimples popping up on mi skin,it appears to be a sSTRONG bacterial infection how ever some have shown signs of mrsa.i remember having a tattoo made and days afther isince our dog sleeps withus . He could have licked mi arm. Any advise

Ruth E Barnhart
Guest
Ruth E Barnhart

We my No 1 daughter and I do not allow our boss to kiss us on our mouths. We hug her, scratch her back but kisses no because it is not sanitary.