HealthPosts

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!

If you found this helpful and want to see more, join Dr. Nandi's newsletter Health Hero community!

Tags

Partha Nandi

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

Related Articles

28
Leave a Reply

avatar
28 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
24 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
24 Comment authors
Ruth E BarnhartSepiso LaTanya-Marie IlilongaMarisaAlexandra StevensonSuzan Muhialdeen Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
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….

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.

Cheryl Mcrae
Guest
Cheryl Mcrae

Totally Agree

Vasudevan Bhattathir
Member

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

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!