Do You Allow Your Dog Licking Your Face? 3 Possible Harmful Consequences For Your Health

Lifestyle & Health

January 23, 2019 11:12 By Fabiosa

Even our closest friends sometimes can unintentionally harm us. We are talking about our beloved dogs. The funny thing is that they don’t even know what damage they may cause, because these friends simply want to lick your face. And if you are here, you are most probably wondering if you should let them do it. Unfortunately, the answer is not certain. Let’s take a closer look why it is so.

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Risk of health issues

Dog saliva contains lots of germs and bacteria that can make us sick. Just think of what your dog can lick throughout the day: dirty floor, its genitals, anus, other dogs’ poop, etc. And although most of those things do not pose a threat to your pup, germs may transmit to you from its mouth and cause disease. Yes, studies show that dog saliva is surprisingly clean due to a special protein that helps neutralizing germs. However, humans do not have such strong defensive mechanism and can be easily invaded by unwanted guests.

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Dermatologists state that dog saliva is unlikely to cause any issues if it touches human skin because it can’t be absorbed that way. On the other hand, all the things in a dog’s saliva can be absorbed much easier through any cuts or wounds, as well as the mucous membranes in your nose, mouth, eyes, etc. Although it is rare to get sick because of your best bud’s kiss, people with the weak immune system are vulnerable.

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What are the worst-case scenarios?

1. Parasites

Your pet can get worms from licking other dog’s anus or stool. Unfortunately, they often do these kinds of things. And then, your buddy can transmit hookworms and roundworms to you. Although it is rare, these cases happen. If you experience skin rashes, poor appetite, unexplained weight loss, stomach pain and diarrhea, constant fatigue and maybe even fever, you might have gotten parasites from your friend.

2. Upset stomach

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Gastrointestinal infections are one of the most common things you can get by letting your dog kiss your face. Our dogs love sniffing around with their noses, which means they are picking all sorts of bacteria. Some of them can actually create a festival in your stomach. If you experience stomach upset, diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, and extreme fatigue, you might have an infection caused by bacteria, including salmonella, E. coli, cryptosporidium, leptospira, campylobacter, and other.

3. Allergy

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Some people can develop an allergy to their pet’s saliva due to specific components in it. If your pup licks your face and the skin becomes red or itchy in a few minutes, that’s most likely an allergic reaction. It can only be managed with medications.

In general, you can let your dog lick you if you are sure your buddy is healthy and hasn’t just been sniffing litter box or other dog’s butt. Afterwards, it is highly recommended to wash your skin thoroughly with soap.

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.