Do you like to allow your dog to lick your body and face? While some pet owners find the idea of being licked disgusting, others find licking a loving gesture that helps them bond even more with their pet. However, if you like to allow your pet to lick you, you may want to think again. While he may seem playful, fun, and loving, your dog’s licking may give you more than you bargained for.
Where has your dog’s tongue been?
To get an idea of why you might not want your dog to lick your face, all you need to do is consider the places where your dog’s tongue frequents. Most dogs spend a great deal of time placing their tongue in trash, dirt, rocks, sticks, private areas of their body, and even in feces. Obviously, the remnants of these items can easily follow on their tongues as they playfully lick your face. Even if dirt and feces are not in your pet’s mouth yet, the bacteria from these items can still be present. Therefore, allowing your pet to lick your face may not be the most hygienic decision.
Health risks of being licked
There are many potential health risks associated with being licked by your pet. One of the biggest potential health risks is the transmission of pinworms. Roundworms are a type of intestinal parasite commonly found in kittens and puppies. The worms are spread by licking and can lead to some serious medical complications. Some of the signs and symptoms associated with a pinworm infestation include:
Of course, if your pet is tested regularly and given deworming medication every month, the risk of getting pinworms from your pet is minimal. However, it is something to consider if you allow your pet to lick your body or face.
In addition to pinworms, there are other diseases and ailments that your pet can pass on. Leptospiroris, salmonellosis, and E. coli, for example, can be transmitted through saliva. Strep throat has also been linked to dogs licking their owners on the face. In addition, rabies is also transmitted through saliva, although you should not be at risk of contracting this disease if your pet has been vaccinated.
Dispelling myths about licking
Some pet owners know that dog saliva actually contains a special enzyme that helps promote healing. As a result, some encourage their pets to lick their wounds or cuts to help speed healing. It should be noted that the enzyme only works on dog wounds and does not help humans. Therefore, encouraging your pet to lick his wounds will not help him heal faster. In fact, it could lead to an infection, further aggravating your wounds.
While your pet likely won’t transmit illness to you if you keep him properly vaccinated, it’s a good idea to discourage licking to reduce his chances of getting sick from your canine friend.