I like to think we dogs have clean mouths, but then again, we don’t brush our teeth like humans do.
Humans and dogs have really different microbiomes, or bacteria systems, inside their mouths and it’s almost impossible to accurately compare the two.
We have some pretty interesting choices when it comes to what touches our mouths. Many humans think we’re gross for licking our butts, but given the chance, I bet you would too.
There are certain bacteria found in our mouths that can be transferred to humans, and these are known as zoonotic.
These bacteria include E. Coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Clostridium, all of which are found in doggy intestines and can cause illness in humans.
Is dog saliva bad for humans?
As I just said, our saliva contains a lot of bacteria that can be dangerous to human health. This is only really a problem if it enters your body, and doesn’t pose much of a threat when on your skin.
Dog saliva, when on unbroken skin, is not harmful to humans. This is because hardly any bacteria are able to permeate the skin and cause damage.
It is only really harmful if you are immunocompromised. This could be due to a disease such as diabetes, or could be as a result of chemotherapy treatment.
If you have a compromised immune system, please don’t let us lick you. We might not understand, but keeping you around is the most important thing to us.
Are dog licks really kisses?
We don’t have many ways to communicate with you, seeing as you refuse to learn Wooflish. This means that we need to show our affection for you through our body language and actions.
Licking is one of the many ways that we do this. It is a behaviour that we learned as puppies when our mothers licked us clean and to show us her love.
We use our tongues to groom ourselves and our pack mates, so this could be one of the reasons your furry friend is licking you. They may think you need some help to clean yourself.
It is also one of the ways that we welcome our friends back home and strengthen the bonds between us.
Licking is also seen as a sign of submission within the pack. This suggests that if your dog is licking you they are trying to give over power to you.
When we lick you, it releases endorphins in our bodies. This means that we love to lick you and will do it frequently, particularly if you give us positive reinforcement.
If you seem sad or anxious, we are likely to lick you then. If it makes us happy, we think it will make you happy too, and that’s all we want.
Do dogs’ mouths kill germs?
When we injure ourselves, you will often see us licking the wound. You might wonder whether this is beneficial, and the answer is yes!
Some clever scientists have done experiments on our saliva and found that it has certain antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
It has also been shown to reduce the growth and development of E. Coli and Streptococcus canis bacteria.
What is actually more useful than our saliva is the surface of our tongues. The roughness combined with the licking action causes any dirt and debris lodged in our wound to be moved out.
This can help to reduce the risk of infections developing and is likely why it has long been believed dog saliva is a natural wound remedy.
The uneven tongue surface also pulls off dead skin cells from around the injury site. This promotes improved blood flow and can help to speed up the healing process.
If we have a serious injury, please take us to the vet rather than just allowing us to lick ourselves better.
Why do dogs lick your face?
There are a whole host of reasons that we lick your faces when we get excited. One of them is that you taste yummy.
We don’t get much salt in our diets, so especially when you are sweaty, your face becomes a flavor sensation. Plus, you’re our favorite person so why wouldn’t we want to taste you?!
We also like to lick your face because it makes you happy. We are always stroked, cuddled, or spoken to nicely after we lick you. This positive reinforcement makes us think it makes you happy, and that’s all we want to do.
So obviously, we are going to continue licking your face. Alongside this, the action of licking triggers the release of endorphins in our bodies. These are also known as the happy hormones and this too, will stimulate us to do it more often.
Another reason we lick your face is to show our submission to you. When I was a baby pup I remember licking my Mom’s mouth to show her she was in charge. My human has now taken the place of my Mom in my life, and so I lick them for the same reason.
This is usually not a reason to be concerned, but if your dog seems to be obsessively licking faces, it could be a sign something is wrong.
It may be anxiety or some kind of obsessive disorder. If you’re worried it is probably a good idea to take your doggy pal to the vet to make sure they’re okay.
Should you let your dog lick your face?
Provided your dog is in a state of good overall health, there is no reason why they can’t lick you. We can’t tell you if we’re unwell, so it’s smart to regularly check your furry friend for fleas, ticks, and worms.
It’s also a good idea to give them dental checkups and maintain a good level of oral hygiene if you plan on letting them lick your face regularly.
If you don’t want your dog to lick you, try to redirect their attention with a treat or fun toy as they gear up for the lick.