Well, sometimes you don’t really have a choice about that! How many times has your pooch just dived in and licked your face before you have had any time to react? One minute you are minding your own business, the next you are slobbered over by your adoring furry friend. But is allowing your canine chum to lick you really a good idea?
Adorable but Dangerous
Licking does look rather adorable and it is hard not to be seduced by signs of affection from your dog. But you might have to try much harder to avoid that tongue! A canine expert has warned of the potential dangers dog lovers face from their pooch’s roving tongues.
Dispelling the Myth
There’s an old myth that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s. But dog expert Marty Becker says that this definitely isn’t the case. The truth is that dog’s muzzles are packed with bacteria, germs and viruses. Some of these are potentially deadly and they are all invisible to the human eye.
When you think about it, the dangers are obvious, Dogs do tend to stick their noses into literally everything including rubbish bins, manure and other dogs’ bums. Bacteria and germs are inevitable and many can cause disease in humans.
Capnocytophaga Canimorsus is a bacteria that lives in a dog’s saliva. This nasty bacteria can lead to fatal infections including sepsis which causes organ failure. The first symptoms are fever and a lack of energy. Your dog’s muzzle may also be harbouring ringworm and this is easily passed on.
If pets spend time with other animals, they are even more prone to picking up harmful bacteria. Some of these will not cause the dog to fall ill but could be harmful to people. MRSA is a potentially fatal disease in humans which has no effect on dogs but dogs can carry and pass on the illness.
Licking Dogs and Children
It is children who are at the greatest risk of picking up infections from dog licks and so they should be discouraged from interacting with pets in this way.
It’s bad news that your dog shouldn’t be allowed to lick you but this is an important issue which cannot be ignored. You must try to dissuade your dog from licking your face. They may be passing on more than a loving kiss.