The second I come home, my dog sprints towards me. His tail is wagging and he’s so happy to see me. It’s as if I’ve been gone for years, instead of only a few hours. I can’t help but scoop him up and let him attack me with cuddles and kisses. I mean, who couldn’t? We love our dogs!
I never really considered how harmful the slobbery licks my dog gives me might be. Have you?
The New York Times reported that letting your dog lick you all over the face can in fact make you sick! An animal’s mouth is host to “an enormous oral microbiome of bacteria, viruses, and yeast,” according to Dr. Neilanjan Nandi, assistant professor of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine.
I didn’t know dogs and humans could spread diseases to each other, until now. Turns out, “some bacteria in dogs’ mouths are zoonotic, meaning the animal can pass them to humans and cause diseases,” according to The New York Times. Dogs can pass on diseases like salmonella, E.coli, roundworms, and so on. Uh, oh.
Think about it. Dogs are constantly licking the floor, dirt, others, themselves – anything they can get their tongue on. I don’t know about you, but I once had a dog who would lick out of the toilet. Ew.
Now, this isn’t to say you have to stop giving your dog love! A dog transferring these diseases to you would be very rare, especially if you are already in a healthy state.
However, if a dog were to carry something, it would be most easily reached to you through the “nose, mouth and eyes.” Just to be safe, do your best to avoid your dog licking you in those specific areas.
Don’t be scared! Let your dog give you all the kisses he or she wants. Just make sure your dog is healthy and you are too!