Like most other dog owners, I have no problem with letting my pups give me kisses.
The one thing I won’t let them do, though, is lick near my mouth…because obviously, that’s just gross. I know for some, that’s crazy talk, but hear me out! While I’ve mostly been concerned about their bad breath, experts say letting them lick your lips really isn’t good for your health.
The old adage about dogs’ mouths being cleaner may be true, but not enough where you’d want to share their germs. Allowing your pup to lick your mouth can actually transmit nasty diseases that we aren’t meant to tolerate.
According to Dr. Leni K. Kaplan, a lecturer at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, animal saliva (including that of dogs) can transmit bacteria including costridium, E. coli, salmonella, and campylobacter to humans. These all can cause serious gastrointestinal diseases.
Also, let’s face it — as much as we don’t want to think about it, some of our canine companions eat feces. Not only is that disgusting to think about, but there’s a possibility that it can give us hookworms and roundworms.
But there is hope! We don’t need to worry about them licking our skin as long as their tongues stay away from mucous membranes that absorb their saliva more easily.
“When dog saliva touches intact human skin, especially in a healthy person, it is extremely unlikely to cause any problems, as there will be very little absorption through the skin,” says Kaplan.
But when it comes to our noses, eyes, and mouths, let’s make sure we keep our excited pups away.