You’ve heard the old tale that you should let your dogs lick your wounds because it can help them to heal faster. Some people have sworn by this, but it turns out to be just a myth. In fact, you could be putting your health at more risk if you allow your dogs to lick your mouth or your wounds, and here’s why.
We’ve all let Fido lick our faces at some point, because he’s just so excited to see us that he can’t contain his excitement. However, on that tongue of his are many bacteria that can make us incredibly sick.
Some of these diseases are even resistant to antibiotics, so it’s best to let your dog keep his tongue where it belongs and refrain from showing him your bandaid. A dog’s tongue is rife with bacteria, and only 16% of them are transmittable to humans.
That doesn’t sound too bad, but when you discover what these bacteria can do, you’ll reconsider. One of the bacteria present in a dog’s mouth can cause gingivitis and periodontal disease, and it’s called Porphyromonas gulae.
It’s very rare in human mouths, but very common in dogs. It’s even been shown that 16% of dog owners have the bacteria present in their mouths. If you let your dog lick your wounds, you can contract what is called Pasteurella.
It can be treated with antibiotics, but its presence can pave the way for other infections to occur. Overall, being licked on the face isn’t too bad. You just don’t want to exchange any saliva.