Isn't it a great feeling when you are loved by a puppy!? Every time I get home, I see my dog patiently waiting for me at the door and runs up to me with his cute sparkly eyes as he sees me enter the door. This happens every time even when I go out for a quick run or grocery shopping--he's always waiting for me!
But one of the things my dog loves to also do is LICK MY FACE as soon as he sees me! My dog is a big boy and can literally knock me down when he jumps on me so I can't help but let him lick my face (especially when I can't stop him from doing what makes him happy). But this got me thinking--how clean is my dog's tongue? So let's dive down to top 3 facts about puppies' tongues.
#1: Dog Tongues Are Not Cleaner Than Human Tongues
How many times have you heard that "Dogs mouths are cleaner than humans mouth?" Me! All the time! So, is that true? Unfortunately, according to Sullivan (2018), dog tongues are not cleaner than human tongues. The most popular held myth is that dogs have cleaner mouths than humans, but in actuality, both human and dog tongues contain more than 600 types of bacteria! First things first, Humans and dogs has a completely different life style, we generally practice dental hygiene, whereas dogs do not, unless we do it for them. In addition, dogs also love getting into nasty stuff — whether it's garbage, dirty puddles, another animal's excretion, or even dead animals...“That is just this constant myth that people have,” Hohenhaus says. “Nobody would put bacteria on a wound. Why would you put a tongue, which has all this bacteria, on a wound? It doesn’t make sense.”
#2: Dog Can Carry Parasites
Yes...Dogs can carry parasites! According to Pets & Parasites, roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite of pets and the most likely to be transmitted to humans. There are also Giardia, cryptosporidium, and hookworm which can all cause diarrhea and intestinal upset. In addition, your pup can pass on ringworm, which can create rashes on your skin. While many say that a lick from a dog will improve your body’s immune strength, this isn't simply true. If your dog is carrying these parasites, you can and will become infected repeatedly over time.
#3: ...And They Also Carry Harmful Bacteria
While not all bacteria are bad, some, dogs can still carry strains of zoonotic organism--bacteria or parasites that can be passed between animal species and cause disease. In the past, these types of organisms have commonly caused periodic outbreaks of diarrhea, and humans can pick up these pathogens from contact with dog saliva or feces. Here are just some of the commonly harmful bacteria found in a dog's mouth: salmonella, pasteurella, campylobacter, and leptospira.
So Do I Ban Dog Kissies From Now?
No. This doesn't mean you have to avoid the love from your dog forever. The information I have provided are simply there to help guide you to a safe and healthy relationship with your dog. For example, you can now remember to wash your hands and face before eating anything or putting your hands near your face. I love using the Eminence Organics Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam to wash my face after my dog greets me at the door to help not only wash away any germs or bacteria but also prevent me from breaking outs! In addition, this could also encourage you to take your dog for a health routine checkup to make sure your pup is healthy and safe.
Remember, it's not rejecting love, it's accepting love while being safe!