Health

This Is Why You Should Never Let A Dog Lick Your Mouth (And Maybe Not Even Your Face)

Those kisses can carry some serious diseases.

Nobody loves you quite the way your dog does. Whether you have been gone on an extended trip or simply walked out to check the mail, your pooch is always excited to see you and ready to slather you with doggy kisses.

There’s no harm in letting your pup lick your mouth and face or even giving him smooches in return, right? After all, they say a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s.

It turns out that old adage may be far from the truth. Although studies have shown that dog saliva may have slight antibacterial properties, which can aid in healing their own wounds and grooming puppies, other research confirms that you can contract numerous diseases from your beloved pet. Here are some of the nasty ailments you could catch from your four-legged furry friend that you’ll want to know about before deciding whether canine kisses are OK.

Salmonellosis

You knew you could get salmonella from eggs, meat or poultry, but did you know it could come from your dog? Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection that dogs can pass to people. It can cause fever, diarrhea, vomiting and more.

2007 Wuhan International Pet Expo Kicks Off
Getty Images | China Photos

Capnocytophaga Canimorsus

This bacteria commonly found in a dog’s mouth has a reputation for causing dog bites to become infected. However, even a kiss can be dangerous. An elderly English woman became deathly ill because of it after her dog licked her.

dog licks face photo
Flickr | effin_peaz

Campylobacteriosis

Puppies are often a source of infection for this disease, which causes painful gastrointestinal issues. Dogs may even carry the organism that brings on the illness without showing signs of it themselves.

puppy kisses photo
Flickr | AJU_photography

Canine Brucellosis

Although this one is actually a canine venereal disease, it is a zoonotic bacterial disease, which means it can be spread from animals to humans. People typically contract it while helping an infected dog deliver pups, but a person can become infected if the bacteria comes in contact with a cut or wound, as well.

puppy kiss photo
Flickr | Pretty Poo Eater

Leptospirosis

This bacterial infection can cause a number of potentially fatal symptoms in dogs, and since it is zoonotic, people can catch it from them as well. Children are especially vulnerable to the disease, which can range from mild to severe in humans.

dog licking child photo
Flickr | Lunchbox Photography

With proper hygiene, adequate veterinary care and common sense, you probably won’t catch any killer diseases from your pet. However, you still may want to avoid those full-on smacker smooches.