We all love our pets; the warm and friendly welcome when you come home from a long and tiring day, the constant and unwavering companionship. However, despite them being part of the family, you shouldn’t allow them to get too close.
No one can argue that dog’s breath is ever, exactly, fresh. But still, once in a while, people allow their dogs to friendlily lick their faces. If you’re guilty of this, you should stop, ASAP. You could be putting your health seriously at risk.
Dog’s mouths harbour a host of oral bacteria, viruses, and yeast – all of which help dogs clean and heal their wounds, but are unique to dogs and definitely not meant for human bodies to combat. Some of this bacteria is zoonotic, meaning that they can be passed from animals to humans and cause disease. This zoonotic bacteria includes clostridium, E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter, all of which can cause severe gastrointestinal disease in humans.
Furthermore, from eating faeces, dogs can carry hookworms and roundworms. Although cats do not eat faeces, therefore the same risks don’t apply, there are other things to watch out for. Cat’s mouths host Pasteurella, which can lead to skin and lymph node infections, and Bartonella henselae, a bacteria that can cause cat scratch fever, a severe skin and lymph node infection.
Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the risks of allowing your pets to lick your face, and maybe think twice about displaying affection in this way.