Would You Allow Your Dog to Lick Your Child’s Face?

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Your dog is excited to see your child when the little bundle comes home from school. It jumps on the child and proceeds to lick his face. She cannot refuse all that love since it is clear how much the dog adores her. The canine’s tongue is flapping, tail wagging, and the whole body wiggling with excitement. It is, however, not a good idea to allow the dog to lick any child’s face. This is as your dog follows a completely different lifestyle. It does not brush teeth or visit a dentist. Regular mouthwash is out of the question. Of course the dog has licked your child’s face many times and yet nothing happened. All warnings are such fairy tales. Wrong, when your dog licks any face, it is a potential health risk.

At-risk immunity

Your child is at that age when his immunity is yet to come up to full strength. Dogs eat things a human will not eat in their lives. They smell the poo of other animals and sometimes eat their poop. Canines are quite bold when it is a matter of germs. Your dog’s body is fully equipped to manage such a lifestyle but your child cannot. It does not help that the mouth of the dog contains parasites and bacteria which can make any human-adult or child- fall sick.  A few bacteria present in dogs could be harmless to the animal but can turn lethal in case of humans. It is a boon that a majority of the bacteria found in the mouths of dogs are generally harmless. The problem is that dogs do carry many strains of multiple zoonotic organisms. These are parasites or bacteria which could pass between different species of animals and may cause disease. Such kinds of organisms have resulted in periodic diarrhea outbreaks. Your child can pick these up from contact with the dog saliva.

Threats from parasites

Your dog may also carry dangerous bacteria like Salmonella, Leptospira, Pasteurella, and Campylobacter. The canines pick such bacteria when they sniff animal waste or even eat them. The bacteria could also hitch a ride on the dog when it drinks water from a contaminated site like a puddle or a fetid pond. Most dogs transport pathogens without showing any kinds of symptoms. There will be no illness signs too. Parasites are a real threat to your child. The list of common parasites includes hookworm, giardia, and cryptosporidium. All of these causes intestinal and diarrhea upset. The canines can also transmit ringworm. The latter causes the skin to break out on rashes. In contrast to popular lore, do not allow your dog to lick on your child’s wounds. Parasites can be transmitted.

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