3 Harmful Consequences That Can Arise From Your Dog Licking Your Face

Jun 06, 2018 by apost team

Did you know your closest friend may actually harm you? This friend we are talking about is your awesome dog! Your dog simply wants to lick your face and they aren’t even aware of what they can do. You may think it is really sweet and cute, but you should consider the three following problems that saliva from your dog can cause before you let them close to your face again. 

Risk of Three Health Issues 

Our furry friends are adorable-no one can argue with that! Unfortunately, dogs love to lick a lot of gross things during the day, such as the dirty floor, other dog’s genitals, their own genitals, and whatever else perks up their nose! Don’t worry, most of the time there is no threat to your dog when he or she does this.

Multiple studies have shown that dog saliva is clean because of a special protein that keeps germs at bay. However, the threat is present when they lick your face, as the germs can then be transmitted to you. We don’t have the same defense system as a dog and we can easily catch unwanted germs. 


You don’t have to worry if your dog licks your skin, as the germs cannot be absorbed in this way. The problem arises if you have a cut or wound on your skin that the saliva can get into or if the saliva gets in through the mucous membranes in your mouth, nose, eyes, etc. Yes, it is rare to catch anything, but if you have a weak immune system, you could be vulnerable. 

Here are the three things you need to look out for:

1. Parasites 

Your furry friend may pick up worms if they lick another dog’s stool or anus. These worms, usually roundworms or hookworms, could then be transferred to you. It is rare, but it does happen. Symptoms of a parasite invasion are constant fatigue, fever, stomach pain, diarrhea, poor appetite, skin rashes, and unexplained weight loss. 

2. Upset Stomach 

A gastrointestinal infection is the most common problem you can get if your dog licks your face. Your pup could pick up bacteria while they are sniffing around which could then be transmitted to you. You could develop an infection that is caused by a multitude of things, such as salmonella, campylobacter, leptospira, E. coli, or cryptosporidium. These can cause the following symptoms: diarrhea, upset stomach, extreme fatigue, vomiting, fever, and nausea. 

3. Allergy 

Specific components in your doggie’s saliva can actually cause an allergic reaction if they lick your face. If you notice your skin becoming itchy or dry just minutes after your dog licked you, you could be having an allergic reaction. Your doctor can prescribe medication that will help. 

It’s OK to let your dog lick you if you know they haven’t been into other doggy waste and are healthy. To be safe, wash your face and hands after your dog decides to give you love and kisses all over your face. 

Help us spread the word! We bet your friends and family would love to hear about these three possible problems. Has one ever happened to you? Tell us in the comments! 

Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation with your doctor. Your health is important to us!