Dogs are man’s best friend. Many pet owners have dogs for pets, and for good reasons. Most pet dogs are friendly, cuddly, and sweet. They wag their tails once they see their owners and always tag along during outside walks. They help relieve anxiety and put a smile on their owner’s faces and brighten their days.
Like any social creature, dogs love the attention given by their humans. They play tricks to keep their owners entertained. It is why pet owners go to great lengths to care for their dogs. Vaccines are complete. Food and water are given on time. Daily walks are a must. Some even take their dogs with them when they travel. And cuddling with them is done with pleasure.
In return, dogs lick their owners (hands and faces) to show them that they are happy and love them back. However, recent findings show that pet owners should not let their dogs lick them because of health reasons – which are apparently obvious to non-pet owners right from the start.
If you have a dog, you’ve probably asked it to “give kisses” — that is, greet you with licks to the face. But if you’re not careful, you might be getting a lot more than kisses with every pooch smooch.
As reported in The New York Times on Saturday, letting your dog lick your face risks disease transmission, including diseases humans can’t handle.
“There are some organisms unique to dogs that we were simply not meant to tolerate or combat,” Dr. Neilanjan Nandi, an assistant professor of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine.
So, it just makes perfect sense to miss out on your dog’s smooches or risk getting sick in return.
Those organisms include zoonotic bacteria, which means animals can pass them to people. Some of the bacteria include E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter, which can cause gastrointestinal disease, Dr. Leni K. Kaplan, a lecturer of community practice service at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, told the Times.
Do not give in to your dog’s kisses. There are other ways to show them you care and appreciate them in your life minus the sloppy kisses here and there.
For many, life holds few greater pleasures than being covered in sloppy kisses by their dog, but such displays of affection can sometimes come with serious consequences.
A report in BMJ tells the story of a 70-year-old U.K. woman who, after being licked by her pet greyhound, ended up hospitalized and fighting for her life.
She was initially taken to the hospital after experiencing speech issues and becoming unresponsive, notes FOX News.
A few days later, her conditioned worsened.
Testing revealed she had developed sepsis and suffered from multiorgan dysfunction, but she recovered after two weeks of “intensive care support and broad-spectrum antibiotics.”
According to the report, the culprit was a bacterium called C. canimorsus which is “frequently isolated in the oral cavities of dogs and cats.”
And the risk is higher among the young and the old, who happens to be more open to pet companionship in their day-to-day.
The authors of the study note the risk of becoming seriously ill after being nipped, scratched, or kissed by a dog is low, but can be higher among newborns and the elderly, according to CBS News.
No one is stopping anyone from having a pet dog. You can even pet a cat or even a bird if you like and it is all up to you. And if you do not mind that your dog licks you to show your bond with each other, then it is your call too. Just be reminded that the experts have warned you about dog kisses being full of harmful bacteria that can make one really sick – so do not say you were not warned in case you end up in the emergency room feeling really sick for no reason at all.