Getting slobbery licks from your dogs is part of dog ownership. It comes with the territory.
If you think that doggie licks are kisses, think again. Licking is just another method of dog communication. It is a natural behavior that dogs do for many good reasons.
Dogs pass their tongue on any surface available. But when they lick you, or another dog, licking can become nurturing or even affectionate.
Why do dogs lick you in the mouth? Dogs lick their people if they want to communicate something. If your pet licks you on the mouth, it’s most likely your dog seeking comfort or liking your taste! Either way, it’s a dog needing your attention.
Cuddles, hugs, belly rubs, and licks are not uncommon for a well-bonded pet-owner relationship. Seeing canine parents allowing their pets to slurp on their faces is expected and a heartwarming sight to behold.
It’s disgusting by most but beloved by some. Should you let your dog lick you on your mouth? Nope.
Below are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t let your guard down and let your dog lick you in the mouth.
Why You Should Stop Receiving Kisses From Your Dog
We get it. You love your dog, and your sweet dog loves you back. And soon enough, without thinking twice, you let your furry little friend start giving you licks that you, of course, believe are your pet’s affectionate kisses.
There’s nothing wrong with that except that…
- You can get icky doggy bacteria that can cause periodontal or gum disease! Do you know that your pet’s saliva contains terrible bacteria, specifically a periodontopathic type of bacteria? When transmitted to you, these bacteria can invade your mouth and wreak havoc on your dental health.
- You can get allergic reactions to certain proteins found in canine saliva. Most of us think that pet allergies are caused by dog hair or dander. While some people are allergic to animal fur (e.g., people with asthma), animal saliva contains different types of allergens potentially more harmful to allergen-sensitive individuals.
Thus, before sharing slobbery smooches with your four-legged buddy, consider the above risks and rethink getting extra “intimate” with your pet.
Speaking of intimacy, every dog parent knows how much we want to show our affection to our pets. Letting them “kiss” us is solid proof that dog moms and dads want to physically express their love and care to their furry babies. Sure, we can’t help it! How about hugs and cuddles, anyone?
Are dog licks really kisses?
No, it’s in a dog’s nature to lick people, objects, and other animals. They like the salt on human skin specifically. A dog may show affection, at times, through licking. Still, they lick because it’s in their nature to taste the people and environment around them.
This may not be what you want to hear, but the truth is our dogs just act like dogs. It’s part of their canine nature to like nibbling and licking whenever they’re given a chance to.
This isn’t meant to burst your bubble, but a lick on your face or lips may just be your dog’s way of saying, “I’m hungry” or “You taste great!”. When they want to grab your attention, they lick. When you pay attention to them, they do it again.
Dogs and other animals typically act and behave out of perception. That means they respond or react mainly through their senses of touch, taste, vision, or hearing. If they like what they see, feel, and taste, they repeat the action to get the same sensation.
So how are we supposed to interpret our dog’s licks? Let’s put it this way. Dogs repeat a behavior if they’re met with positive reinforcement or a reward. If your pet kisses you and you give him or her a belly rub, most likely, your pet will “kiss” you again.
Whether it’s a sign of your dog’s love or not, what’s sure is that your pet appreciates you and thinks that you’re an awesome parent. Therefore, they obey and submit to you being their owner.
Signs that your dog loves you
Dogs are creatures that have strong instinctual abilities. Because of that, they show love in the most unique and subtlest of ways through body language.
Sign #1 – They know your name.
Over time, our pets learn to remember their favorite people’s names.
Sign #2 – They protect you.
Protecting their territory or their pack is inherent in dogs. Family dogs usually think of their people as their “pack.” By guarding you, it means that your dog considers you as part of his or her pack.
Sign #3 – Show affection through “herding.”
Have you tried bringing your dog on an outdoor excursion? If yes, most likely, you’ve already experienced dog herding. For instance, you go hiking, and you go off the trail, your dog will most likely herd you back to the pack.
Sign #4 – They share their toy with you.
Dogs will never do this if they don’t love you. Most dogs are territorial. So if they share something they value with you, it means you’re even more valuable to them!
What happens if a dog licks inside your mouth?
You can get sick if you let your dog lick inside your mouth. Dog saliva contains bacteria that can cause a serious gum problem. If you develop gum disease, you will eventually damage your teeth.
Do you know that dental health can greatly affect our entire body? Also, dog saliva is a potential cause of allergies for some people – even a more potent allergen source than dog fur!
What to do if your dog licks your mouth?
The quickest way to shun doggie smooches is to ignore your pet by walking away. If your furry buddy is persistent, apply firm but gentle techniques until your dog recognizes that your mouth is off-limits. Again, it’s all about conditioning. If their act goes unrewarded, they stop the act.
Always remember that licking is a natural canine behavior. We shouldn’t take it against our pets. If you don’t like receiving wet licks on your face or mouth, train your dog not to do so. However, never hurt or punish your dog!
The key to managing undesired dog behaviors is consistent proper training. If licking becomes a nuisance, not only to you but to other people as well, then start guiding your dog into slowly getting rid of this habit.
Also, be wary of underlying health conditions. Sometimes, excessive licking may be a sign of a more serious health or mental problem. Anxious dogs tend to lick too much. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to check with your vet.
If you want to show love and receive love from your dog, maybe kissing isn’t the best way to do it. While we want to believe that licks are dog kisses, they may not be the reason why dogs lick you in the mouth at all.
Finally, before allowing your dog to get extra close, think of those nasty unseen germs that could end up in your mouth if you’re not careful!