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HomeDear VetBabbleIs Dog Saliva Harmful to Humans? The Truth Behind Canine Slobber

Is Dog Saliva Harmful to Humans? The Truth Behind Canine Slobber


Dear VetBabble: Is Dog Saliva Bad for You?

Many pet owners enjoy bonding with their furry friends through face licks and kisses. Some people even believe that dog saliva can be helpful in healing wounds. However, some, like the concerned grandmother in this question, worry that a dog’s saliva may contain harmful bacteria and could potentially be unhealthy for humans. So, is dog saliva really bad for you?

The Truth About Dog Saliva

While it is true that dog saliva contains bacteria, it is not quite accurate to compare it to poison. Dog saliva can contain numerous types of bacteria, some of which can potentially cause infections in humans. However, it is important to consider the context of the situation. Bacteria are everywhere, and not all types of bacteria found in dog saliva pose severe health risks to humans. With proper hygiene and precautions, allowing your dog to lick your face will not necessarily lead to health problems. That being said, it is essential to maintain good hygiene for both you and your dog, including proper dental care.

Preventing Dental and Oral Health Problems in Dogs

Just as humans need to maintain proper dental hygiene to prevent oral health issues, so do our canine companions. Regular dental care is vital to ensure your dog suffers from fewer bacterial infections that may be transmitted through their saliva. One way to care for your dog’s teeth is by Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth: Preventative Dental Care. Make sure to brush your dog’s teeth at least a few times a week and consult with your veterinarian for advice on toothpaste, toothbrush, and dental cleaning techniques.

Additionally, keep an eye on what your dog eats, as diet plays a significant role in maintaining good dental health. Certain foods can contribute to poor oral health, leading to potential bacterial infections. Ensure your dog avoids harmful foods found in lists like 10 Worst Foods For Your Dog and 10 Foods You Should Never Give to Your Dog. Keeping dangerous foods away from your canine friend will not only protect their health but also reduce the risks associated with their saliva.

Are There Any Benefits to Dog Saliva?

Although dog saliva can contain harmful bacteria, it is important to note that it also contains substances that can benefit your dog. For instance, a canine’s saliva helps to clean their mouth and remove debris. Furthermore, some enzymes in dog saliva can help to break down food and start the digestive process.

Additionally, it is a common natural instinct for dogs to lick their wounds in an attempt to clean them. However, this practice may not always be as helpful as they might think. In fact, certain bacteria found in dog saliva could even aggravate the wound and prolong the healing process. If your dog has a wound, seek veterinary advice to ensure proper treatment and care.

Finally, if you live in an area with high fly activity, it’s worth mentioning that dog saliva might act as a natural repellent to ward off some annoying insects like flies. To learn more about keeping pesky flies at bay, check out Help! My Dog Is Being Bothered By Flies.

In Conclusion

In summary, while it’s not entirely accurate to say that dog saliva is as harmful as poison, it is essential to be cautious and maintain good hygiene to protect both you and your dog’s health. Keep up with your canine companion’s dental care, maintain a healthy diet, and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s saliva or overall well-being.

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