45 answers

Letting Dogs Lick You/your Child in the Face and Mouth

I have a SIL, she has 4 abominably yappy toy dogs, who she allows lick her daughters in the face and mouth.
I couldn't help myself, and said "SIL, that is revolting, why do you let your dogs do that". She gave me the "dog's mouths are cleaner than humans spiel. and that growing up her dogs licked her in the mouth, and she is fine"
Well, my dog licks his own privates, I love him very much, but I have seen where his tongue has been, and I don't want it in my mouth. I wouldn't let my child lick me in my mouth or on my face, so why a dog? And where did this law of a dog's mouth being cleaner than a humans come from? I have never seen evidence of this.
Am I alone here in thinking this is nasty?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

It's gross, I let my dogs lick my not my mouth. There is something about a dogs tongue that heals sores, that's why when dogs have a sore they lick it. The do lick their privates, not to get to explicit, humans have simular habits if you know what i mean. J.

3 moms found this helpful

I had a friend who would let her dog eat chewed up food from her tongue. I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw her do it, and thought it was the grossest thing ever. But people love their dogs!!

I am with you... gross, gross double gross.

2 moms found this helpful

I agree with Tori, A dog licks every part of their bodies at any time.. Yes, It may be the saliva that is fairly safe, but the poop, the streets that they walk on the dirty rugs, carpets and bathroom floors are nasty. You do not always know if they have just licked cleaned any of these parts at any time..

It is just not a good habit for the dogs or the child to be taught that this is acceptable behavior..

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

The "theory" is that dogs have a lesser population of nasty bacteria in their mouths than humans do, in that a bite wound from a human is much more likely to cause infection than that from a dog. However, by no means is a dog's mouth "clean" and dog saliva does not have antiseptic properties, as some people seem to believe. We are talking about an animal that often likes to eat other animals' poop - including their own. And as a veterinarian who has examined many many dogs and had to look in many many dogs' mouths, I can tell you that so many dogs have such nasty dental disease and gum infections that I can't see how their mouths could be "cleaner" than mine - some of it is simply revolting.

That being said, I don't mind doggy kisses on my face - I am just careful to keep my mouth shut and lips rolled in. I don't believe in "making out" with your dog. Or as the one of the characters stated in the movie "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" - "You can love your pets, just don't LOVE your pets."

4 moms found this helpful

If you've ever had a human bite and a dog bite and had to go to the ER they don't even worry about the dogs bite if the dog has had their shots. Now, the human bite is a big deal. We have WAY nastier mouths than dogs. Dogs saliva is made to clean their mouths since they don't brush and floss. If you kiss your child you have put your mouth germs on their face. If you have kissed your husband then kissed your kids you both have put your mouth germs on your kids faces.

Fact is, dogs mouths ARE cleaner than peoples. It's just the way it is.

I always get so tickled at people when they get grossed out by a person letting their dog lick their plates and the person grossed out even throws their dish away. For one thing, soap works, if the dishes are washed the germs are gone. You put you fork or spoon in your mouth so if soap doesn't work then next time you put a spoon in your mouth that didn't come straight from the store then you would be putting all that decayed food plus all the germs from the last person who ate with it and the one before that.....

So, dogs have cleaner mouths than humans, cleaner than your husbands.

4 moms found this helpful

when i see that its just nasty and i want to throw up!

3 moms found this helpful

It's gross, I let my dogs lick my not my mouth. There is something about a dogs tongue that heals sores, that's why when dogs have a sore they lick it. The do lick their privates, not to get to explicit, humans have simular habits if you know what i mean. J.

3 moms found this helpful

My son's friend did a science project where she swabbed & measured the levels of bacteria in her mouth, her little brother's mouth and the dog's mouth. She & her brother had MORE than the dog.

But....eewee....I know what ya mean.

2 moms found this helpful

I love my dogs, but I do not allow them to lick my face or my child's.

By their own preference, my dogs will eat rabbit poop, garbage, cat poop, etc.... While the dogs may not suffer from that, and it may actually be good for them (I think that is why dogs are capable of throwing up so easily, LOL), I don't necessary want to share those microbes.

That's just my take... There is nothing you can do to convince your SIL otherwise. So, just make sure to wash your hands, your kids hands, and your kids faces after they play with the dogs... or their cousins or aunt, if it bothers you...

2 moms found this helpful

I grew up with dogs. I'm used to animals licking me. I get where you are coming from, but i'm sure kids have had worse things in their hands or in their mouths.
I of course wouldn't let my dogs like my mouth, that is gross, but the face. Meh, I'm sure you've put your head on a desk or something and that has far worse germs than a dogs mouth.

2 moms found this helpful

Face is fine, closed mouth ok, but that's it. :)

2 moms found this helpful

Dog saliva is made to be better at killing the germs because they rely on their mouth for so much... nature provided them with a sanitary way to clean themselves and their offspring. so a dog's mouth really IS cleaner than a human's... I don't mind a dog licking my baby's face, but I draw the line at in the mouth.

2 moms found this helpful

I had a friend who would let her dog eat chewed up food from her tongue. I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw her do it, and thought it was the grossest thing ever. But people love their dogs!!

I am with you... gross, gross double gross.

2 moms found this helpful

I JUST read this past week, in my local newspaper, about this subject.
The article & study said, that letting a dog kiss your mouth etc. CAN lead to diseases... which may present itself differently in a human, versus in a dog.
Some of the Vets said in the article, they don't let their own dogs, kiss their mouths. Even if it is their own dog.

Yes, dogs lick anything and everything.
Some dogs even eat poop or dead little rodents etc. Rodents have diseases. Even birds.

2 moms found this helpful

I must admit...my 12 year old lab mix is my "baby" and he kisses me whenever he wants to but I also understand that my daughters do NOT want him kissing their sons...and I honor their wishes.
You have made your feelings known...now just let it go. As long as it is not YOU that the dogs are licking....you don't have to be worried.

2 moms found this helpful

Depends on the dog.
I've got a Corgi...he is built in such a way that he couldn't lick his privates or butt if he TRIED.
His mouth is very clean. I brush his teeth, I remove the plaque from his back molars, should it build up enough to cause a problem.
I am on top of his dental hygiene. One of the ways to determine dental hygiene in dogs and cats is to raise their lip and look for plaque, but even easier than that is to smell their breath. That HORRIBLE "dog breath" is from decay and bacteria and plauqe accumulation. "Dog breath" is not normal, and means your dog needs a dental prophy.

With all that said, heck yea I let my dog give me kisses. He kisses my 11 week old and it doesn't both me one bit.

Don't get me wrong, there are VERY FEW dogs I would let do this considering people are not diligent enough with cleaning their pets mouths and/or vaccines and preventative medicine.

My dog never kisses me in my mouth. Barf! But I get kisses on the cheek and the dog licks the baby on the top of his head. I am perfectly fine with this :)

Chances of kisses lowering stress/depression: very, very likely.
Chances of contracting a zoonotic disease from your pet: extremely rare.

2 moms found this helpful

Dogs' mouths may have less bacteria than ours, but it's still nasty, as far as I'm concerned. No dog licking in the face, period.

1 mom found this helpful

You are soooo not alone! I think its disgusting! Dogs lick their privates and then try to lick your face---ewww gross! I don't let any animal lick my face or my kids faces---

m

1 mom found this helpful

1. It is cleaner, my granddaughter studies at a vet clinic over summers/breaks. OSmething about the Ph blence
2. My granddaughter to my great dismay allows her best friends 5 dogs to just attack her, lick her chew on her, and as nasty as it is she is fine.
3. Telling your SIL wont change anything, so why waste breath?

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with Tori, A dog licks every part of their bodies at any time.. Yes, It may be the saliva that is fairly safe, but the poop, the streets that they walk on the dirty rugs, carpets and bathroom floors are nasty. You do not always know if they have just licked cleaned any of these parts at any time..

It is just not a good habit for the dogs or the child to be taught that this is acceptable behavior..

1 mom found this helpful

I have two dogs and it's just about impossible to keep it from happening some. Dogs are dogs and they show affection through licking. I try to keep it from happening, but it does happen. I pretty much grew up on a farm, so it's not all that gross to me. I would find kissing someone who smokes or chews tobacco much more gross. Dogs mouths aren't necessarily "cleaner," but they harbor less bacteria.

1 mom found this helpful

I JUST read something about this in Parents (or maybe Parenting) magazine a couple of nights ago. They said do NOT let the dog lick your child's face because of all the other things the dog has licked before. They can get diseases if the dog has licked his bottom (or another dog's bottom!). ewwww

1 mom found this helpful

While I do not let my dogs lick my mouth yes their mouths are much cleaner then a humans.

1 mom found this helpful

no way. not only licking their privates - their rear ends, eating pooh, oh gee what else? anything dead that might happen to be in the yard. my dog (whose head is of similar height to my son's, or once was lol) has once or twice gotten his face, and i didn't freak out and start taking alcohol wipes to his face BUT why on earth would common sense not say to you THAT IS GROSS. dogs are dogs and people are people. EW.

1 mom found this helpful

Dog's mouth is just as dirty if not even dirtier than a humans. Yes it is revolting. I would not allow it. Naaaaassssty. Gross !!!!

My dogs are lickers. BUT in the mouth!? Ew no way. I will admit it has happened on accident before, lol but it is not something I let happen intentionally to myself OR my daughter. ha-ha .... I do agree it's nasty. But also... it happens (if you have a licky dog) I seriously doubt the kid will get sick.

I actually watched a dateline years ago, where they went around swabbing a bunch of stuff...including a dogs mouth and a humans mouth.
Both were pretty nasty.
I used this evidence to try to get my dad not to let our dogs lick off his spoon then put the spoon back in his mouth (he would do this with ice cream). YYYUUUUCCCCKKKK. He never did stop sharing his spoon with the dogs.
I guess to each their own, but I just can't do it. I don't mind once on the cheek, but I usually immediately wipe off the doggy drool. LOL.

Oh M., this made me chuckle.

We live with 4 dogs - 3 yappy dachshunds and one old stately Corgi mix.
The are all lickers. I mean the Corgi will lick my bare calf when I walk by her just to say "I love you". EEWWWWW, I know - I am not liking the licking. My son, on the other hand, thinks it is a hoot. I got the first dog when he was 8 so I never had the worry when he was little little. I just don't worry about it now - I make sure he washes up and just go from there.

I love my dogs, but, let's face it, they are kinda' gross.

LOL

My dog licks us and the kids, but not on or in the mouth. That is absolutely disgusting! French kissing a dog is wrong on so many levels!

WARNING DISGUSTING CONTENT AHEAD. We have an old beable mix that has taken to eating poop! UGH, I do my best to clean it up and give him bathes. There is NO way I let him kiss me at all and I wash my hands immediately after petting him. I also put down blankets for him to lay on and wash them everyother day. He has an excuse, he's old and his body is starting to break down (possibly his mind too) but it's not uncommon for dogs to do this. E. Coli is E. Coli whether it comes from a dogs mouth or not. It is unsanitary and his Vet and I have tried numerous things to get him to stop.

I have always read that a dogs mouth is calibrated to keep THEM healthy from bacteria...but WE are not. So, I agree, it is gross to let a dog lick your mouth. I always let them lick my hands, then I go wash my hands.

Yeah yucky.
I have three dogs and as much as I love them they are not allowed in our faces. We are the humans, we are the Alpha. THey are dogs and need to behave that way.

Absolutely disgusting. I totally agree with you!

it has got to be a myth that dogs' mouths are cleaner-- they eat their own vomit, eat out of the cat litter box, and drink from the toilet.

I adore our pets, but licking in the mouth...yuk. One of my friends has a big dog that slurps my daughter in the face -- we avoid it but I don't freak out if it happens. Though I read recently about a man whose dog licked his (man's) wound; the man got meningitis.

I love dogs and we have 2 of them. But I never let them lick my face or my child's, to me it is disgusting.

It isn't that their mouths are cleaner than ours, its that dogs and cats have different germs and most aren't spread easily to humans. It's gross, but the kids won't get sick, unless the dogs have rabies or something. Just wash the kids' faces with a baby wipe or wash rag.

Let your sister buy the antibiotics when the time comes. If people want to let their own kids get up close and personal with the pooch, who am I to judge? As for myself, I'm with Betty O.- hands are fine, and washable.

I know, too, that if a dog licked my son on the mouth, there would be hysterics. Fine for one's own children, but don't scar the rest of the kiddos! Mine is still struggling with dog-related fear as it is. and @ Tori-- my old dog used to dine out of the catbox, so I soooo understand! ugh.

I have 2 dogs and love them dearly. Luckily they aren't big lickers. Occasionally I will give/get a kiss from them, but I never let them lick my son. Infact even if they lick his hands (cause he has something sweet left on there) I have him go wash his hands. Thier mouths may be clean, but I still find it gross- for him anyway. When he's bigger and he knows what he's doing then fine, but for now at 3, no thanks.

Blerg! That's whole "dogs' mouths are cleaner than ...blah blah blah..." and that ergo dog spit is perfectly healthy for humans is an urban myth anyway. Our friend is a veterinarian and he just shakes his head in mystification when people insist that it is true.

There are two kind of people - those who like it when dogs lick their faces and those who don't. I don't like it and my inlaws have all 6 big dogs that are always trying to lick my kids faces. I HATE it and have told them over and over.

Its gross.

All I can say is ewwwwww gross;p

It's nasty and I won't allow my dog to lick my hands without getting up and washing them right away. Frankly, I don't care to be licked by anyone (thing), well, who hasn't brushed and cleaned up, but certainly not an animal.

My vet lets my dogs lick her in the face and mouth. She says they love her lipstick.

I'm with you on this. It's gross!

There is not enough research in the world to allow me to let our minpin lick us, let alone my kids, not to mention in the mouth. Though it probably won't be the worst thing it's DISGUSTING as all get out. I don't understand how adults allow their dogs to lick them in the face/mouth. But I'm the type of doglover that understands that my dog is not human *smh & shuddering @ this post*

My dogs have always licked me, my daughter, and my husband in the face and on the mouth, and it has never made any of us sick.
If it bothers you, just don't let the dog lick you or your kids in the face.

Mythbusters did this one, and it is actually true funny enough! But I still would not let my dog lick my mouth, but to each their own I guess.

No, you are not alone. I, myself, do not own a dog and I have to admit I'm not a dog lover. I do not like it when anyone let's their dog lick me or my family members. My husband and my daughter are actually allergic to dogs so I hate to even be around dogs. But yes, dogs licking the face and such is def gross!

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