Puppy Kisses; Love Them? Tolerate Them? Forbid Them?

Updated on April 22, 2011
J.X. asks from San Clemente, CA
16 answers

I have two sisters- in- law. The older one with grown kids just got a puppy. She has the biggest house so most family functions happen there. My other sister-in-law has a two year old. recently we all had a chance to meet the new puppy and as expected she profusely licked us all up and down, even faces. My three year old loves the puppy and while the puppy kisses gross me out, I don't want to pass my particular phobia onto my daughter. After our first family gathering meeting the new puppy, my SIL with the two-year-old emails the whole family a link to the diseases that puppy licks can cause and added " as for us , we'll pass on the puppy kisses." I thought this was increadably rude and anal. Am I off here? Anyone out there forbid puppy kisses? I'm not talking about having an aversion to them, even I have that, but honestly go out of your way to prevent puppy kisses on kids that are old enough to play with the animal? Just curious.

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answers from Kansas City on

I personally think puppy kisses are pretty gross and do not like receiving them. However, the SIL who sent out the email was extremely tacky in doing so. Just stay away from the dog and push it down if it tries to lick you.

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answers from San Francisco on

I'm with you. That was a little out there.

Anyway, puppy breath smells really good. It's only when they're dogs that it's nasty.

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answers from Sacramento on

Although I don't like the idea of a dog licking my face (bacteria, they lick their butts, they eat poop, yada yada yada), now that I think back on it, I grew up with dogs and they licked my face... and I'm still alive to tell about it. Pretty sure it never made me sick, even.

Of course, I also drank from a hose, roller-skated without a helmet, played outside (in the FRONT YARD, and sometimes DOWN THE BLOCK) unsupervised, and ate food that had artificial colors AND preservatives (and GLUTEN!) and probably wasn't organic, and I played in the dirt. And I survived it all!

Honestly, the wealth of information we have at our fingertips these days is not always helpful. Let kids be kids and play with puppies and be joyful. What's the big deal?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I hate puppy kisses...you know why? MOST puppy's eat their own poop. I am constantly telling my children not to let our puppy lick them on the face! BLEH!
(or how about when you see your puppy/dog cleaning themselves, down there, and then they turn their head and lick someone....BARF!)

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answers from New York on

I love dogs and have 1 myself. No dog kisses around here are allowed. I was watching a program where they cultured a dog's mouth and it came back with e-coli in the culture (perfectly understandable since dogs do lick themselves). E-coli in their mouth? Not a problem. E-coli licked around my face? No friggin' way. When the dog licks my grandkids I shuffle them off for some hand washing asap.

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answers from Columbus on

I would not let a puppy lick me or my child on the face. Hands are okay, if the hands are washed as soon as you're done petting the puppy. My DH feels the same. And we are both dog lovers and have had puppies/young dogs (and one dog that had OLS - obsessive licking syndrome---if you walked by her and were within reach, she'd lick ya! It took years to train her out of that!). I tell my son (age 2.5) that we don't let animals lick us on the face, and that if it does happen, we have to wash our faces (he hates that, so he does try to avoid it, but he does let them lick his hands.) We were more anal about it when he was a baby (age 6m and younger).

I think your SIL could've handled it with a lot more grace and with recognitition that while dogs may not be important to her, the puppy is actually a member of the other's family.

But, yes, puppies, and pets in general, are not the most germ free. I figure that even with hand washing, we get plenty of germs from ours to safely challenge our immune system, and there is no need to ask for more challenges by letting them lick our faces! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

well, I am not a dog lover. So, no doggie dog is licking me or my kids. maybe she feels the same, especially if she's a new mom, or mom for the first time, she's just watching out for her child.
so to answer your question, no puppy kisses for us and lots of understanding for the neurotic mama. there. case closed. onto the next post.

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answers from Chicago on

I think that the owner needs to decide if the dog is allowed to be a "licker" our dog will lick right in front of your face but tries not to lick you, personally I frown upon it I do not like the feeling. Most dog owners that I know keep it "under control" but if you are going to someone's home that does not like the dog giving kisses you need to respect their training choices, if you do not mind it does not mean the owner does not mind.

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answers from Honolulu on

That is just her.
Its fine.

There is a difference between being sanitary and it being a 'phobia.'
Just teach a kid to wash up after etc.

I read an article, by a Vet. It said that yes, there are various bacteria etc., that is inherent in a dog and can be transmitted to humans etc. And that yes, it is not 'clean' saliva from a dog. Even the Vet himself said, he does not kiss his dog or let his dog lick/kiss him on the mouth.

Some dogs, eat poop, dead animals, lick things or other dogs on the butt etc.

For her to e-mail this FYI to the family, was her way of informing others of what she learned. In a tangible way. And she said said that for "them" they will pass on the puppy kisses. That is fine. That is them. Its her kid. Even if she is anal.

Puppies are gregarious. They lick. You can't always avoid it.
But, she can wash her kids up, after.
Whatever floats her boat, on this one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

We love dog kisses at my house -- and have never gotten sick from them.

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answers from Boston on

Oh my heavens. We are kissed top to bottom around here. Heck, one of our dogs sleeps in the bed with us - under the covers, head on the pillow! (She's a spoiled rotten little mutt...She didn't used to be that bad!)

Personally, I think it's beyond rude to send that email. She doesn't want to be "kissed" or have her kids kissed, just avoid the dog! Sheesh. It wasn't like your SIL passed around a plate of asbestos.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I do not know anyone who had ever gotten sick from puppy kisses, and everyone I know has dogs!!! Bring on the love!!

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answers from Austin on

It looks cute, but in my mind, I think they are kind of gross, especially when you have just watched them clean their private parts and then come straight at you for a lick.

Also so many puppies and dogs eat poop, so then to see those dogs kissing infants or little children, just makes me feel ill.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I say bring on the puppy kisses, they are cute. yes it "grosses" me out & I break out in vicious hives to the point I look diseased if animal saliva touches me, but whatever, I still let them & would allow them to lick the babys face! An older dog with stinky mouth would be a different story. But a puppy? Of course.


answers from Biloxi on

I have four dogs, and while I love them tremendously, I hate dog kisses. My son (14 years old), he thinks they are great. My Aunt jokes that she will not adopt a dog if doesn't give her kisses.

I think the email from SIL was a little over the top - but, she obviously feels strongly about dog kisses. Since she is family, just hit the delete button on the email and let it disappear.

God Bless



answers from Norfolk on

that is strange because due to the amount of saliva in a dogs mouth...it is actually cleaner than a humans mouth. You are more likely to get sick from a human bite than a dog's bite. Licking should not be any different.
Ask a microbiologist.

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