Stop Letting Your Dog Lick Your Kid's Mouth

by Jerriann Sullivan
Dog Lick Your Baby's Mouth
Image via Shutterstock.

Experts say bacteria and behavioral issues occur if you let your dog lick your baby’s mouth

The only thing cuter than a dog or a baby is when the two get together and bless the world with their adorableness. That’s probably why we let dogs slobber big wet kisses all of over our kids and us. Dog experts and doctors are chiming in though, and their message is clear – don’t let your dog lick your kid’s mouth.

“While many of us see our pets as surrogate family members, we do not want our pets to feel on equal status with our children,” Dr. Ashanti W. Woods, a pediatrician, told Woman’s Day. Touching a human with their mouths can make some dogs feel like they’re in charge and therefore can act whatever way they like with our bundles of joy. “In fact, the pet may become protective over the owners and attempt to defend them by attacking the child for yelling or merely playing with his parents,” he explained.

We’ve all seen that happen. You’re playing with your friend or significant other, and their dog starts barking and running toward you assuming its rightfully defending its owner. Dr. Woods said it’s important that families train their pups to be submissive to the kids, too. “Because both dogs and children are unpredictable in their behaviors, it is not a good idea to establish a relationship with the family dog licking the child’s face,” he shared.

Then there’s the issue of germs that we’ve got to worry about when our pups and kiddos are face to face. “A lot of people are feeding their dogs raw diets these days, things like raw chicken. This puts the dog at risk for salmonella,” New Jersey veterinarian Dr. Thomas Kass said. “And if the dog makes contact with a human’s mouth, that person is at risk for contracting the infection, too.”

Plus, dogs use their mouths for other things, too. “Their tongues are their toilet paper,” Dr. Marc I. Leavey reported. Dogs can expose kids to a whole mess of germs including some that “can lead to mouth and gum infections, or even systemic infections,” according to the doc. Like the docs above, Leavey tells parents to train their beloved pup to be submissive to all its owners – kids included. He added: “When poochie wants to smooch, offer your hand—and then wash it thoroughly before doing anything else.”