Being a dog person means a few things. You’re usually pretty carefree and easygoing, you are probably extroverted, and you might occasionally let your dog give you some love by licking your face.
I, personally, had always found it a bit weird that people let dogs lick their faces. But after becoming quite close with my mom’s miniature schnauzer, Sophie, I’m starting to understand it a little better.
The unfortunate truth is that a dog’s mouth is NOT the cleanest place in the world, despite the fact that so many people seem to think so.
As dog expert, Marty Becker, says: “All you have to do is look, watch, smell and you’ll realize that is not true… They raid the garbage can. You know, we give each other a peck on the cheek when we say hello, they give each other a peck on the rear end.”
If you’ve ever owned a dog, you know just how disgusting they can be at times. They regularly eat vomit, poop, and pretty much anything that is dead or decaying. John Oxford of Queen Mary University in London, expands on this notion a bit further:
“It is not just what is carried in saliva. Dogs spend half their life with their noses in nasty corners or hovering over dog droppings so their muzzles are full of bacteria, viruses and germs of all sorts.”
As numerous people have found out the hard way, letting a dog lick you might seem innocent at first, but it can quickly escalate into something else entirely. One UK woman caught an infection from her Italian greyhound’s slobber. She had no idea that she was even infected until she started slurring her speech while talking on the phone with a family member.
Her health was rapidly declining, and by the time emergency services got to her, she was slumped over in a chair. It took her two weeks in the intensive care unit, along with a large amount of antibiotics, to see her fully recovered.
Among the illnesses you can catch from your furry friend are ringworm infections, MRSA (staph infection), and capnocytophaga canimorsus, which as you will see below, is quite nasty.
The hands you see here are the result of the man’s dog licking his open wound. His feet were not so lucky, as one of them had to be amputated.
Don’t risk your health and wellbeing for the sake of your dog’s affection. Even though these cases are not incredibly common, there have been 13 similar cases throughout the United Kingdom recently, illustrating a very real threat.
This Expanded Consciousness article was republished under creative commons licensing.