Puppy Kisses: Safe or Risky? Should You Let Your Dog Lick Your Face?

They have that very lovable, loving nature, and one of the usual ways they show their affection is by licking our faces. Even though a puppy giving your face a good licking is quite warm and fuzzy, there are still many pet owners out there who wouldn’t mind knowing if puppy kisses are actually safe for their little furry pals. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at that question, as well as potential risks and benefits, and ways that both you and your dog can make this bonding experience a bit safer.

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Why Does Your Dog Lick Your Face?

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Licking is an inborn action in dogs. Licking starts from the stage of the mother licking almost everything in the puppy’s immediate environment. Dogs lick each other from early stages through to adulthood. It is a relatively normal social behavior; otherwise, the licking in dogs can be considered to be an expression of affection. That way, when your dog is licking your face, they are trying to tell you that they love you and want to bond with you. Maybe appreciating that natural behavior in them will help us appreciate the reasons behind those wet kisses.

Risks of Puppy Kisses

Although puppy kisses are a sign of the love from the puppies, they do occur with some risks. A dog’s mouth contains lots of germs and bacteria. Some bacteria from the dog’s mouth can be harmful to human health. For instance, the dog’s saliva can house bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, and even parasites. When your canine friend plants a wet one on your face, that bacteria could potentially transfer to you and cause infections.

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Apart from this, some people are allergic to the proteins present in a dog’s saliva, with symptoms such as itchiness, redness, and swelling. It is the way it works most of the time but, on the other hand, it doesn’t hurt to know such potential risks.

Benefits of Puppy Kisses

Puppy kisses, on the other hand, likewise may have some beneficent effect. Many dog owners feel that these nice habits strengthen the bond between them and their pets. Licking actually is a comforting activity for both the dog and the owner; it gives comfort to and reduces stress and anxiety. Receiving a kiss from your pet may release oxytocin—the “love hormone”—improving mood and increasing a feeling of well-being.

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What is more, researchers have proved that having a dog is good for your immune system. However, the fact that you are exposed to the captured microbes boosts your immune response and you probably become less susceptible to some illnesses.

How to Make Puppy Kisses Safer

Great as it is to be kissed by puppies, it is definitely not without its risk. Nevertheless, a few steps can be taken to lower the risks. First, one should definitely have their dog seen by the veterinarian regularly. Ensure that your dog is in good health and is not suffering from infection or other dental problems. Next is the proper dental hygiene of your dog. This may be done by brushing your dog’s teeth and giving it dental treats that will minimize harmful bacteria in its mouth.

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This is pretty much good practice after your dog kisses you. This simple step might help to remove any bacteria or allergens that could have been transferred. These precautions bring peace of mind, and more affectionate licks from your dog can be enjoyed.

When Your Puppy Is a Biter

As great as puppy kisses are, there are times when you shouldn’t let them. For instance, if you have a compromised immune system through an illness or medication, very close contact with your dog’s saliva should best be avoided at all costs. Similarly, if your dog is sick, it is best to avoid them licking your face until they are well; the same goes for if they have dental issues.

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This also calls for utmost cautiousness when around babies and young children. The respective immune systems of these groups of people are not developed enough to resist diseases, therefore rendering them predisposed to disease infections. This also teaches children alternative ways of expressing love towards dogs; thus, they will be kept safe.

Other Ways to Express Love

There are certainly plenty of ways to show your dog some love without having to go for face licking. Dogs love to be petted and even cuddled. The following is a list of ways to show love to your dog: Playing games

Going for a walk

Giving treats

Giving praise In all the above ways, bonding with your dog can prove to be just as rewarding for you and your pet, without health risks for any.


Puppy kisses, in sum, are a common method of affection yet have their risks. Basically, it is evident that from this knowledge one will be able to take a few concerning dangers and step out of them to make the experience safer. Regular vet check-ups, proper dental hygiene of the dog, and cleaning of the face after being licked will help with these prospective problems. After all, an affection balance by expressing your love in several ways towards your furry friend will bring forth a good and healthy relationship.

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