You must be familiar that dogs lick faces. Many people think that it is cute, but others hate it. But have you ever thought of that why dogs lick your face? Should you ask them about the behavior or not?
Why do dogs lick your face?
It is a very common behavior of dogs to lick faces. This behavior has been out of the wolf pup who touches the mouth of adult dogs. Puppies move under transition from sucking mother’s milk to eating half-digested food to solid food. It is very reasonable to lick a human or other dog’s face. It is an appeasement gesture that gives a signal to the social deference of a dog. It provides a message of soliciting food, a sign of affection or seek attention.
A dog licking the faces of others would even occur as a part of grooming. When a dog might not reach your face to lick, then it will contact the nearest part of your body. It can be your leg, hand, or arm. In many of the cases, the behavior of licking gives a sign of love we all know dogs love humans.
Some dogs even lick the whole face of strangers. Have you thought about what that signifies? It can be an attempt by a dog to appease a stranger so that a stranger would not harm or threaten it. If a dog licks the face of children, then it is a signal of appeasement, affection, or an act to clean food residue from the front.
Read more: Why do dogs lick their lips a lot
Is face licking by a dog a health risk?
For children who are healthy to them, the saliva of dogs is not any risk. However, it is not healthy, too, if you let a dog lick an open wound. The saliva might keep the wound moist every time. It will allow bacteria to thrive. It will lead to a skin infection.
In the past, many reports have been made on how people get sick with dogs licking. The bacteria took the life of many people, which is found in dogs and cats. However, if a person does not have an excellent immune system, then the bacteria would lead to infection. Bacteria need a small open place to enter the human body.
Should you allow a dog to lick your face?
For the people who are healthy dogs, face-licking is not that risky; it would minimize your risks. But if you feel concerned about the health, then do not let your dog lick your face or some open wound. If it happens to be by mistake, then you should wash the face immediately and then apply some antibacterial sanitizer spray or some gel to the licked area. Alternatively, you can allow the dog to touch your hand instead of a face because surely you are going to wash it or apply antibacterial spray pr gel after playing with your dog.
What about if you are not a good fan of face licking?
Many people are not proper fans of dog face licking. But every time your dog is licking your face, then you need to pay attention to him. It would be because the dog might continue to touch the face again and again. If the dogs lick your face when you are eating something, then it signifies that it needs a piece of food to it. But it would even encourage their behavior to touch face continually. If you do not like face-licking, then you can redirect them to start giving attention, and showing affection is the best way for you. But always be sure that you should not encourage their behavior.
Sonal is a Visual Artist and Social Media enthusiast. She is also a community manager of Picovico and enjoys writing and painting in her free time.