Eight reasons to let your dog lick your face
Is there anyone more loyal than a dog? It's always amazing to see dogs' dedication to their owners, their excitement to see us when we come home, and their boundless affection for their human families. A lot of dogs express their adoration by licking our hands and faces, which some people allow but a lot of dog owners resist. It's so sweet and loving, but for some it can be pretty gross too.
It seems unhygienic for sure, and there's cause to be careful. But it turns out that there are also good reasons to let go of your inhibitions and get kissed, licked, and all loved up by your dog.
1. Dog breath is good for you
Dogs have a different immune system than us, so the composition of microorganisms in their mouth and saliva is different from ours. Letting our dogs breathe on us and make contact with our mouths can actually have a positive effect on our immune systems — filling in some probiotic gaps, as it were.
2. Human breath is good for your dog
It's not just you who can benefit: your dog's immune system can be complemented and aided by your microorganisms too!
3. Dog kisses can protect you from allergies
Strengthening your immune system through canine contact in your early years can actually help guard against allergies and asthma later. Plus, adults who grew up with a dog in the house, especially when they were babies or toddlers, have a lower risk of developing allergies to animal hairs, etc.
4. Dog licks improve your mood
Being kissed causes increased production of neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, plus more of the hormone oxytocin. These three together are like a happiness+relaxation cocktail and our dogs offer it up for free whenever we need it!
5. Kisses strengthen your bond
Similarly, our neurological bliss cocktail gets served up when we cuddle because there's a strong link between physical safety, connection, and emotional wellbeing. This experience isn't exclusive to snuggles with other humans, it happens when we curl up with our pets too. So when you hold your dog and you get a nice big lick in return, both of you benefit physically and emotionally, bringing you closer together.
6. Kisses mean you're the boss
In the wild, wolves and coyotes lick the leader of the pack to show that they know who's top dog. Dogs have this instinctive behavior as well. So when your dog kisses you it's a sign of obedience and acknowledgment of your authority.
7. Licking dogs are caring dogs
Dogs don't just lick their fellow canines to pay deference to their pack leader but also to show concern. Mothers lick their puppies to clean them and keep them warm. So when your dog does it to you, it's also a sign that he or she loves you and wants you to be happy. That's a great quality in a dog that we want to encourage!
8. Licking alleviates doggie stress
Dogs also lick to reduce stress. If they can't lick you, it can elevate their stress level and they'll compensate by licking their favorite toy or their own paws. So do your dogs a favor and let them lick you. If you really can't stand getting big sloppy canine kisses on the face, offer your hand and arm instead.
Doggy kisses have some advantages, as you can see. How far does your devotion go? Do you let your dog kiss you?