Sometimes, our pets do the strangest things. Dogs, in particular, seem to have a fascination with human saliva. You may have noticed them licking your spit off your chin or licking you on the lips. It may seem weird, but could it be that your pooch likes human saliva?
Well, one explanation why dogs like human saliva is due to the salty taste of spit. Human saliva contains various minerals, such as sodium and potassium, which dogs may find pleasant to lick.
Want to learn more and find the answer to why do dogs like human saliva? Just continue reading!
Why Do Dogs Like Human Saliva?
Here are some possible explanations for why your pup may be so interested in human saliva:
- Because Of The Taste
As mentioned before, the taste of human saliva can appeal to dogs. Perhaps, it’s as easy as that; your pup may just find the taste of your saliva tasty. Moreover, human spit is made of 99% water and contains trace amounts of minerals and proteins, which can be attractive to dogs.
- Because Of The Smell
Dogs have a very keen sense of smell compared to humans. Your pup may be drawn to the scent of your spit. Saliva also contains pheromones or chemicals that release an odor, which may be interesting for dogs to investigate.
- Just A Way Of Affection
It’s uncommon but still possible that your dog may be licking your saliva to show their affection for you. Like humans, dogs show their love through physical contact, and licking is one way they do this.
If your pup is always licking you or other people around him, it could be that he’s simply trying to show his love in the most straightforward way possible.
Besides, since dogs are nose-dominant, they’re likely drawn in by the scent of your saliva and associate it with you. In other words, they may recognize your saliva as a representation of you and try to get closer by licking it.
- Fond of Electrolytes
As mentioned earlier, saliva is 99% water. The remaining 1% comprises mucus-forming proteins, uric acid, digestive enzymes, electrolytes, and cholesterol. The electrolytes in saliva, such as sodium and potassium, are particularly attractive to dogs.
Most likely, your pup is drawn to the taste of these minerals; licking up your spit may simply be an instinctive way for him to get some extra energy and hydration.
Licking is common among dogs and other animals, such as cats and horses. It’s believed that this is a way for them to bond, groom, and express themselves. So, if you’ve noticed your dog licking your face or lips excessively, it may not be that they’re attracted to the taste of your saliva but rather that they are trying to bond with you.
It’s important to remain aware of the situation, as some licking can be a sign of anxiety or stress. If your pet is not responding to positive reinforcement or distractions when licking excessively or aggressively, it may be time to visit the vet.
Is Human Saliva Safe For Dogs?
In general, it is safe for dogs to lick human saliva. Whether they’re licking it off your face or eating something you dropped on the ground, as long as your saliva is free of any harmful bacteria or viruses, it should be relatively safe for them to do so.
However, it’s best to avoid letting them lick your face if you have an infectious disease such as a cold or flu virus. While humans often come into contact with many germs, dogs are more sensitive and can easily become ill.
Additionally, if you have any damaged skin, opened wound, or a sore in your mouth, it’s best not to let your pet lick it. That’s because our saliva can contain harmful bacteria, which can cause infection if transferred from person to person or animal to animal.
How To Stop Your Dog From Licking Human Saliva?
The surefire way to stop your dog from licking spit is to avoid letting them do so in the first place. It’s simple; if your dog is licking your saliva off the ground, stop spitting when they’re around. You can also try distraction techniques to redirect their attention.
Positive reinforcement is key if your pup has already developed a habit of licking your face or lips. Make sure to reward good behavior with treats and verbal praise while discouraging bad behavior with a firm “no.” Over time, they should learn not to lick to get a reward.
If these techniques don’t work, it may be time to consult a professional dog trainer. A trainer can help you develop strategies specifically tailored to your pup and their behavior towards saliva licking.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Human Saliva Good For Dogs?
Scientific research has revealed that both human and canine saliva contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. But does that mean it’s good for dogs? Generally, saliva from healthy humans is safe for dogs to lick. It isn’t harmful, but we can’t say it’s good for them either. However, it’s important to avoid letting your pet lick saliva containing harmful bacteria or viruses.
- Is It Okay To Let Your Dog Lick Your Face?
It’s generally okay to let your pup lick your face as long as you are healthy and free of any infectious diseases. However, it’s best to discourage excessive licking or licking that is too aggressive. Also, if you have open wounds, sores, or damaged skin in your mouth, avoid letting them lick it.
- What Happens If Your Dog Licks Your Saliva?
If your pup licks your saliva, chances are it won’t harm them. However, if you have an infectious illness such as a cold or flu virus, keeping them away from your saliva until you have recovered is best. The same goes for any open sores, cuts, or abrasions in your mouth.
- Is It Safe To Let A Dog Lick Your Wounds?
No, letting your pup lick any wounds or cuts is not safe. Your wound may contain harmful bacteria that could be transferred to them, which can lead to infection. If you have a wound, it’s best to keep it covered and avoid giving your pup access to it.
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