These diseases include E. coli, salmonella, clostridium, and campylobacter, all of which can affect the human gastrointestinal tract in some very unpleasant ways. These can be contracted either through direct contact, or by indirectly spreading dog saliva with unwashed hands.
The good news is that it’s very rare for these diseases to be transmitted directly through the skin, so you don’t have to worry just yet about your dog’s fondness for licking the lotion off of your legs and arms.
Source: Holly Williams / Flickr
However, the fact remains that those doggie kisses are often the best part of an owner’s day. Here are six reasons we’ll probably continue swapping spit with our pups anyway.
1. It’s how they say “I love you!”
It’s probably the most important reason for kisses, and dogs can’t tell us with fancy words why they love us. Actions speak louder than words, especially in the case of canines!
Source: hillary h / Flickr
2. Making new friends!
The one way you can really tell if a dog you recently met likes you is if they go in for the kiss. We’re just going to let it happen…
Source: Michelle Tribe / Flickr
3. Kissing booths!
If you’ve ever been to a rescue event, you probably already know that Kissing Booths are a particular fave — especially if they’re “manned” by a dog who hasn’t had a home for a while, and really needs that human love s/he has been missing out on. That kiss could just land them a forever family!
The kissing booth at Mr. Bones and Co.’s Rescue the Runway 2016 event. Source: sometimescarl / Instagram
4. Who doesn’t love cuddles?
Need we say more?
Source: Savannah Baker / Flickr
5. It helps us feel better!
Studies have shown that petting a dog or cat can help human health in many ways, from reducing stress and anxiety, to even lowering blood pressure.
Dogs can reduce stress so much that airports like LAX are starting to employ therapy dogs to help travelers relax, and colleges like Ball State University use animals to help relieve student tension during finals.
Source: USAG- Humphreys / Flickr
6. Some of us like it sloppy!
For some humans, the amount of slobber they receive is directly related to the love they feel. Why deny someone cold, wet kisses, as long as they’re healthy about it?
Source: Mike Baird / Flickr
That ‘being healthy about it’ part is important though, because we don’t want anyone getting sick. Try to keep a vigilant eye out for other things your dog might be eating or licking, like feces – yuck! (This can sometimes signify a vitamin deficiency, so speak with your vet or a trainer if you have a poop-eater).
Source: EMR / Flickr
If you can, avoid contact between exposed membranes and your dog’s saliva. Make sure to wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth if you have been getting kisses. Aside from that, we hope you enjoy all the skin licks and smooshy kisses you can handle!
Header image via Mike Baird / Flickr