Most probably, your veterinarian already advised you to prevent your dogs from licking your faces. She might even explain the possible effects it may cause to you along with the long list of bacteria and parasites residing on your pet’s saliva. On the contrary, ancient researchers found out that dog licking is an excellent way to heal wounds. In fact, there are studies out there which claim that dog intestinal bacteria have an important role in preventing asthma among kids.
Therefore, how can you categorize pet saliva? Will it benefit or rather harm human lives? But don’t worry because your veterinarian can help you lessen your fear of acquiring the disease from your pets.
How do pets can harm us?
Their mouth, as well as the intestine, could be a haven for parasites and bacteria which can be transmitted later to us human beings. Moreover, it may also cause different medical conditions to us. Once these diseases were already transmitted, it is now the time we call it ‘zoonotic’.
One of the most bacteria, which can be found in the mouth of your dogs and cats, is Pasteurella. It can cause severe infections, lymph and skin node. On the other hand, Bartonellahenselae, another kind of bacteria being transferred to cats from their fleas also resides in the mouth of your cats. This is the main cause of cat-scratch-fever. According to the theories, we can be infected by these ones through having a contact with pet’s saliva.
Meanwhile, pets also serve as hosts for several single-celled parasites and parasitic worms. Once the human is infected by these parasites just like when there are signs your dog has a tick, it may cause skin problems, intestinal diseases, brain disorder, and blindness. Your pets can live through their life while these parasites are staying in their system. However, the eggs that are passed on the pet’s feces could bring diseases to humans.
What are the possible practical precautions with pet saliva?
For very young kids out there, the risk of parasitic or bacterial infection is very high.
However, people with good immune systems can’t be easily infected. Though there is a relatively low risk of having the infection from your pet’s saliva, you can still do sensible precautions as pet owners such as:
• Deworming regularly
• Pet fecal examination annually along with the right anti-parasite treatment
• Pet feces disposal as well as compliance with the law
• Always cover children sandboxes if you are not using it
• Feed your pets with dry, canned, or cooked foods
• Frequent hand washing right after you’ve been exposed to fecal contamination.
Can pet saliva provide us benefits?
As mentioned above, a long time ago, it was believed that a dog’s lick can be traced back to how ancient Egypt insisted on its healing power over time.
In France, there’s a medical translation, which says that a dog’s tongue is considered a doctor’s tongue. There are also recent researches that already determined substances in the saliva that helps in healing.
Likewise, there are studies in the Netherlands which proved that chemical with your pet’s saliva is identified as his tactics. It makes the healing process quicker through migrating and spreading of new cells of the skin.
Psychologically, this could be somehow true. But it is much better if you will still ask your nearest Lindfield vet clinic.