There are few things cuter than dogs and babies together. And when your dog licks your baby, that can only mean that he likes your baby, right? What can be bad about that?
1. Dog mouths are dirty
This, perhaps, is the most obvious reason. Even if you brush your dog’s teeth every day, your pet’s mouth is much, much dirtier than an average human mouth. For starters, they eat garbage, and sometimes even their own poop. They lick their genitals on the regular.
Even if you’ve never gotten sick from your dog’s licks, your baby’s immune system isn’t as developed as yours. From worms to leptospirosis to even ticks, the list of diseases your baby could get from your dog is long and troubling.
2. But don’t be a germophobe
While it isn’t a great idea to let your dog go to town on your baby’s face, a few licks shouldn’t make you worry—though you should probably clean that area up with a baby wipe. According to BabyCenter, germs tend to be species-specific, so dog germs aren’t likely to affect your child. But still, it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid letting your dog lick your baby until he is older.
On the next page: more reasons why you shouldn’t let your dog lick your baby’s face.
3. Not the face!
Though many dogs lick their human’s face as a submissive gesture, others do it as a sign of dominance—a way for them to get attention and a reaction. And for safety reasons, you should not allow an animal to act dominant over a child or baby. To be consistent, you shouldn’t also allow your dog to lick anybody’s face—including yours.
4. Your baby might not even like it
Human babies can’t talk, move away, or protest. They might put up with your dog’s licks, but they might not actually even like it.
5. On the other hand, your baby might like it too much
Plenty of babies might actually enjoy being licked by dogs, and though a squealing and laughing baby is totally adorable, this still shouldn’t be encouraged. Most children under 5 who are bitten by dogs are bitten on the face or head, because it’s what they present to dogs.
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