The surprising reason why you shouldn't let your dog lick your child's mouth

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Dr. Thomas Kass, says that there are two major reasons why doggy kisses should not be tolerated. The second one might just surprise you.

While watching your baby play with your dog is very cute, the negative impact that it can have might surprise you. Especially since one of the reasons is not related to your child's health.

Why shouldn't you let your dog lick your child's mouth?

Dr. Thomas Kass, says that there are two major reasons why doggy kisses should not be tolerated. First is that dog mouths are dirty, and the second is because doggy kisses means that your dog is trying to establish dominance over your child.

He shares, "A lot of people are feeding their dogs raw diets these days, things like raw chicken. This puts the dog at risk for salmonella and if the dog makes contact with a human's mouth, that person is at risk for contracting the infection, too." He adds that it might be uncommon, but worms can also get passed to humans from contact with the dog's mouth.

Marc I. Leavey, M.D., a primary care specialist, adds "Their tongues are their toilet paper, as they lick their behinds to cleanse."

According to Dr. Leavey, there is a huge amount of bacteria and other microbes that can be transmitted simply by licking. Most of these bactera can also be resistant to antibiotics. He adds, "Studies have confirmed this exposure, and it can lead to mouth and gum infections, or even systemic infections."

Your dog should understand that he is not your baby's master

The other reason that you shouldn't let your dog lick your baby is that your dog might confuse himself that he is your baby's master or pack playmate. Dr. Ashanti W. Woods shares, "While many of us see our pets as surrogate family members, we do not want our pets to feel on equal status with our children."

He advises that we train our family pet to be submissive to our children. He adds, "In fact, the pet may become protective over the owners and attempt to defend them by attacking the child for yelling or merely playing with his parents, because both dogs and children are unpredictable in their behaviors, it is not a good idea to establish a relationship with the family dog licking the child's face."

“When poochie wants to smooch, offer your hand—and then wash it thoroughly before doing anything else.” Dr. Ashanti says.

Teaching your dog to behave around your kids

Having a child means that you'll have to make sure that your dog gets along well with your newborn. There's nothing worse than having to deal with both a crying child, and a dog that's vying for your attention. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to training your dog:

  • Condition your dog with your baby's behavior. Babies can cry, and it can sometimes startle dogs. Teach your dogs to be comfortable around your child and try to get them used to your child's reactions towards them.
  • If you're expecting a child, you can condition your dog by inviting smaller children to play with your dog so that your pet can get used to having children around.
  • Make sure to reward your dog for good and positive behavior and to correct any negative behavior.
  • You can also take your dog to the park to observe children so that he can feel more comfortable.
  • Make sure to not neglect your dog once your child comes. It might be difficult but your dog also needs your love and attention as they're also a part of your family.

Sources: scarymommy.com, womansday.com, dogingtonpost.com

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