Does licking a dog cure? (2023)

Have you ever wondered if licking a dog can heal your wounds or not? Many people believe that dog saliva has healing properties that can miraculously heal injuries or illnesses. However, these claims are not always backed by scientific evidence. In this article, we explore the question of whether dog licking can really cure, or is it just a popular myth. Let's dive into the truth behind the purported healing powers of our furry friends.

The healing power of dog licks: fact or fiction?

Have you ever heard the saying that a dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's? This is a common myth that many people believe. Although dog saliva contains enzymes that can help heal wounds, it's not entirely true that licking your dog can cure everything. Here are some facts and fiction about the healing power of dog licks.

Dog licks can help clean wounds

One of the reasons why dogs are considered man's best friend is that they are extremely intelligent and sensitive animals. They often try to calm people down by licking them when they feel bad. Even when dogs lick their own wounds, enzymes found in saliva can help clean wounds, prevent infection, and speed healing.

However, this does not mean that the dog's saliva has miraculous healing properties. Keep in mind that dogs' mouths are full of bacteria. And while many of these bacteria are harmless to dogs, they can cause infections in humans. So while your dog's saliva can help clean the wound, it is not advisable to allow your dog to lick an open wound on your body.

Dog licks do not cure diseases

Many people believe that licking a dog can cure illnesses like colds and flu. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Dog saliva contains enzymes that can help clean wounds, but it doesn't have any magical healing power.

Also, it is not safe to let your dog lick you when you are sick. Dogs, like humans, are easily infected and transmit diseases. So if you are feeling sick, it is in your best interest and your own safety to keep your dog away.

Licking your dog can have a positive effect on your mental health

While licking a dog may not have direct healing power, it can have positive effects on people's mental health. Studies have shown that petting and interacting with dogs can have a calming effect and reduce stress. The fact that a dog comforts its owner with a tender lick can also have a positive effect on mental health.

Dogs are also known to have a strong emotional bond with their owners. This bond can become a source of company and comfort. Interacting with dogs can stimulate the production of oxytocin, a hormone that makes people feel happy and relaxed.

At last

While it may seem like a loving gesture or natural instinct when your dog licks you, it's important to remember that saliva can contain bacteria that can cause disease. While dog licks can help clean wounds, they should not be used as medicine or a substitute for proper medical care.

Rather than rely on your dog to lick, it's important to keep your dog clean and healthy by following good hygiene practices and scheduling regular veterinary checkups. And instead of relying on a dog lick to heal, take time to bond with your furry friend. This is the best way to maximize the benefits of having a dog in your life.

Learn the science behind dog saliva

Dog owners often wonder if their furry friend's saliva can heal cuts, scrapes or wounds like human saliva. But the idea that a dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's and that dog saliva can act as a natural antibiotic is a myth.

Dog saliva has a different composition than human saliva and contains several hundred species of bacteria that can cause infections. Dog saliva also contains enzymes that play a role in breaking down food. In contact with damaged skin, they can cause irritation and inflammation.

On the other hand, saliva has some beneficial properties that can aid in healing. Saliva contains a protein called histatin, which has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Studies have shown that histatin can prevent the growth of various types of bacteria that are harmful to humans and can promote the wound healing process.

However, the concentration of histatin in the saliva of dogs is much lower than in human saliva. Furthermore, the amount of histatin in the saliva of dogs does not have a significant effect on human health.

In fact, different species have different types of bacteria in their saliva, and contact with dog saliva can cause different types of bacteria to enter the human body and cause serious illness in humans.

It is important to note that while saliva can aid in the wound healing process, it is not a substitute for proper medical care. If you have a cut or wound, it's important to clean the area and any bacteria that may have gotten in there. In this case, taking chemicals, medicines, and antibiotics can help soothe the wound.

In conclusion, while dog saliva may have some antifungal and antibacterial properties, the concentration is not high enough to contribute to the injury healing process. Also, the amount of bacteria in your saliva can cause infection and irritation. That's why it's always important to see your doctor and treat the wound properly, rather than relying on your dog's saliva to heal the wound.

Benefits and risks of dog licking for humans

We've all seen a dog shower its owner with licks and kisses. For dog owners, these licks are a clear gesture of love and care from their furry companions. It is widely believed that dog licks may have healing properties that could benefit humans. However, the safety of dog licks remains a controversial topic. In this article, we will look at the benefits and risks of dog licking for humans.


It is well known that dogs have a remarkable ability to feel human emotions, and as such, they naturally comfort their owners in times of stress or distress. When a dog licks your face, it releases endorphins. These are the hormones that help relieve pain and create a sense of well-being. This effect may be so significant that therapy dogs, which frequently lick and pet patients in medical settings, have been shown to reduce stress and improve overall health.

Dog saliva not only provides comfort, but also contains a natural antibiotic called lysozyme, which can kill certain harmful bacteria. This enzyme can be useful for treating minor wounds and cleaning scratches. Additionally, research has shown that children who grow up with a dog at home are less likely to develop allergies and asthma later in life.

It is also believed that dog licking can boost immunity. Dog saliva may contain substances that help the immune system fight infection and disease. It has also been found that exposure to a dog's microbiome (the collection of microorganisms that live in and on the animals' surfaces) can help our bodies develop and strengthen our natural defenses against bacteria and viruses.


Despite the potential benefits, dog licking carries some significant risks that should not be ignored. As much as we love our furry friends, their mouths harbor a variety of microbes that can make humans sick. Dogs tend to use their mouths to explore their environment, so the mouth can harbor harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli that are easily transmitted to humans through licking.

Harmful germs in a dog's mouth can lead to infection, especially if the person being licked has a weakened immune system or an open wound. In some cases, transmission of the bacteria from dogs to humans can be severe enough to cause gastrointestinal problems or serious infections. Therefore, the dog should avoid licking sensitive areas such as the mouth, nose and eyes.

Some dogs can also carry the Capnocytophaga canimorsus virus. This virus can cause serious infections in people with weakened immune systems or after injury or illness. In rare cases, the illness caused by this virus can be fatal. That's why it's important to limit close contact with dogs if their immune systems are weakened or if they've recently suffered an injury.


Dog licking can have some health benefits, but it also carries risks. If you have a healthy immune system, an occasional dog lick won't hurt. However, to minimize the risk of infection, dogs that kiss sensitive areas should be strictly avoided. If you have a pet, be sure to keep your dog's mouth clean by giving him routine dental care and making sure his vaccinations are up-to-date. By following these precautions, you can safely enjoy the love and affection of your furry friend without compromising your health.

Alternatives to Dog Licks for Wound Care

While many people believe in the power of dog saliva to heal wounds, it is still safer to use traditional wound healing methods. Here are some alternatives to dog licking to treat wounds:

pure running water

One of the most effective methods of cleaning wounds is to use clean running water. Helps remove dirt and debris while preventing bacteria buildup. You can rinse the wound with cool water to cool the wound and relieve pain. Make sure the water pressure is not too high, otherwise further damage to the wound may occur. You can also gently dry the wound with a soft cloth or gauze pad after washing it with water.

antibacterial soap

If you don't have access to running water, you can use antibacterial soap. Be sure to dilute the soap in lukewarm water before applying it to the wound. It is best to use a mild soap, as harsh soaps can hinder the healing process. Gently wash the wound with a mixture of soap and warm water before rinsing well. Dry the wound with a clean cloth or gauze.

hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a common disinfectant that can help kill bacteria in a wound. It is an effective alternative to dog licks, but should be used with caution. Hydrogen peroxide can damage healthy cells and delay healing if used too frequently or improperly diluted. Apply only to the wound and avoid contact with surrounding skin. Dilute it with equal parts of water and apply it to the wound with a cotton pad. Allow bubbles to form for a few seconds, then dry the surface with a clean cloth or gauze pad.

topical antibiotics

Doctors often prescribe topical antibiotics to prevent bacterial wound infections. They are available as ointments, sprays, or creams and are easily applied to the wound. They work by killing any bacteria that may be present in the wound, preventing further infection. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package and use the antibiotic as directed. Do not use them for more than a week without consulting your doctor.

bandages and dressings

The use of bandages and dressings can protect the wound from dirt and debris while keeping it moist. They also help prevent the wound from rubbing against clothing or other surfaces, which could make the injury worse. Remember to choose the appropriate dressing based on the size and type of wound. Change the dressing periodically to prevent bacterial growth.

While dog licking may seem like a convenient alternative to traditional wound healing methods, it is not recommended due to the risk of bacterial infection. It is always best to use conventional wound healing methods or consult a doctor in case of serious injuries.

Create a safe and healthy environment for you and your dog

Having a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. As a dog owner, it is important that you always ensure that your pet lives in a safe and healthy environment. This not only prevents health problems for your pet, but is also important for their health. In this article, we look at several ways to create a safe and healthy environment for you and your dog.

1. Keep your house clean

A clean home is essential to providing your dog with a safe and healthy environment. Sweep or vacuum floors, mop surfaces, and wash bedding and toys regularly to prevent buildup of pet hair, dust, and bacteria. Clean up spills or messes right away and use pet-safe cleaners to avoid harmful chemicals that could harm your pet.

2. Eat a healthy diet

A balanced, nutrient-dense diet for your dog is essential to maintaining his overall health. Provide your pet with high-quality food and fresh water, and avoid feeding leftovers, as they may contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Keep treats to a minimum, as overeating can lead to obesity and other health problems.

3. Regular exercise and play

Dogs need exercise and play time to stay physically and mentally healthy. Regularly walk your dog or play with him in the fenced in yard. Create an exercise program and stick to it to keep your dog fit and healthy. This also helps prevent behavior problems that can result from boredom or inactivity.

4. Check and tense your dog regularly

Regular checkups and vaccinations are essential to prevent health problems in your dog. Visit your vet regularly and stay up to date on your dog's vaccinations, deworming, and flea and tick treatments. This helps protect your dog from various diseases and parasites that can harm his health.

5. Provide adequate socialization and training.

Dogs are social animals and require socialization and training to become well-adjusted pets. Your dog's sociability is crucial so that he can interact with other pets and people without displaying aggressive behavior. Training will help your dog to follow basic commands and behave well at home and in public. Consider enrolling your dog in obedience classes or hiring a professional dog trainer to help teach proper behavior and socialization techniques.

Creating a safe and healthy environment for your dog is a key aspect of owning a pet. By following the tips above, you can ensure your pet lives a happy and healthy life while protecting his own health.

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Author: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Last Updated: 06/14/2023

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