Why Letting your Dog Kiss you Could Actually be Good for your Health

2014-07-03 03:07:24

How do you feel when your dog licks your face? Are you happy to let your dog give you a smooch or does the very thought of it revolt you? We all know dogs are not particularly fussy about what they eat or lick, so is it really hygienic to let them be so generous with their affections?

Does dog saliva really have healing powers?

The ancient Egyptians thought so! They believed that human wounds would heal faster if licked by a dog and that dog’s saliva could also cure illness.

New research has also found that dog’s saliva has antimicrobial characteristics that could carry certain health benefits. Of course, there is plenty of bad bacteria too. After all, that’s the reason why Rover’s breath smells that way!

What’s in Dog’s Saliva

Scientists have found three things in a dog’s saliva that they believe have an ability to heal:

Histatins

These simple proteins are also found in human saliva and are good for helping the skin to close over a wound and for the warding off of infection

Lysozyme

This enzyme is known to prevent too much bacteria building up in the mouth and also kills bacteria

Nerve growth factor

This is quite an interesting protein and in one study it was found to reduce the healing time of a wound by more than half.

Perhaps dogs are also aware of the healing powers of their own saliva. If you’ve ever brought your dog home from the vet’s after an operation you will know how hard it is to stop them licking their wounds. It’s why the “cone of shame” was invented after all.

So, the next time your dog licks your face and other people look on in alarm, tell them more about the healing powers of a dog’s kisses. You might not convince them, but at least you can feel a whole lot better about it!

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