Why do dogs lick your wounds?

There are several reasons to the common question why do dogs lick your wounds. Sometimes we have seen dogs licking our wounds, and they might do so for providing comfort more than anything else. Otherwise, it might also be his inherent nature that he has acquired from his birth.

Nevertheless, let us not forget that this might result in infection in the long run. Although it has been shown by some studies that dog licking might have certain benefits, it cannot replace contemporary medications by any means. Here, we like to assert that it will not be a good idea to allow our pets to lick our wounds.

Why do dogs lick your wounds?

Why do dogs lick your wounds? Pooches lick wounds for comforting human beings

Once a dog becomes injured, he would like to lick the wound in order to get relief from pain. He tends to feel better since there is a release of serotonin in his brain while he is doing so. In the same manner, the canine might also lick your wound with the intention of making you feel better. In spite of doing that, it would be a good idea not to allow our pets to lick our wounds under any circumstances.

Dogs tend to lick due to their instincts

As mentioned earlier, dogs tend to lick themselves because of their inherent nature. Mothers are in the habit of licking their puppies in order to make them feel good, and dogs lick themselves so as to feel better. In the same manner, your pet might lick you with the intention of cleaning you in the long run. Even though it has been revealed that the saliva of dogs has certain healing properties, that of human beings is more effective when it comes to healing.

Moreover, it is a fact that in case a dog licks himself excessively it might prove to be detrimental eventually. It can result in hot spots, irritation, as well as damaged skin. Furthermore, it has the ability to open up wounds by dissolving the stitches. Apart from this, a canine might also lick because of anxiety and stress.

What are the healing properties of a dog’s saliva?

Below, we have listed some enzymes that are present in the saliva of the pooches which will allow combating bacteria and infection:

•          Peroxidase is a type of enzyme that will be more effective in fighting several types of bacteria.

•          Lysozyme happens to be an antimicrobial enzyme that is known to destroy the symptoms of a full-blown infection.

•          Defensins are known for their anti-infection and antifungal properties that can be effective in fighting off viruses.

•          Cystatins function in an identical way as Defensins mentioned earlier.

•          Opiorphin is an enzyme that is present in human saliva as well. It is responsible for hiding the burning sensation in the wounds and for numbing pain as well.

•          Thrombospondin is an enzyme regarding which we don’t have much information right now since it was discovered recently, but it helps to combat infections.

•          Nitrates aid in the prevention of the rapid development of harmful bacteria.

In spite of being present in the saliva of the canines, these enzymes don’t have much power in fighting infections as compared to the modern medications that have been introduced on the market.

What are the negative attributes present in the saliva of a dog?

Here, we have listed some of the worst possible bacteria present in the saliva of the pooches that can be quite harmful in the long run.

•          Staphylococcus comes with several strains, and multiple strains can be present in the saliva of the creature. If one becomes infected with the bacteria, there will be a burning sensation in the skin and puss will be leaked by open wounds as well.

•          Pasteurella was invented by none other than Louis Pasteur and it can result in a nasty infection if our immune system becomes weak.

Licking might happen because of pack mentality

It is a fact that humans belong to the pack of dogs. It will be possible for any dog owner to assert when they were licked by their pets or when they ended up licking their mates as well. As a matter of fact, dogs are not the only creatures to lick human beings and their wounds, and feline friends perform the same too.

Even though it might appear to you that the licking of your pet is a symptom of being the pack’s top, it might be the reverse as well. In fact, licking might be a symptom of submission, since pooches are known to lick those members of the pack who are more dominant. Your pet might be licking your wounds to show you affection, and it might also be the fact that dogs feel comfortable and secure while licking individuals.  

My dog licked my wound can I get rabies? What happens if a dog licks human blood?

Rabies is transmitted in saliva of a rabid animal. If you have a wound that goes through the skin layer, no matter how small, if the saliva of an animal in the transmitting stage were to lick that small wound, slobber, or drool on it, the saliva getting on the open area could carry the virus into your body. 

My pooch is in the habit of licking my scabs

It might be the fact that your wound has almost healed and has become closed, but it might still attract your dog to lick. The reasons for this will be identical to those that we have already mentioned in this blog.

However, one needs to be aware of the fact that it might result in the ripping off of the scab from the wound in the long run. Apart from helping to slow down the healing process, it might likewise result in the reopening of the wound in the long run. Here, we like to state that never allow your pet to lick your wounds or even scabs since you will come across lots of effective medications obtainable on the market right now.

Dog saliva is being investigated by the researchers right now

It is a fact that prior to the invention of modern medications, people were of the notion that dog saliva has the power to heal wounds, and this principle was employed by physicians in ancient Egypt in the past. At present, scientists are investigating the saliva of dogs for finding out their properties and healing powers. According to one study, it was found that the saliva of dogs has got antimicrobial peptides and antimicrobial enzymes that help to defend against infection. The saliva of pooches has the ability to destroy Streptococcus canis and E. Coli.

Nevertheless, it will not be a good idea to let your dog lick your wounds even though it has got these healing properties mentioned above. Contemporary medical care will be far more effective in getting the job done.

Dogs should never lick the wounds of humans

It is a fact that similar to dog bites, dog licks carry the threat of infection as well. Some cases have been revealed when dog saliva has resulted in bacterium capnocytophaga canimorsus infection. In the year 2016, a lady suffered from various ailments such as sepsis, seizure, as well as other health complications which had been caused by licks from her pet. Fortunately, she was able to recover after a couple of weeks of treatment. In the year 2018, the legs and arms of a man had been amputated because of the same reason cited above.

One thing to note here is that there is no reason to be scared of allowing your pooch to lick you for showing his affection. You only need to bear in mind that your pet must not be allowed to lick your open wounds under any circumstances whatsoever.

How can I prevent my pooch from licking my wounds?

In case you are finding that your pet is trying to lick your wounds and scabs on your body, then make sure to use a simple barrier like a bandage for preventing him from doing so. These bandages are not expensive by any means, and most households already have bandages available to them at present.

Although you might want to train your pet regarding his licking behavior, it will be a complete waste of time and effort in the long run. As a matter of fact, the training might consume so much time that your wounds will become healed by the time the training will be over. For getting the best results, make sure to take the help of a bandage and wrap it over the wound and this should be enough for preventing your pet from licking your wounds in the long run.

In case you find that wrapping the bandage over the wound is not effective in the long run, then make it a point to rub some scrapes or citrus herb on the outer portion of the bandage while making sure that it does not reach your wounds by any means. This should be enough to discourage your dog from licking your wounds much to your relief eventually. The main reason for this is that most pooches don’t have an affinity for citrus or anything similar to that.  

How to stop dog licking wound?

1. Use Elizabeth Collar
“Elizabeth Collars” is commonly used to prevent wound damage

2. Use Bandages
Bandaging a wound on your dog can be a good idea to stop your dog wanting to lick the wound.

3. Natural Ant-lick strips or spray
Anti-lick strips or spay can work really well and can be purchased from any pet store as well as your vets.

Is dog saliva good for your skin?

if the skin is intact, probably no. However, if its wounded or goes into bloodstream, its likely.

Home remedy for dog licking wound (own)?

Remedy no 1 – Use saline solution of 1 cup boiling water with ½ teaspoon of salt
Stirring until fully dissolved. Apply and wash the wound when cooled.

Remedy no 2 – 
Skin disinfectant like Chlorhexidine can be used to clean out your dog’s wound.

Natural remedy no 3 –

A turmeric paste can act as an anti-inflammatory agent, reducing pain and swelling. You can make it at home as well