Why is my dog ​​licking my wounds?

Your dog systematically licks your small wounds Why does he have this behavior? And should we let it be?

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A matter of affection or taste

Have you suffered a scrape or a small cut and your dog naturally started licking your wound?

His behavior could be partly due to his affection for you. Just as your dog's mother would lick her pup's wounds, your dog will try to take care of you by mimicking protective maternal behavior. It is an instinctive response in animals to lick wounds in order to "clean" the injured area.

The other hypothesis would also be due to the fact that there would be in the liquid that flows from your wound, a taste that would please your dog and which would simply encourage him to lick your wound.

Does dog saliva have the power to heal wounds?

The mechanical action of licking helps remove debris from the wound area, while cleaning it and it is true that canine saliva contains compounds that could theoretically help disinfect and clean wounds. Among these compounds, lysozyme and peroxidase are enzymes contained in the saliva of dogs and would thus have a natural antibacterial power.

But the antibacterial power of these compounds is no match for the multitude of germs in the oral cavity of dogs, which are more likely to cause infection. Among these germs, one can notably find Capnocytophaga canimorsus. This is a bacterium commonly present in the flora of the mouth of dogs capable of causing very serious and dazzling sepsis and which has already been the cause of amputations or even death in humans in the past.

Read also: A man amputated in emergency after being licked by a dog

Faced with these risks, you will therefore have understood it: it is therefore advisable not to let your dog lick your wounds.

This advice also applies to dogs who lick their own wounds. In doing so, they risk tearing any stitches or reopening closed wounds. By licking, they can introduce bacteria into the deeper layers of the skin, which can significantly delay wound healing and, in the worst case, lead to abscesses or more generalized infections.

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