What is it about dogs that make babies laugh hysterically? These two compilations of dogs and babies playing together will make adults laugh, too. Bet you cannot keep from laughing.
These hilarious video clips of dogs and babies playing together and loving on one another are entertaining. Dogs that make babies laugh always make adults laugh, too.
You notice they all include dogs licking babies. They also bring up a few very important topics for us to consider.
- Why does my dog lick me?
- Should I allow my dog to lick my baby? Is it safe?
- How can I make my dog stop licking my baby?
- What if my dog cannot be dissuaded from licking my baby?
- How and when do I introduce my dog to my baby?
Let’s Take These 5 Questions One At A Time
Why does my dog lick me? There are several, common-sense reasons for your dog to lick you. Some of the reasons are as follows.
- To show affection and to let you know they love you
- A way of communication
- To get your attention
- They like the way you taste, usually salty
Here is a brief vet-made video that explains this.
Dogs That Make Babies Laugh Often Do So By Licking Them, Should I Allow My Dog To Lick My Baby, and Is It safe?
Many people think of their dogs as furry siblings to their human children. They love both of them and it is important to them for their “kids” to get along. Dogs that make babies laugh make them happy.
They may even think the dog is “mothering” the baby but have no idea where this might lead in a negative way. (This will be discussed later on in this article.)
I recently overheard a new mother say she heard on NPR that it is ok to allow your dogs to kiss your baby. To be honest, I cringed.
We had five children and always had dogs in the family when they were growing up. Some of the dogs never knew they were not human.
It would never have occurred to me to allow any of our beloved fur babies to lick our human babies on the face. To be honest, I did not like for them to lick our babies at all.
Why? The dog’s tongue is his toilet paper, for one reason. That is just the beginning. Later on, I’ll give you 4 reasons why it isn’t a good idea to let your dog lick your baby.
Your dog is part of your family. He or she may have been your only “child” until the most recent arrival who happens to be human. So, you want your dog to love this newest family member.
We show our love with hugs and kisses and that is appropriate if everyone is well. However, it is not smart to allow furry members of the family to do the same.
Dogs that make babies laugh with kisses are entertaining but not necessarily safe. Here are four reasons you need to think about before allowing your dog to lick on any baby.
Four Reasons Against Dogs Licking On Babies
It is not true that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than yours. Do you have any idea where your dog’s mouth has been in the last 24 hours? Dogs often eat garbage and feces. They also lick their genitals and many backsides.
It is not only when the dog licks the baby’s face that causes risks. If your dog licks the baby’s hands or feet it can also cause problems. How often have you seen a baby put her hands or feet in her sweet little mouth?
These are all direct routes for various harmful organisms to enter the young baby’s system. The immune systems of babies and small children are not fully developed and place them at significant risk.
“Germs” that may not seriously affect a healthy adult might be serious to infants and small kids. Some argue that kids growing up with dogs are healthier. This is true if you are talking about allergies but not licking.
Follow your dog with a video or take notes for one day. Record everything that touches your dog’s mouth or even his nose. You will not want that tongue near your baby again.
All animals, including humans, have bacteria in their mouths that are capable of causing disease. Not all bacteria that survive in the dog’s mouth will thrive in the human mouth but some of them do.
In 2011, there was a Japanese study that revealed when specific periodontal bacteria were found in humans, it only occurred if there had been close contact with infected animals.
These bacteria lead to aggressive gum disease. In turn, this not only leads to tooth loss but also to coronary disease and kidney problems. These are not things to which you want your baby exposed.
Furthermore, dogs often carry potentially serious intestinal bacteria. Each of these bacteria can cause severe, life-threatening illnesses in humans.
As it true with many illnesses, there are some categories of humans who are especially vulnerable. Babies, very young children, the elderly, or any other immunocompromised person is at greater risk.
Three of these bacteria are Escherichia coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter.
E. coli, is a bacterium that is known to cause stomach pain and diarrhea. This bacterium is the leading cause of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. HUS is a fairly rare disorder and it causes kidney failure.
Likewise, there are several Salmonella species that cause similar symptoms. Campylobacter jejuni is also known to infect both humans and dogs. These infections also cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Diarrhea caused by these bacteria often results in dehydration. They can even produce a blood-borne-infection. Either of these can rapidly become deadly. Dogs eating raw diets are at the greatest risk for these infections.
Three More Infections You Need To Know About
Your dog can be a carrier of two bacterial illnesses with which you are likely to be very familiar, Staphylococcus or group A Streptococcus.
Group A Strep can live in your dog’s throat and be passed back and forth to humans by licking. Strep throat is a common infection and is very painful. Most kids have several episodes of “Strep” while very young.
This is not the only strain of Strep that humans and dogs can share in a cyclic fashion. Another one is Streptococcus pneumonia. This bacteria is one of the leading causes of bacterial pneumonia.
Babies, small children, elderly patients, and those with problems with their immune systems for any reason are a higher risk for infection. There is a real risk for a cycle of re-infection to occur in these people.
Finally, your dog can catch illnesses without ever touching the carrier and then pass it on to your baby by licking them. You may never have heard of Leptospirosis but it is a very real danger you want to avoid.
The urine from certain wild animals such as rats, deer, skunks and raccoons can share the Leptospira bacteria to an exposed dog. The two animals do not ever have to meet to share the bacteria.
Should your dog not be vaccinated and become infected, they can transmit the bacteria to your family. Anyone infected, either dogs or humans, are at high risk for developing liver and/or kidney failure.
When it comes to our babies, we cannot be too careful. Your dog can carry many bacteria without displaying any symptoms at all. He may appear to be perfectly healthy.
If you want to prevent the sharing of disease, it is recommended that you vaccinate your dog for Leptospirosis every year. It is best that you do not feed them raw diets to minimize the risk of the GI associated “bugs”
It is wise to keep your dog away from family members who are ill. If anyone has repeated bouts of Strep, you may want to have your dog checked by his vet. Even if not ill himself, he may be a carrier.
And, finally, as hard as it may be to do, do not allow your dog to lick your baby. With such a potentially high price to pay for dogs making your baby laugh, are canine kisses really worth the chance?
Worms – Parasites
As previously pointed out, dogs not only lick their own genitals and backside they stick their noses in every other dog’s backside each chance they get. They are known to eat feces, both their own and of other dogs.
All of these fecal exposures place them at increased risk of picking up worms and various intestinal parasites. These can easily be transmitted to humans. Two of these are particularly concerning.
Roundworms and Cryptosporidium
Roundworms are caused by a parasite known as Toxocara. These infections are rarely serious. Most healthy adults would not even be aware of having any symptoms.
Serious cases are sometimes seen in babies and small kids. The worm comes in several stages. The larval stage of the worm can cause problems in various tissues because they can migrate through the body.
The Toxocara larvae are frequently found in the eye. This can lead to vision loss for the child, either partial or total. Neither of these is a desired outcome nor worth any amount of doggie kisses.
Sometimes, the larvae find their way to the liver. Occasionally, they show up in the brain or central nervous symptom. This is not a good outcome either.
Should the larvae reside in those places in the human body, there could be a variety of symptoms. These include:
- abdominal pain
This tiny parasite requires a microscope to view. Both the diarrheal disease and the parasite that causes it are often called “Crypto”.
Crypto produces a watery form of diarrhea and all groups of people can be affected. However, the very young, very old and anyone with a compromised immune system is at increased risk of the disease becoming life-threatening.
Be faithful with a regular de-worming schedule. Your vet can recommend the schedule and the type of worms for which your dog needs prophylactic treatment. Daily removal of feces from your yard is vital.
In addition to maintaining good hygiene, preventing your dog from licking your baby will minimize the risks to a significant degree.
Mothering Instincts, Behavioral Issues and Mouth Contact
You may or may not realize that licking a human face is a show of submission in an effort to appease the dominant figure. For some dogs, it is to get their attention.
When a dog licks a human face for attention, t is thought to be an indication of dominance on the dog’s part. Many dog behaviorists think that a dog touching a human with their mouth is a “controlling” behavior.
No animal should ever be permitted to demonstrate signs of dominance over a child. This is especially true for a baby.
Often people think that the animal is acting as a mother to the baby. Thinking that animals are acting in a human manner can be risky. Think, for just a moment, how dogs treat their babies.
Dogs don’t treat their puppies as humans treat their babies. Mama dogs carry their babies by the neck or head. If a pup doesn’t behave, Mama dog will sharply nip them.
Mama Dog doesn’t think twice about stepping on a pup. She will growl, paw at them or even snap at them if they misbehave. She insists that they follow the pack rules even when they are very young.
If you allow your dog to act as though your baby is a puppy, it can lead to dangerous behaviors. Licking a baby’s face has its own health risks but the behavioral ones can be even more of a risk for your baby.
Even if your dog is gentle and seems to love your baby, you should not allow them to see your baby as their puppy. The risk is too great.
You need to make it clear that your baby is yours, to care for and to discipline. The best way to do this is to stop such mothering behaviors before they even have a chance to start.
Keep your dog’s face away from your baby from the beginning. It is not a habit you want to have to break later on.
A Few More Important Things To Know
Most of us trust our dogs and it would never cross our minds that they would hurt our babies. It is important that we take extreme caution when introducing them to a human baby or a small child.
Sometimes, previously unseen behaviors or instincts yet to be detected arise when a baby is first introduced. This is even more likely if the dog has been the “only child” for a long time. Jealousy is an ugly emotion.
Humans and dogs interpret body language in different ways. Therefore, dogs may react in very different ways to baby sounds and their movements. This unpredictability can lead to dangerous situations.
When a baby arrives, some dogs exhibit behavioral changes. They can become protective or aggressive. This is more true for older animals or those known to be territorial.
Baby smells, sounds, and movements are known to excite many dogs. If a dog is already excitable by nature, they might switch from licking the baby to playful biting. Younger dogs are more likely to do this.
Even playful biting can cause a serious injury to a baby or a small child. The reaction of humans to a dog biting a baby can lead to the dog becoming even more aggressive.
The Green-Eyed Monster
If you and your dog have been very close, she may feel like she is being replaced by a strange, smelly, and loud creature that is taking all your time. Dogs are known to exhibit signs of jealousy.
You will need to watch closely for any indication that your dog is feeling left out. If you note any signs of trouble brewing, intervene quickly and firmly.
Administer firm discipline if there is the slightest hint of your dog indicating ill feelings towards the baby or small child.
Finally, make time to spend with your fur baby on a regular basis. Let her know she is still your baby, too and that she has not been replaced.
Now What? How Can I Stop My Dog From Licking?
If you are now convinced that allowing your dog to lick your baby’s face is not what you want to do any longer, where do you go from here?
You will need to prevent the dog from engaging in the behavior. Licking is a behavior with a strong drive behind it. The more a dog licks, the more they want to lick.
Arranging the set-up in your home so the dog does not have free access to the baby or small child is important. A baby gate can be quite helpful at this point.
Your dog will need to be restrained during the baby’s free time on the floor. If nothing else, keep her on a leash and out of range of the baby.
In addition to using restraint, you can also use mental stimulation. Give your dog something else to keep them busy. Food puzzle toys and chew bones can be helpful.
Wearing your dog out with play-time or exercising before you bring the baby out in the common area helps. Energetic dogs are easy to become agitated, enough to hurt a baby.
Start With You
Begin teaching your dog that it is not OK to lick you. Remember that this is an attention-getting behavior most of the time. Giving her attention of any kind, either negative or positive, rewards the behavior.
Do not unintentionally reward the dog’s undesired behavior. If you cannot totally ignore the behavior, adjust your body language to gently make your point.
How do you do that?
Whenever she starts to lick you, sharply say “no” and move away to withdraw attention from her. She will probably follow you and try to lick you again.
If she usually licks on one spot, you might wish to place a mildly irritating, undesirable substance on that area. (Bitter tastes such as lemon juice or bitter apple spray)
With a dramatic flare, walk away from your dog. She may follow you and try to lick you again. Repeat the process.
You may have to leave the room. 20-second breaks away from her should be enough for each episode.
The longer she has been licking you, the more likely it is that this habit will take some time to break. You may have to repeat this process many times to get rid of the habit.
You need to be very persistent when it comes to teaching your dog that licking is no longer acceptable. Persistent consistency is the key. Become creative and do not give up.
Teach Her Another Task to Replace The Old Habit
While helping her to break her old, undesirable habit of licking you, teach her something she can do to get attention without slobbering on you.
Teach her to sit, shake hands, rollover, or lie down. If she has a new way to get attention, she is more likely to give up licking you.
When Can You Allow Your Dog To Interact With Your Baby Safely?
It all depends upon the dog and the child. If your dog loves children and has demonstrated appropriate behavior around small kids, you might consider allowing them to interact.
“It really depends on your dog’s tolerance for children,” says Nikole Gippa. She is an animal behaviorist who is based in Concord, California.
You also need to observe the baby’s interest and comfort levels when around the dog. Is the baby interested in touching the dog or does it pullback when the dog is near?
Even if the baby is only 6 months old, as long as your dog is comfortable with the attention, it might be ok. Only, of course, if you are close by your baby the entire time.
Never, ever leave your baby or small child in a room alone with a dog. No matter how well-trained and gentle your dog might be.
We never know what might cause a dog to snap. Dogs that make babies laugh can also make them cry. It is not worth the risk.
Even dogs who were once very good with children may become less tolerant of young children as they age. Perhaps they do not feel as well. Puppies are just unpredictable.
Children are not ready to really play with a dog until much older. But, long before they are ready to throw a ball or play chase, you can teach them good play manners.
As soon as the baby demonstrates, she needs to start learning how to safely interact with dogs. The basics include:
- no pulling the dog’s ears or tails
- never hit a dog
- do not tease a dog in any way
- leave dogs alone if they are sleeping or do not feel well
- do not touch a dog if they are eating or gnawing on a bone
How To Safely Interact
Children need to learn to lower their voices when talking to dogs. They also should not make sudden, unexpected movements.
When approaching an unknown dog, they should always ask the dog’s owner if he is friendly and if it is ok to pet the dog.
If the owner gives permission for the child to pet their dog,
Once she’s been given permission to pet a dog, before doing so, she should offer a closed hand to the dog for him to sniff. This protects her fingers from being nipped.
Two more points:
- A child should never approach a loose dog whether at the park or in your neighborhood
- The child should not touch a dog that’s tied up even if the dog seems friendly, or you have interacted with it before
In Conclusion, Dogs That Make Babies Laugh Can Also Cause Concern
We love all our children, human and furry ones. It is our desire to keep all of us safe, happy, and secure in our homes.
Adding a new baby or a new fur baby to the family can be challenging as well as fun. It can be very upsetting to some dogs but we can do a lot to make it easier for them.
- Introduce them slowly, let them see baby at a distance first
- Use baby’s blanket to allow dog to learn the baby’s scent
- Allow the dog to hear the baby over a monitor
- Greet the dog before the baby when first returning home
- Continue to give your dog special time and treats
- Keep the baby in your arms or very close to you in the beginning but allow the dog to come fairly close to the baby, just not its face.
- Once the baby can put its hands and feet in its mouth to suck on, do not allow the dog to lick them. If you do so earlier in the baby’s development, be sure to wash them.
- If you are bringing in a new dog, this may be of interest to you. https://excellentdogsclub.com/tips-on-how-to-introduce-a-new-dog-to-your-household-pack/
Dogs Make Babies Laugh and We Love Both of Them
Photos Courtesy of Pixabay