Dogs often express their affection through licking amongst other behaviors. While this can be endearing and doesn’t lead to any issues, in most circumstances or some individuals, there are still cases when it can result in mild to serious problems. It is a bit more concerning when a dog licks your eyes since it’s a very sensitive organ.
Even though dogs’ saliva has slight antimicrobial properties, it’s not something that human eyes respond well to. Dog saliva also comprises bacteria, special proteins, and traces of foreign substances, especially after eating or chewing. When introduced to the eye, these components can irritate the sensitive eye tissues, cause inflammation, or provoke allergic reactions, leading to pain, swelling, itchiness, or redness.
It’s important to note that the severity of the problem can vary depending on various factors, including the individual dog’s oral hygiene, overall health, and the cleanliness of their saliva. Additionally, the sensitivity of the person’s eyes and their immune system response also play a role in determining the extent of the reaction.
To prevent potential issues, it’s advisable to avoid allowing dogs to lick your eyes or face. If accidental contact occurs or you experience any discomfort or symptoms after a dog licks your eyes, it is recommended to rinse your eyes with clean or saline water and consult a healthcare professional if the symptoms persist days after or worsen. They can provide appropriate advice and treatment based on the specific situation.
My Dog Licked My Eye And Now It Hurts.
When a dog’s tongue makes contact with the eye, this seemingly innocent act can lead to discomfort or even pain. This reaction may stem from several potential factors.
First, a dog’s saliva can harbor various bacteria and microbes, which can be harmful when introduced to the sensitive ocular surface. When these microorganisms come into contact with your eye, they can trigger an inflammatory response resulting in pain or discomfort.
Also, the eye is an extremely sensitive organ with a fragile protective layer. The mechanical action of your dog’s tongue against this delicate surface can cause irritation, leading to discomfort.
If the dog has recently chewed or eaten something, residual traces left on the tongue can be transferred to your eye during the licking act. These traces might contain allergens, irritants, or foreign bodies, resulting in varying degrees of ocular discomfort.
Individual variability also plays a crucial role. People with sensitive eyes or those who have existing allergies or eye conditions might experience more significant discomfort or pain than others when their eye comes into contact with dog saliva or any irritants on the dog’s tongue.
What To Do If Your Dog Licks Your Eye and It Hurts
If your dog licks your eye and it hurts, the first thing to do is remain calm. Rinse your eye gently with clean, lukewarm water to wash away the saliva and any potential irritants. Avoid rubbing your eye after rinsing, as this could exacerbate the situation and lead to additional damage.
If rinsing your eye doesn’t alleviate the discomfort, or if your eye continues to hurt, it’s essential to seek medical help. Over-the-counter eye drops can provide temporary relief, but they are not a substitute for professional medical advice.
It’s also important to observe your eye for symptoms like persistent redness, swelling, discharge, light sensitivity, or changes in vision, as these can indicate a more serious issue requiring immediate attention.
Remember, your health should be a priority. As much as we love our furry friends and their displays of affection, it’s crucial to ensure that these interactions do not jeopardize our well-being. Train your dog to express affection safely, and always stay vigilant to prevent such incidents.
My dog licked my eye and now it’s swollen
While you don’t always end up with any issues after a dog licks your eye, there is still a potential chance of complications. If you are experiencing swelling in your eye, this could be a result of several factors.
Physical irritation can be a contributing factor. Eye swelling can occur if you rub your eyes very often or let your dog rub it with his tongue. The eyes are quite sensitive and can be easily irritated when undue physical pressure is exerted on them.
When your dog licked your eye, some of these bacteria could have been transferred to your eye, potentially leading to an infection. A bacterial infection can cause swelling, redness, and discomfort in the eye, which is a condition known as conjunctivitis, or pink eye.
You could be experiencing an allergic reaction. Dogs produce several types of allergens that can trigger a response in people who are sensitive to them. These allergens are proteins found in a dog’s saliva, urine, and dander (dead skin cells). If you’re allergic to dogs and one of these proteins entered your eye when your dog licked you, your immune system might have responded by releasing histamines. This immune response can lead to inflammation and swelling in and around the eye.
Also, any foreign debris or substances on the dog’s tongue could have caused further irritation
What To Do If Your Dog Licks Your Eye And It’s Swollen
To remove any potential irritants or allergens, gently flush your eye with clean, cool water or an eye rinse solution. This can help alleviate some discomfort and wash away any substances that might have come into contact with your eye. It’s important to resist the temptation to rub or scratch your eye, as this can worsen the swelling or cause further injury.
Place a clean, cold compress or a cold washcloth over your closed eye to reduce swelling and soothe any discomfort. Be sure not to apply excessive pressure.
If you suspect an allergic reaction, consider taking over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops according to the recommended dosage. Antihistamines can help reduce allergic symptoms such as swelling and itching. However, consult a healthcare professional or pharmacist to ensure the appropriate antihistamine and dosage for your situation.
Seek medical advice: If the swelling persists for more than 3 days, worsens, or if you experience severe pain, vision changes, or discharge from your eye, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Contact an optometrist or an ophthalmologist for a proper evaluation and appropriate treatment.
My Dog Licked My Eye and Now It Itches
Even though a dog’s tongue is quite smoother than that of cats it irritates the tissues of the eye due to how sensitive they are and causes them to itch. This is a physical, rather than a chemical reaction, and it can occur even in the absence of any harmful bacteria or allergenic substances.
The itching sensation could be attributed to the presence of a variety of proteins in the dog’s saliva. While typically harmless, these compounds can cause allergic reactions in some individuals when introduced into the eye, leading to an itching sensation. Bacteria can also be a culprit in this condition. However, this is much rarer
As previously stated, anything from common household dust to specific types of plants or food can leave traces on their tongue. If your dog subsequently licks your eye, these microscopic particles can get transferred into the eye, triggering an itching sensation.
What To Do If Your Dog Licks Your Eye and It Itches
In the event of your eye itching following a lick from your dog, your initial response should be to refrain from rubbing the eye. While rubbing might provide temporary relief, it can also lead to further irritation and even potential injury to the eye.
Rinse your eye with clean water or saline solution. This helps in removing any foreign substances that may be causing the itch.
If after rinsing, the itchiness persists, an over-the-counter antihistamine eye drop may help to alleviate the itch. These drops work by blocking the release of histamines, chemicals your body produces in response to an allergen.
However, these steps are just first-aid measures. If the itchiness continues or if you notice any additional symptoms like redness, pain, or changes in vision, you should consult a healthcare professional immediately.
How To Stop Dogs Face Licking
Here are some unique, effective measures to curtail your dog’s face-licking behavior
1. Make Use of Distractions
When your dog gets the urge to lick your face, promptly distract it with something engaging. A favorite squeaky toy or an interactive game can be excellent alternatives.
2. Positive Reinforcement
You can use a treat to train your dog to stop licking. Hold a treat in your hand and let your dog sniff it. Give the treat only when your dog backs off and stops attempting to lick your face. This strategy helps the dog associate not licking with getting rewards.
3. Schedule Regular Play and Exercise Sessions
Some dogs resort to face licking out of boredom. Regular playtime and exercise can keep your dog mentally stimulated and physically satisfied, reducing the likelihood of excessive face licking.
4. Ignore Them
When your dog starts licking, immediately stop what you are doing, cross your arms, and turn away. This technique gives your dog the message that licking leads to the withdrawal of attention. When they do not get a positive experience from licking you they will be discouraged.
5. Set up Physical Barriers
Establishing physical barriers when you are seated or lying down can also help. For instance, having a pillow between your face and your dog could prevent it from reaching your face.
6. Consult a Professional
If the face-licking behavior persists despite your efforts, consider consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide personalized advice and training strategies tailored to your dog’s needs and behaviors.
Here’s Why Your Dog Likes Licking Your Eyes Or Face.
One of the most common reasons dogs lick humans is to express affection. From an early age, puppies learn to lick their mother, and the other way round. This behavior carries over into their interactions with humans and is often seen as the canine equivalent of kissing.
2. Social Behavior
Licking is a normal dog behavior that can also function as a form of communication. Dogs lick other dogs’ faces as a sign of submission or to show respect to a more dominant dog. By licking your face, your dog might be acknowledging you as their leader.
3. Interesting Smells or Taste
Dogs have an excellent sense of taste and smell. Salty sweat on human skin can be appealing to them. If you’ve just had a meal or a snack, your face might carry food residues that your dog finds irresistible.
4. Seeking Attention
Dogs can learn that licking a human face gets immediate attention. Even if the attention they get is negative, it can still be rewarding for them as it can mean more interaction and engagement.
5. Comfort and Stress Relief
The act of licking releases endorphins in dogs, which can provide them with a sense of comfort and stress relief. It’s a way for dogs to cope with anxiety or stress, similar to humans who may find activities such as doodling or tapping their fingers to be soothing.
6. Care and Grooming
In the canine world, grooming one another is a common bonding activity. By licking your face or eyes, your dog might be trying to care for you the same way it would for another dog.
It’s essential to understand these behaviors from the dog’s perspective. While it’s usually done out of affection or habit, consistent face or eye licking should be curbed to avoid potential health issues, such as those discussed earlier.
Can You Get Rabies From Dogs Licking Your Eyes?
Rabies is a viral disease that is primarily transmitted through the bite or scratch of an infected animal, as the virus is present in the saliva and can enter the body through broken skin or mucous membranes. Theoretically, if an infected dog licks your eyes, there is a potential risk of rabies transmission.
The eyes, along with the mouth and nose, are covered in mucous membranes and if there is a breach in this mechanical barrier, the rabies virus can penetrate these areas, so if a dog infected with rabies licks your eye, it could potentially introduce the virus into your body.
However, it’s important to note that this is relatively rare, especially in regions where rabies prevention and control programs are active and domestic pets, like dogs, are routinely vaccinated against the disease. Transmission through licking is less common than transmission through bites or scratches, but it can occur.
The best way to prevent potential rabies exposure from your dog is to keep their vaccinations current. If you are unsure about your dog’s vaccination status, consult with your veterinarian. If you are licked in the eye by a dog, particularly a dog with unknown vaccination status or one behaving strangely, seek medical attention promptly.
Rabies, once symptoms appear, is nearly always fatal, but it is preventable with prompt post-exposure prophylaxis, which includes a series of vaccinations. Any potential exposure to the rabies virus, such as being licked in the eye by a dog suspected to be infected with the virus, should be taken seriously and addressed immediately with medical professionals.
The aftermath of a dog licking your eye can vary, from pain and swelling to itchiness, often caused by irritation, allergic reaction, the introduction of foreign substances after eating or chewing something, or even infections.
Should these symptoms persist after preliminary first aid measures such as rinsing with clean or saline water, using over-the-counter eye drops, or seeking professional medical help is crucial.
While it’s relatively rare to contract diseases like rabies from a dog licking your eye, it’s important to understand that the possibility exists, particularly if the dog is unvaccinated or if the mucous membrane of the eyes is broken.
Training your dog to stop face-licking behavior can be a long-term solution to prevent these concerns. Techniques like redirecting their attention, positive reinforcement, setting up physical barriers, or consulting a professional trainer can all be effective methods.