What Happens If A Dog Licks Human Blood? Potential Risks And Tips To Avoid

Is your dog licking the blood from a wound, the floor, or the garbage whenever it is changed? Wondering what happens if a dog licks human blood? Licking human blood won’t do anything harmful to a dog, particularly if it is ingested in a small amount. It can, however, cause infection in the injured area.

Read on to understand the detailed consequences of your dog’s licking human blood, why they do so, and whether you should allow or how to discourage it.

What Happens if a Dog Licks Human Blood?


First of all, your dog will get a taste for human blood. In terms of dogs, there is nothing to worry about if they lick human blood. The reason is that only a few blood-borne diseases can be transmitted to the dog even if they directly ingest blood, and the harmful agent in the blood can rarely infect your dog.

But if your pooch ingests lots of blood, he may suffer from diseases like gastroenteritis and illnesses like vomiting or diarrhea. Though the reaction won’t come out instantly, you should monitor your dog for the next 24 hours. Furthermore, if your dog enjoys the taste of human blood, he may become thirsty and begin consuming it whenever he gets a chance.

Your dog may also start misbehaving by grabbing a human’s poor limb firmly and refusing to release it. However, your dog won’t become a monster.

If your pooch licks human blood, it can also get infected with the hepatitis A virus, the rabies virus, and the bacteria Escherichia coli. Ingesting blood also increases the risk of getting tapeworms. If you are concerned about whether your dog has these diseases or not, take it to the vet for an immediate check-up.

You must also determine whether your dog licked human blood or the blood of other dogs. The reason is that if the blood contains harmful pathogens, it can badly attack your dog’s health.

Also Read: Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick Me So Much?

Why Does Dog Lick Human Blood?

Dogs love to investigate and get attracted by meaty and bloody smells. So once it’ll get the smell of fresh blood, your dog will vanish without thinking about anything. As a human’s best friend, dogs are also superbly caring. So once they notice their owner is injured, they may start smelling the injured area. At some point, your dog will try to soothe the area by licking it or by staying close all the time.

Your dog may instinctively try to clean the blood by licking it. Some dogs lick the wound intensely, which can damage the area significantly. Hence, don’t let your dog lick your freshly cut area or keep the house clean of blood.

Will Licking Help To Heal Wounds?

Many people believe that dogs’ saliva contains antiseptic and allows the dog to lick the wounds. However, there are numerous advantages to doing so. Although dog saliva contains antiseptic properties, they are extremely weak in comparison to modern medicine. So instead of getting an overblown antiseptic, you should use antiseptic cream on your injured area. Dogs’ saliva can only endure the improvement of some strains while others will still flourish.

In addition, dog saliva has various microbiomes compared to human skin. The human body and saliva have good bacteria. So if you let your dog lick your wound, it means you are inviting potentially dangerous bacteria. Though those bacteria aren’t harmful to dogs, they are risky for humans.

Another thing is that the dog’s tongue isn’t quite soft. It can injure the wounded tissue and prevent it from growing back. Instead, it can revive sores with ease and end up causing infections. Even a dog’s tongue can destroy new tissue.

Hence, you should use an antiseptic cream and keep the dog away from the wound. Since a dog can instinctually tend to lick wounds, you can use bandages or other essentials to prevent this. 

Should You Let the Dog Lick Your Wound?

In short, don’t let your dog lick the wound in any condition. Generally, a dog’s mouth always remains dirty. As a result, licking can spread bacteria to your injured area and cause infection. It can also increase the irritation of the wound, as the tongue of the dog isn’t the gentlest thing to wipe on the wound.

In addition, if the wound has been coated already, licking can break it again. Apart from being painful, it can also let the bacteria attack the affected area. Though the dog’s saliva has some antiseptic properties, this won’t outweigh the risk of allowing the dog to lick the wound.

Also Read: What if my dog licks bag balm?

How to Stop Dogs from Licking Human Blood?

can dogs lick human blood

As mentioned, your first duty is to take care of the wound and wrap it. Since dogs have naturally caring personalities, especially toward their owners, pushing them away from the wound can have a negative impact on them. Instead, sterilize properly and clean the wounds.

However, if your pet becomes overly eager to lick the injured area, use positive reinforcement training. In this case, you can use praise, treats, or other toys to distract the child’s attention instead of shouting or punishing. Positive reinforcement will also keep your pooch happy while letting you treat the wound safely and properly.

Instead, you can talk to an expert veterinarian to help keep your dog from licking human blood from your wound, floor, or garden. If you are concerned about rabies, vaccinating your dog keeps you safe. A vaccinated dog cannot transfer this virus to a human. But if your dog bites someone to get the taste of blood, quarantine and observe the dog for 10 days. The reason is that they may silently carry rabies.

Furthermore, if your dog licks the wound, carefully wash the area with soapy water and take medicine to avoid an infection on the wound. If you notice any rabies-related symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing or walking, see a doctor right away.

Related Article: Why Does My Dog Like To Lick Inside My Mouth?


1. Can a dog’s saliva heal human wounds?

Though dog saliva is antibacterial, it might not heat wounds. Dogs usually lick their wounds to clean them. Due to the healing properties of saliva, dogs naturally lick their wounds.

2. Can dogs get sick from eating blood?

Ingesting a small amount of blood can cause your dog a gentle gastrointestinal upset. But eating a significant amount can make your dog very ill. Your dog may cause blood in the stool and muscle tremors if intake contains iron toxicity along with blood.

3. What happens if my dog licks human period blood?

Coming into contact with period blood isn’t harmful to the dog. But if your pooch ingests feminine hygiene products along with period blood, it can become ill. Dogs spend a long hour in the garbage; hence, there is a change to eating hygiene pads and tampons.

Related Period Blood: Why Does My Dog Lick My Period Blood?

Final Words

Hope you understand what happens if a dog licks human blood. Though licking your dog slightly won’t cause any disease, ingesting excessively can make them ill, increase their thirst for blood, and increase their tendency to bite. In humans, licking wounds can cause infection and worsen the wound. Instead of using their saliva to heal the wound, use antiseptic cream and handle them safely.

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