There aren’t many moments more blissful than your dog running to greet you at the door.
Dogs get so excited every time their people come home (even if you’ve only been gone for 20 minutes) and that kind of sheer joy is pretty darn contagious.
Just look at this golden retriever realizing that his owner is home — you can’t fake that much happiness!
Of course, an inevitable part of any puppy-greeting is a desperate attempt to lick your entire face.
Most owners work on training this behavior out of their canine companions, and some people really don’t like it.
On the flip side, if you think it’s pretty sweet when your dog gives you lots of love, there is actually some compelling evidence that you should just go ahead and let your pup smother you in slobber.
Scroll through below to learn why!
#1: Doggie Breath Is Good For You
Okay, let’s get one myth out of the way first: dog mouths are not cleaner than human mouths.
That being said, dogs do have totally different immune systems and experiences than their human family, which means that they have a different microbiome.
Their probiotics (healthy microorganisms living in their system) are different from yours, and might compensate for some of the “gaps” in your own system!
#2: Kisses Help You, Bond
You probably already know that kissing and cuddling your human family helps to make you feel closer.
That’s because physical affection releases a chemical called oxytocin (the so-called “cuddle” hormone) in your brain, and forms positive connections to the people you snuggle.
And it’s not just humans! When your dog kisses you, you both get boosted levels of oxytocin, and will feel closer than ever!
#3: Puppy Kisses Improve Your Mood
If you’re someone who already likes puppy kisses, you’ve probably noticed that they always pick up your spirits!
That’s because getting kisses from someone you love — human or canine — makes your brain release serotonin.
Seratonin is the chemical associated that creates feelings of happiness and contentment.
#4: Your Dog Might Benefit, Too!
Remember what we said earlier about how different your dog’s microbiome is from yours? Well, the reverse is true, too!
That means that every time your dog smothers you with kisses, they’re also benefitting from your unique blend of microorganisms.
Your bacteria might just give your dog what she needs to fight off a nasty bug or untimely illness.
#5: It Means You’re The Pack Leader
In the wild, one of the main reason canines lick is to show their pack leader that they know who is boss.
Coyotes and wolfs do it, and domestic dogs display the same behavior.
So, next time your pooch kisses your face, take it as a sign of obedience and recognition of your authority!
#6: It Relieves Canine Stress
Dogs show their love by licking, and it stresses them out when they aren’t allowed to.
A stressed-out dog might show her anxiety by licking other things, like a favorite toy, or a spot on her own paw.
They’d really rather lick you! If you can’t deal with kisses on the face, you can always offer your hands and arms instead.
#7: Dog Kisses Might Protect You From Allergies
Babies and young children benefit a lot from having dogs in the house.
Not only do they get plenty of extra love — we’ll bet you five dollars your dog thinks your baby is really their baby — but it’s also great for those developing organs and immune systems.
Babies and tots that grow up with dogs have a substantially reduced risk of developing allergies to pet dander.
#8: Kissing Dogs Are Caring Dogs
In addition to showing submission to a pack leader, dogs in the wild lick to take care of one another.
Mother dogs lick their puppies constantly to clean them and keep them warm.
If your dog is showing the same behavior around you, it means he or she loves you to pieces and wants you to be happy and healthy.
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