If you own a dog, there’s probably nothing in your house that your dog hasn’t licked, from your face to their toys and even other dog’s butts.
But it could turn worrisome very fast if you see your dog licking something harmful to their health, like your wound.
A dog can get sick after sucking human blood due to many reasons. The most obvious one is the dog’s body’s reaction to the foreign substance. Other causes include bacterial transfer through different ways in the dog’s bloodstream. Not only this, but a dog licking your wounds also has consequences for your health.
Now, in this article, we’ll answer both the questions in your mind:
- What happens to my dog if he sucks human blood?
2. What happens to me if my dog sucks my blood?
What happens to my dog when it sucks human blood?
No, they don’t turn into vampires and start craving your blood. That is just a myth, and no research has proven it. So you don’t need to worry about that.
But what you do need to worry about are the following medical issues that your dog might experience if they licked your blood.
1. There’s a risk of gastrointestinal upset.
Ever had a cocktail with so many things that you felt like your tummy was not going to handle it well?
Human blood is no different:
It’s a combination of minerals, proteins, hormones, blood cells, sugars, salt, and many more things.
Your dog’s digestive system is not made to break down these substances, which is why their bodies will have trouble ingesting these foreign substances.
You will most probably see them with an upset stomach accompanied by a nasty stomach ache and other symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, bloating, or vomiting.
2. Your dog could get a blood-borne illness.
If you’re thinking, “This can’t be true for my dog because I don’t have any illness”, you’re mistaken.
Your blood isn’t always harmless. Even if you feel completely normal, you could still have pathogens in your blood. Sometimes they’re present without any symptoms.
There are some human diseases whose pathogens live in us. Examples include bacterial infections like Tuberculosis, Salmonella, and MRSA.
If, by chance, you were sick when your dog licked your wound – then you should know this:
Your blood was most likely contaminated with disease-causing bacteria or a virus that could’ve possibly traveled to your dog’s bloodstream.
This is backed up by research:
Research shows that some human diseases like MRSA, ringworm, and salmonellosis can be transferred to dogs.
But lucky for you:
Research also shows that although dogs can get diseases like human flu viruses, mumps, and SARS-COV-2, they usually don’t get ill due to these.
Having contaminated blood can expose your dog to the symptoms and illnesses of the disease or virus.
If the blood is uncontaminated, then you don’t have much to worry about, except of course some irritated GI tract.
3. Bleeding wounds have several harmful bacteria.
If you were the one taking a sigh of relief from the information above, you might want to rethink your decision.
Suppose you didn’t have any disease that could get transferred to your bud. However, we’re not short of bacteria in this world at all.
There’s a high possibility that the blood from the wound attracted several bacteria, either from the object that cut you or the air around you.
Yes, it’s that easy for bacteria to enter the blood. An open wound has everything bacteria wish for; all the nutrients they need for reproduction and multiplying.
Even if you didn’t have any bacteria already in your blood, there’s a high chance your blood attracted it and got transferred to your dog’s bloodstream.
Sad to break the news to you, but eventually, your dog will get sick.
4. Iron poisoning, but it’s rare.
Let’s be honest; we all have tasted our blood at least once.
So what does it taste like?
The majority answer is that blood has a metallic taste.
What you taste is iron present in your blood. The high quantities of iron make human blood taste like how it does.
However, when your dog licks your iron-rich blood, he might be in danger of iron toxicity. Iron toxicity is fatal when excess iron in the body damages the tissues.
If you’re in doubt about how much blood your dog tasted, then you should know the symptoms of iron poisoning:
- Dropped blood pressure
- Extreme fatigue
- Bloody diarrhea
What happens to me if my dog sucks my blood?
You’re a selfless dog lover who cares more about their dog’s health than their own, but we care about you
So hear us out:
Similar to how your dog can get sick from sucking your blood, you, too, can get sick from your dog sucking your blood.
You probably don’t want to hear this, but your dog’s saliva has bacteria. Although it’s a balance of good and harmful bacteria, you should be careful. Capnocytophaga canimorsus is the most common harmful bacteria.
Your dog’s body has adapted to both of these bacteria, so the harmful bacteria isn’t really harmful to your dog.
However, if this bacteria is present anywhere outside your dog’s mouth, it will cause harm. Especially if your wound gets in contact with it.
You can expect a severe bacterial infection if this happens.
In extremely rare cases, it could even cause death.
Tip: If you have a baby, you should keep your baby away from your dog. Your dog will want to lick your baby out of curiosity, which could harm them as they have weak immunity. And as we learned today, a dog’s saliva is full of bacteria.
Why does my dog like sucking human blood?
Your dog may lick your blood for the following reasons:
- He likes the salty taste
- He’s trying to heal it
- He wants to know your health status
- He wants to keep predators away
Does dog saliva heal human wounds?
No, it does not. It actually does the opposite. Dogs put their mouth on just about anything, so you can imagine the number of bacteria that could infect your wound.
So we recommend you have a loosely wrapped bandage around your wound to prevent it and for quicker healing.