Can You Eat Food After Your Dog Has Licked It? [Full Guide]

dog eat from counter

As a dog parent, you may have wondered whether it’s safe to eat food after your dog has licked it. Perhaps you accidentally ate food that your dog licked, or maybe you intentionally shared ice cream with your furry friend. Either way, it’s important to understand the potential risks involved.

Eating food after your dog has licked it may result in no problems at all, or it may lead to health issues such as indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, ringworm, hookworm, or roundworm. It’s crucial to provide your dog with the appropriate amount of food at the right time to prevent counter-surfing behavior.

In this article, we’ll explore whether it’s safe to eat food that your dog has licked and the potential consequences of doing so. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to be aware of these risks and take appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of both you and your furry friend.

Can you eat food after your dog licked it?

Same as I do, I know you love your pooch too. Getting into this, dogs tend to pour their head into almost everything, yes, just not the good stuff. They just stick their faces on poop, garbage, and what not?

There’s a famous expression where they say, “a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth,” but ever wondered whether it is true or not? I guess it’s a “NO” until now.

A dog’s mouth consists of hundreds of microbes; ever thought about it? Yes, every microbe doesn’t make the dog’s mouth dirty, but there are several types of bacteria that do

As an example, the bacterial family Porphyromonas is known for causing periodontal disease in both people and doggies. The species of Porphyromonas called P. gulae are considered “dirty bacteria” that cause problems mouth.

Considering this, it’s better “NOT” to eat the food after your dog licks it!

What happens if you eat food licked by your dog?

Now, let’s check into what might happen if you eat food licked by your doggy. These might not be common, but there is a probability that it might happen.

1. “Ouch, my stomach.”

Ever been through this situation after eating food that your doggy licked? Some might have, and some might not.

As I mentioned before, the doggy mouth is full of microbes that are zoonotic, which means these bacteria have arisen from contaminated stuff and might get transferred from your doggy to you.

As a result of this, indigestion, diarrhea, puking may be caused. Some of the bacteria infections you might have are E.coli, Salmonella, and campylobacter.

2. Ringworm issues-Annoying rashes.

When you hear this, you’ll be pretty disgusted hearing the word “worm’ itself, but the fun fact is that it’s not a worm but a fungus.

This ringworm disease is basically a fungal infection occurring on the dog’s skin. As the first part of this, the poor doggy will begin to get patches in his body due to fur loss.

If we consider why this happens, it’s because the fungus makes your doggy’s fur coat really fragile.

Your blossom buddy may get this ringworm disease due to pouring his head on dirt, through contacting an affected animal, or even from the nature around.

Moreover, if your home sofas, carpets, and food bowls are quite unclean, the poor might get infected.

So, coming into this, in case you lick the food the dog licked at this instance, you might be connected with ringworm disease too, which might not be pretty good.

Moreover, you might not forget to give your rashes on your skin after having contact with your doggy.

Puppies and little kids are more susceptible to this ringworm disease.

3. Hookworm and roundworm issues.

As a dog parent, I am quite sure that you have seen your blossom buddy licking other dogs’ poop at least once in your lifetime.

So what happens is that these annoying hookworms and roundworms get transmitted from dog to dog.

Later on, if the dog has contact with you through licking your face or when you eat food that is licked by your dog, it might get transmitted to you as well.

These can cause itchiness, redness on your skin, diarrhea, and even more damage such as intestinal damage, blindness, and even harm other organs.

Why does your dog try to lick your food?

Wondering why they try to do this? Let’s dive deep into this.

1. “Dude, I am hungry.”

“My tummy is growling, do you hear me?” your blossom buddy might be really wishing he could just say this to you, but how can he, so he might be saying this to you by trying to lick your food, or maybe he licks his empty bow of food.

Have you ever noticed this with your doggy too?

2. “Dry tongue”

Has your doggy ever tried to lick your precious ice cream? This might be because he is super thirsty and needs something to drink.

They try to fight out the dryness of their tongue through this.

3. “Separation anxiety”

Was your doggy’s first family someone else? Do you leave your doggy for work for a long period of time? If it’s a yes, your canine buddy might feel lonely due to the separation from his beloved family.

So, along with this feeling, he might get stressed and develop it into the form of separation anxiety.

Just as the name states, separation anxiety occurs due to the separation of a loved one. As a result of this, he might try to lick things excessively, which might include your food in his list as well.

4. Doggy Dementia.

This is a vital factor to be considered. Is your doggy confused all the time? Has your doggy forgotten his daily routines?

Dog dementia or often call as canine cognitive dysfunctional (CCD) syndrome, occurs along with aging. Here the symptoms will be shown starting from the age of 9. Moreover, research has shown that about 68% of dogs face dog dementia by the age of 15.

Dog dementia shows symptoms such as,

  • Confusions.
  • Anxiety.
  • Excessive liking.
  • Doesn’t enjoy playing as much as they used to.
  • Routines are forgotten.
  • Learning tasks become slow

So as you can see, excessive licking may include your food as well. Poor doggy!

5. “I just want to try it.”

Just like toddlers, puppies are indeed energetic and explorative as well. So when you try out a portion of new food, he may just come over to have a taste of it.

The little one is on an exploration stage!

How to keep your dog from licking the food?

So, now let’s get into how we can prevent dog licking from the food.

1. Reward, Reward, Reward.

Does your doggy try to lick the food which you have arranged? Then it’s quite a problem, isn’t it? As a remedy for this, try using the technique of positive reinforcement.

Whenever the dog tries to lick off your food, just be sure that you won’t scold him. Instead, tell him “No” in the most empathetic way you can and reward him with dog treats and praise him.

Do this for some time, and eventually, he’ll stop licking off your food.

2. Give proper attention.

Your doggy might be trying to lick your food just to get your Love and attention. So make sure you give what he requires, Specially your time and efforts.

You can do this in varying ways, such as playing with him, taking a walk alone with him, buying him toys, and through praises.

This way, unwanted habits will be reduced, which will in turn aid in growing the relationship between you and your canine friend.

3. Look out whether he is thirsty or not.

As I mentioned earlier, dogs tend to look out for something to quench their thirst, so your food might even be a target for them.

So, before that occurs, better provide him with foods or drinks to quench his thirst!

4. Let your furry friend know you are there for him.

Now, this can be a little treatment for his separation anxiety as well. The more he knows you are present for him, the happier he is.

So, if you are at work or traveling days for work purposes, try out a camera with a record of your voice.

This will make him assure that you are there for him, and he will tend to minimize his unwanted behavior patterns; Love and care are all these pooches seek!

Suggested Reading: What to do if you miss your dog while at work?

5. Treatment for dementia.

Last but not least, if your doggy has signs mentioned before, immediately seek a veterinarian.

The veterinarian will conduct physical examinations and also will be conducting tests to check the cognitive function of the canine friend.

What should you do if you find that you have eaten food that your dog has licked?

Oops, did you find out that you ate food that was licked off by your canine friend? Then, at the first point, what is recommended is to go to your doctor.

You might wonder why? If I answer that question of yours, you never know what your doggy might be having inside his mouth, isn’t it?

So as a remedy to prevent yourself from future health consequences, check up on a doctor. If it’s possible, check your doggy with a veterinarian too.!

Things to be aware of.

After all, there are a few facts we need to be concerned about. Let’s check on them.

1. “No table snacks”

Do you keep giving your doggy snacks while you eat your food? Or do you try to share it with your buddy, then it’s a “big No,” This will only lead the doggy into inconsistent habits leading both of you in a trouble bubble.

2. Human food allergies.

Most of the human food is allergic to dogs. So making him taste or lick your food might not be really a good idea. Better be away from that!

3. No punishing.

Punishing your doggy will only make things much more complicated. So being kind and explaining to him stuff through praises and rewards is one of the utmost vital things you can do as a dog parent.


In conclusion, I hope I guided you to all your problematic stuff regarding dog licking out your food and why you should not eat it, and so on, and I hope this will aid in getting your relationship with your canine friend to a higher level.

Stay tuned with us to know more about your dear blossom buddies!

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