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Why Does My Dog Lick Other Dogs’ Pee? Causes And Explanations

Why Does My Dog Lick Other Dogs’ Pee? Causes And Explanations

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We all know that dogs are man’s best friend, and it’s easy to see why! Dogs are loyal, friendly, and like-minded companions that make our lives a lot easier.

Despite that, it’s still normal to experience many behaviors that dogs have that simply seem strange to us. You may notice your dog licking other dogs, getting dirty, and sniffing foul-smelling objects.

Some of these behaviors can be cause for concern and reveal health conditions, while other behaviors are normal.

That being said, it can still be worrying, and you want to look into the potential reasons why your companion may like to lick other dogs’ pee.

Commonly known, dogs generally like to stick their nose in anything they can get a hold of.

This ranges from dog urine to licking another dog, amongst other things.

Let’s get into some causes and explanations as to why your dog licks other dogs’ pee.

Why Does My Dog Lick Other Dog’s Pee?

puppy standing by his mess

The first thing to realize is that dogs simply have another way of gathering information than human beings do.

While we have handshakes and ask questions, dogs usually rely on their superior sense of smell, which enables them to make sense of the world around them. It’s why you see dogs going around sniffing anything with a pungent scent.

To be more precise: the vomeronasal organ, also known as the Jacobson’s organ, is responsible for the way dogs transmit information about the world around them. This organ is located in the vomer bone, which is between the dog’s mouth and nose. This olfactory feature is your dog’s most important sense.

You can think of the vomeronasal organ almost as an analysis center that decodes the pheromones of other dogs. Since pheromones play a crucial role in triggering behaviors in dogs and other animals, it is not uncommon to see your dog smelling and even licking other dogs’ pee.

Think of it this way: your dog knows how to behave when it receives lots of information from other dogs’ pee.

It simply influences the way dogs tend to form relationships, hunt, reproduce, and decipher the behavior of other dogs around them. It can warn them if a female dog is in heat, and if other dogs are predators, as well as other triggering chemicals that lead to specific doggie behaviors.

You can even see the vomeronasal organ in action if you catch your dog licking urine and raising their snout. This is a natural occurrence, and there is no need to worry or scold your dog for licking the urine of other dogs.

Why Do Dogs Lick?

Another important aspect of dogs licking urine is to assess the reason why dogs lick in general.

While we have already established that dogs lick urine to learn information about other dogs, licking generally serves a whole bunch of functions that are central to canine behavior.

For example, many dogs will clean themselves by licking their fur, and their tongue is full of antibacterial properties that make this a lot easier. A dog’s mouth does a great job of getting rid of anything that may hurt their immune system in the long run.

Another reason why your dog likes to lick things, including urine excessively, is because it’s a learned behavior stemming from attention. Licking is the way that dogs frequently garner attention, and by constantly rewarding this action, you may find that your dogs do it a lot more than needed.

This also ties into the fact that dogs use licking as a way of displaying affection for you and for other dogs. With attention-seeking behavior comes affection, which can also encourage your dog to lick almost everything it sees in sight.

You will also frequently find your dog licking things for health reasons. This is because if your dog has a wound or an irritation is present, your dog will try to lick it to make it better.

It’s also not uncommon for dogs to do this amongst themselves, and if a dog has a wound around its private parts, you may see your dog licking around this area. If you see this happening with your dog, it is another reason to go ahead and contact a vet.

Older Dogs Licking Urine

There is yet another reason why certain dogs may lick urine.

Older dogs that have urine incontinence may engage in this type of behavior due to either a bacterial or a bladder infection. It is, unfortunately, something that happens in old age, and it is more common in some dog breeds than others.

If you do indeed have an older dog with urine incontinence, the best course of action would be to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Leaving these medical conditions as they are can lead to even worse problems and, in the worst-case scenario, shorten your dogs’ lifespan.

Why Do Male Dogs Lick Female Dogs’ Pee?

While there is a general reason why your doggie may engage in this type of behavior, leaving a lot of dog owners somewhat concerned, some may have noticed that it’s male dogs that especially love other dogs’ urine – more specifically, a female dog’s urine.

The good news is that this is normal just as well. Male dogs just love to get a whiff of a female dog’s pheromones as it allows them to sense when they’re in heat.

It’s simply a reproductive urge, and it is nothing to worry about. It’s just another sign that your male dog wants to mate.

You may notice this behavior to be more apparent whenever a dog in heat is nearby. This usually happens every six months, so there is no cause to be alarmed.

Stopping Your Dog From Licking Other Dogs’ Pee

owner yelling at his dog

Let’s face it… while your dog licking other dogs’ pee isn’t necessarily bad, it can get a little embarrassing. It’s considered normal behavior serving as a way of analyzing pheromones through your dog’s vomeronasal organ, but that doesn’t mean you want your dog to do it all the time.

You also run the risk of your dog picking up a disease by licking urine. Fortunately, there are a few ways to help prevent this from happening in the future.

Whenever you want your dog to stop licking other dogs’ urine, you can train them not to do so. By practicing certain cues such as “leave it”, you can interrupt them during the process.

If the dog stops, simply give them a treat. If your dog does not stop, use positive reinforcement rather than any type of punishment.

The best way to do this would be to redirect the attention of your dog through games or a toy. You can then reward them for redirecting their attention to the item you have offered them.

You may also want to watch your dog much more closely during your daily activities. Dog behavior includes a lot of things, which is why undesired activity is sometimes very hard to spot.

If your dog does this while walking, simply lead them away on a leash from any other dog that is peeing.

If the behavior is something you can’t stop when visiting dog parks, you may want to take a little break and have your doggie play in a controlled environment, such as your front yard.

You can always invite familiar dogs so you can supervise their activity while maintaining your dog’s socialization levels. This will give your dog a chance to unlearn the actions that you don’t want it to perform.

Conclusion

When dogs start licking pee, it is normal to get worried and concerned. But, it’s important to know that this is typically a normal thing that dogs do. This doesn’t mean that you should not be careful, and if your dog displays any type of symptoms of a disease, make sure to contact your vet.

In other words, dogs just do this to make sense of the world around them, and licking pee is an action that helps dogs understand the pheromones of other dogs, and how to react.

There are multiple steps you can take, however, to stop this from happening, such as training your dog.

Always remember not to scold your dog for licking the urine of another dog as this is, in most cases, normal. Positive reinforcement is always a better method than negative reinforcement.

FAQs

dog licking floor

Why Does My Dog Lick Its Own Pee?

Now, you may know why your loveable pooch engages in the normal behavior of liking other dogs’ pee, but what throws pet owners off is when dogs lick their own urine.

This variation has a lot more to do with housetraining and your dog rather than learning about the world around them.

In other words, your dog may simply make an effort to hide the fact of urinating indoors. If your dog is housetrained, it is easy to see why they would want their owner not to find out! After all… a dog that has learned only to go potty outside will want to avoid punishment.

This is why positive reinforcement is usually your best bet when it comes to housetraining your dog.

There is a more serious reason, however, for your dog licking its own pee. If your dog becomes dehydrated, it can go into survival mode, meaning it will use its pee as a substitute for water.

This happens only in extreme cases, but if it happens to your dog, it could be a sign that you are not giving him nearly enough water. It can also be dangerous during the summer months when dogs tend to overheat.

This could be especially true if you leave your dog alone in the house all day.

Some of the symptoms of dehydration can include loss of appetite, excessive panting, drinking pee, sunken eyes, loss of skin elasticity, sticky gums and dry nose, vomiting, and diarrhea, among others.

You can stop this from happening by making sure your dog has access to fresh water, while making sure you take them out enough to go potty so that they don’t have any accidents and want to lick it up themselves to hide it from you.

Also, monitor your dog’s pee to make sure it looks healthy. This dog urine color chart might be of help here.

When Should I Worry About My Dog Licking Urine?

In most cases, there is no reason to worry. While it may be concerning, dogs that have had their vaccinations usually don’t have any negative reactions from licking the urine of their canine friends. However, there are a few exceptions you should keep in mind just in case.

There are bad bacteria located in a dogs’ urinary tract that are known as spirochetes, and they have been known in some cases to cause an infection known as Leptospirosis.

Your dog could be especially at risk if it doesn’t have the best immune system.

Leptospirosis is a disease that can affect your dog, and some of its symptoms include fever, refusal to eat, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to contact your vet in order to ensure that your dog hasn’t picked up this disease. Leptospirosis is the most common disease your dog can pick up from dog pee. While there are others, most of them are so rare that they are not worth mentioning.

Should I Allow My Dog To Lick Other Dogs’ Pee?

The most important thing to remember is that this is just a natural thing that your dog does. As mentioned, there is no need to scold your dog as this can make your dog feel bad.

However, it is still alright to have some concerns. Some of the bacteria that are found to give dogs leptospirosis coming from other dogs’ urinary tract infections and genitals are also found in stagnant water, so that’s another thing to be wary of.

Be sure to avoid this by training your dog to stay away from other dogs’ private parts as well.

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