No doubt dog is the most adopted pet in households for many centuries. Man generally understands dogs’ habits, yet there are many traits for which man has no clue and is striving to know answers to dog’s certain behaviors.
How to stop my dog from licking other dogs pee? Scientists studying this mysterious behavior of dog licking another dog’s pee link it to the vomeronasal organ (another name is Jacobson’s organ) and say it is responsible for such an act of licking other dogs’ urine.
Here we discuss this issue of dog licking urine and see the different explanations given by experts for why does my dog drink other dogs urine and discuss solutions suggested for how to stop my dog from licking other dogs pee.
Dog Licking Urine
Many a time dog owners observe their dog drinking urine and wonder why do dogs drink urine. Behaviorists and vets have studied this and come up with many explanations.
Here we discuss the many reasons explained by the dog specialists and behaviorists.
- Behavioral Problem : If it is inside home then probably the dog did not have access to its poop site, so urinated where he was and out of fear of punishment licked it off. This is more a matter of proper training and organizing things.
- Dehydration : If the dog is feeling dehydrated it will lick its own urine by spontaneous action. Assure it has access to its water bowl and clean water all time.
- Health Issues : The most common is urinary tract infection (UTI). The dog frequently urinates everywhere and may try cleaning up by licking.
- Check for signs of blood in urine, fever, and cloudy urine. Consult the vet for proper investigation and treatment
- Cushing’s syndrome : Although rare in dogs, but can happen. Two major signs are excessive thirst and frequent urination. In this condition, the dog is likely to drink its own pee because of feelings of dehydration.
When Dogs Lick Other Dogs Pee
Folks are surprised and ask is it normal for dogs to lick other dogs pee, or are at loss to know why does my male dog lick other male dogs pee.
It is natural the dog will lick only those things in which it is interested in, otherwise it will just sniff and pass.
Dogs by nature are territory markers. Meaning they like to ‘own’ a territory by marking it with their urine. When it is roaming around (be on leash) it likes to sniff at everything to know about its territory.
To the question of why does my dog drink other dogs urine the answer is it is an inborn trait and is not controlled by the dog.
It is collecting more information and storing it in memory. This is more like a social gauge to know more about the other animal.
Dog experts tell, by doing this the dog can know many things about the other dog. Like sex, illness, if the female is in heat, neutered or unneutered, and even if it is stressed or not.
What is the Flehmen Reaction? And is it even Normal?
After many decades of research scientists and doctors have found a plausible answer to the query why does my dog drink other dogs urine.
Flehmen Reaction is a special way for some animals to smell the scent of their own species and other animals by using not their normal olfactory glands in the nose, rather the vomeronasal organ.
Studies have shown ‘Flehmen Reaction’ in many animals, including dog species, which has its own way of performing it. In this act, the dog sniffs and tastes the pee through its vomeronasal organ (VNO)
The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is also known as Jacobson’s organ. This is a secondary olfactory sense organ at the base of the nasal cavity.
The normal sniffing action is done through the dog’s nose involuntary all time when it is breathing/sniffing. Flehmen action is voluntary, meaning efforts have to be made just like swallowing.
This is the most plausible explanation given by scientists and doctors for why does my dog drink other dogs urine after thorough studies and research using MRIs and scans over many decades.
For this reason, the dog licking urine, is to get a better sample and understanding of the odor and taste.
Why Does My Dog Lick His Pee After Peeing?
Many times dog owners ask why do dogs lick their pee, or wonder what does it mean when your dog drinks its pee. Why do dogs lick their own urine is somewhat different of a problem than figuring out why is my dog drinking other dogs pee.
Dog drinking its own urine is not very common, as compared to dog drinking other dogs pee. This is not an instinctive action, rather it is a behavioral or health-related problem.
One major reason identified by vets and dog experts is discussed for how to stop my dog from licking other dogs pee and what causes dogs to lick other dogs urine
If your dog is dehydrated, by nature it will try to keep itself hydrated. Drinking its own urine seems easy and may form a habit if it is not remedied.
Some signs of dehydration are
- Lethargy loss of energy
- Drinking fluids other than water
- Eating less
- Easily gets out of breath
- Nose is dry and gums get gluey
- Eyes get somewhat recessed
- Skin loses its elasticity
- May vomit and have diarrhea in extreme cases
- Bad habit/Training/Behavior. The dog needs re-training for its relief habit. Try to catch it at its right time, and lead him to the right place.
- No place to go. If there is no outlet for a dog to easily go to its place of relief, then it will pee wherever it is (inside the house).
- Senior dog. As the dog gets old, incontinence prevails. Mostly this is due to weak bladder control muscles or in some cases infection.
- UTI Unary tract infections can also result in frequent need to urinate or leakage of the pee. Due to the frequency, the dog is not able to go outside quickly and urinates inside the house.
- Cushing’s syndrome. In this illness, the major symptoms are excessive thirst & frequent urination. Because of these two, the dog will start licking its own pee, to quench thirst.
- Guilt. If the dog has been house-trained, then licking its urine, maybe a way to clean it up.
Tips To Correct Dog Licking Own Urine
Besides sight and hearing, sniffing and tasting (licking) are the two most powerful senses of the dog, with which it explores the world and establishes bonds with other animals and humans.
Some traits are inborn, that is it comes naturally since the breed dog evolved in the wild. Even after domestication and training, it persists.
Dog licking urine is one such trait. Dog owners observe dog drinking own urine and also ask why does my dog drink other dogs urine.
Humans see this action as disgusting and want to know how to stop my dog from licking other dogs pee.
As it is a natural instinct for a dog, it has been difficult to get rid of this habit from dogs, despite training. However, dog trainers and enthusiasts have come up with some guidelines to help ward off this habit of dogs.
For the problem of a dog drinking own urine while peeing following are remedies suggested by the experts.
- Try to catch the dog in the act, so you can correct the behavior immediately.
- Re-train for the pee breaks (house-training).
- Use rewards and love to reinforce proper behavior.
- Make available fresh water in easy reach. Maybe flavor it lightly which your dog might like.
- The dog should have easy access to go outside for his nature’s call, he should not wait for somebody to open the door. Provide a doggy door.
- Get a wellness check from your vet, to rule out any other illnesses.
- Clean the urinated area immediately with proper cleaners, remove the urine odor, so the dog does not return to the same spot and get the cue from the smell to urinate at that spot.
- When going out (on leash) avoid places where you suspect other dogs have marked their territory. The less your dog gets a chance to smell, the less opportunity to lick.
Is Drinking Pee Dangerous for my Dog?
Urine is not sterile. It always carries bacteria and other infectious germs. If the dog is healthy and has no disease, then its urine can be considered ok for your dog. In that case, if your dog licks or drinks another dog’s urine then it is safe.
However, if the surface from where the urine is licked has some infectious bacteria or fungus then that might cause problems like leptospirosis. Generally, the dog’s immune system is strong and it takes care of such misdemeanors.
Sometimes people report dog licks pee and foams at mouth. Well, this is nothing to worry about, if the dog is in its natural instinctive way investigating by licking off urine of another dog.
Due to breathing and making effort to pump the ‘urine sample’ to its vomeronasal organ, some foam will be generated, as the saliva will be produced during this action, which will foam.
The only thing to worry about would be if the foam is excessive with drooling and has been continuing for many days and the dog’s behavior is also not normal. This needs immediate attention of a vet.
Why is My Dog Licking A Female Dog’s Pee?
how to stop my dog from licking other dogs pee? A dog’s sense of smell and taste is very strong and instinctive. Just by a lick or two, the male dog will know exactly if the female is in heat and will be ready to respond to her accordingly.
Pet dog owners report that the male dog can tell this even if the female dog is spayed. This is an instinctive response.
Final Verdict On How To Stop My Dog From Licking Other Dogs Pee
Dog owners are uncomfortable with some habits of dogs, which have not been brought under control. For example, they want to know how to stop my dog from licking other dogs pee or why do dogs lick other dogs pee or they say dog obsessed with urine.
For the problem of why does my dog lick urine, experts have identified some habits related to bad behavior, which can be easily controlled by proper training in the home and providing the right type of facilities for the dog.
There can be health or medical reasons for the dog drinking own urine. Primary being dehydration and infection of the urinary tract, resulting in frequent urination. This is one of the foremost reasons why does older dog drink its own urine.
As to the query why does my dog drink other dogs urine, it is a natural process where the dog is analyzing the other dog’s characteristics, like sex, illness, if the female is in heat, neutered or unneutered, and even if it is stressed or not.
Scientist and researchers have finally found the reason for why does my dog drink other dogs urine. It is linked to the vomeronasal organ (VNO) also called Jacobson’s organ.
During normal breathing, the dog’s olfactory glands located in the nose air passage are analyzing the smells and odors all time during breathing. This is natural.
The VNO is a secondary olfactory sense organ at the base of the nasal cavity, different from nasal glands. It is not working all time.
The animal (dog in our case) has to make a deliberate effort to force the ‘sample’ through this passage. It is called the flehmen reaction. This is the special licking or drinking process of the dog.
The VNO is dedicated in detecting non-volatile organic compounds which include pheromones and hormones excreted from the genital regions and urine.
Once reasons are known for why does my dog drink other dogs urine, suitable solutions can be found for how to stop my dog from licking other dogs pee.