Although people typically equate cats with meticulous grooming, dogs also lick themselves to stay clean. Why not their crotch if they will lick their paws, legs, and body? Since they don’t use toilet paper for their anal region, they must use their tongue to keep their genitals free of debris and discharge.
Dogs also don’t have any physical issues. Regardless of who is looking, they are not embarrassed to groom their crotch. They will clean it if it needs to be cleaned. We are to blame for the snags. Putting your dog’s self-grooming in perspective by acknowledging it as typical canine behavior will assist. And if your dog decides to lick at an unsuitable moment, such as while your in-laws are there, just direct your dog’s attention to something else, such practicing some tricks in exchange for treats or engaging in some toy play.
Why does my dog constantly lick his privates?
Dogs are typically funny, but occasionally they can make people feel embarrassed. While dog owners might find it entertaining to see a dog dance in a circle or bark when instructed to, they might not find other behaviors amusing. Licking their “private parts” in public is one of the more embarrassing behaviors that dogs engage in. There is no sex bias related to licking, and there is also no appropriate manner to talk about it. The penis of a male dog is licked. The vulva will be licked by a female dog. They’ll both lick their anal areas after that. All pet owners are irritated by this less than desirable behavior.
Is licking private parts ever acceptable?
A reasonable amount of licking is considered acceptable grooming behavior in the dog world. For instance, both male and female dogs may lick their genitalia after urinating to clean them. When this is the case, licking is not prolonged and simply pertains to elimination. A simple sweep of the region is all that is necessary.
Dogs rarely lick the anal area after urinating, but they can feel the urge to clean up a little if the excrement is sticky or watery. Normally, licking doesn’t occur after a regular, firm bowel movement.
When is licking private parts considered a problem?
Urogenital (genital and urinary) licking on a regular or persistent basis may be a sign of a health issue. If you see any of the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away:
- red, bloated, or vulvar or anus
- presence of red lumps or pustules on the skin
- skin coloration issues (black or rust colored)
- effort to urinate
- greater urination frequency
- scooting or rubbing the area of the lower abdomen
- a bad smell that lingers after removal
- discharge from the vulva or penis
What causes these signs associated with licking?
A dog may repeatedly lick its genitalia or anals for a variety of medical conditions. The following are a some of the more typical issues:
a bladder infection or crystals or stones. When a dog has a stone or crystal in their bladder, they may lick their penis or vulva for a long time after urinating or even in between eliminations. They could strain to urinate and urinate more frequently. They frequently have a strong urge to urinate yet only pass very little urine. The bacteria that cause bladder infections are rather common, and they often respond well to antibiotic therapy. There are numerous oral antibiotics that are widely available, both in pill and liquid form, and are quite successful at treating bladder infections. Antibiotic injectables are mainly used only in hospital settings. Cefovecin (trade name Covenia), a long-term medication, may be helpful but is not typically used as a first-line treatment. Supplements or special diets (such Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d, Royal Canin Urinary SOTM, or Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Urinary St/OxTM) can be added to the treatment plan to assist change the bladder’s environment and reduce the likelihood of recurrent infections. If the kidneys or upper urinary tract are infected, the course of treatment may be extended by, on average, 4-6 weeks. The most effective treatment plan and its duration will be decided upon using laboratory testing such as urinalysis, urine culture, and blood tests.
Allergies. Itching in the genital region can be brought on by food or environmental sensitivities. While environmental allergies may be seasonal depending on what plants or trees are pollinating, unless the triggering allergen is indoors, food allergies may cause year-round itching. Licking will be reduced if the allergen is avoided. Dogs with environmental allergies, for instance, should only go for walks in the early morning and late evening when there is less pollen in the air due to dew on the ground. A moist cloth or baby wipe should be used to wipe your dog’s feet, belly, and any other region that comes into touch with the ground after being outside to remove some pollen that has adhered to the fur. Even while your dog may not be entirely pollen-free, the amount will be minimized. When the dog becomes sensitized to proteins (usually found in chicken, beef, or pig) or other molecules in the meal, food allergies are set off. The dog is given a hypoallergenic diet that contains novel proteins that are either hydrolyzed or man-made and to which the dog has not previously been exposed, such as lamb, salmon, kangaroo, or rabbit. Both environmental and food allergies may need medical treatment in addition to avoidance therapy. There are immune-modulating drugs, such as topical treatments, hyposensitization injections (allergy desensitization), cyclosporine (brand name Atopica), lokivetmab (brand name Cytopoint), or oclactinib (brand name Apoquel), that offer long-lasting, safe allergy relief without the side effects of steroids. Although they are sometimes used in extreme cases or as a last resort, steroids (often prednisone or combinations with an antihistamine, such as Temaril-P, Vanectyl-P) can be beneficial. On your veterinarian’s guidance, you may use over-the-counter antihistamines, though there should be caution when using any of these that combine cold/flu drugs because they have varying degrees of success with dogs.
Skin disease. Although the presence of bacteria and yeast on the skin is typical, an infection might happen if any of them shows up excessively, the skin barrier is poor, or the dog has reduced immunity. Skin infections caused by bacteria or yeast can be extremely irritating and cause frequent licking of the affected region. Pustules or red bumps are typically signs of a bacterial infection and call for antibiotic treatment. A yeast infection that needs extra treatment may be indicated by a musty smell or a reddish-black discoloration of the skin. When medicated shampoos or wipes are added to the oral treatment plan, both bacterial and yeast infections typically respond better.
Impaction of the anal gland. Dogs have two anal glands, which are extinct scent glands that are situated close to the rectum. When the rectal muscles contract during a bowel movement, these glands press against each other, filling with foul fluid and then emptying themselves. Pets and their owners are unaware that anal glands exist while they are functioning normally; nevertheless, when anal glands are overfilled, they are clearly visible. A foul smell is released by impacted glands, and swelling and irritation are possible in the anal region. The dog may lick the irritated area or scoot and massage the anus on the ground in response to the discomfort. Make an appointment with your veterinarian so they can manually remove the swollen anal glands if necessary. If left untreated, the fluid may get so thick that it cannot pass through the tiny aperture to the rectum, leading to an impaction. Infection frequently follows impaction. The area around the anus may develop an abscess that bursts through the skin to the outside in cases of severe illnesses. Antibiotics are needed to treat these infections; oral, topical, or injectable versions may be utilized. Common options include amoxicillin, cephalexin, or fluoroquinolones. Warm water soaks and painkillers could make you feel better. The glands may need to be surgically removed if there are frequent infections.
Consult your veterinarian for advice if your dog licks more often than is appropriate. Your dog’s discomfort can be reduced with the right medical treatment.
My dog keeps licking her in that area, why?
Unless you additionally observe vaginal discharge or changes in the vulva’s appearance, her general health has deteriorated, or the licking increases in frequency or intensity, intermittent licking is rarely an issue.
A dog’s excessive licking may indicate an illness, an injury, or issues with the reproductive or urinary systems. If you have any worries, call your vet.
How could you identify a urinary infection in your dog?
UTIs (urinary tract infections) are fairly typical in canines. When they go outside, dogs with UTIs typically make frequent attempts to pee. Additionally, if having to urinate hurts, they may struggle or scream out or complain. Even blood has been known to occasionally appear in urine. Frequently licking one’s genitalia or dripping urine are other symptoms of a UTI. Strongly scented urine might also be an indication of an infection in your dog.
“A pause in housetraining is a warning sign that the bladder is not functioning properly.”
A lapse in housetraining is a warning sign that the bladder may be malfunctioning. A UTI may be to fault if this were to happen to your formerly well-behaved dog.
A UTI often happens when bacteria enters the bladder through the urethra. Although the bladder should generate sterile urine, if bacteria get inside, they can thrive and replicate, leading to an infection. Some dogs will also experience bladder stones in addition to their UTI, which creates the possibility of other health problems.
What does a urinalysis look at?
Your vet will first run a urinalysis if your cat exhibits urinary symptoms while visiting the office. When a UTI is suspected, the urinalysis can provide a wealth of crucial information regarding the urine. The following are things your veterinarian will examine:
- specific gravity of urine (how well the dog is concentrating their urine)
- pH (certain pH levels can indicate infection or other problems)
- ketones (sometimes seen in cases of diabetes or body-wasting)
- glucose (sugar in the urine, generally an indication of diabetes) (sugar in the urine, usually a sign of diabetes)
- bilirubin (a breakdown product of blood)
Following the measurement of these levels, the urine sample is put into a centrifuge and spun downward to allow cells and other debris to collect at the sample tube’s bottom. The debris can then be examined under a microscope to reveal the presence of crystals, germs, white blood cells, and even red and white blood cells.
The next steps in determining the dog’s urinary tract ailment may be influenced by what is discovered beneath the microscope’s magnification. For instance, if the urine contains crystals, your veterinarian could advise radiography (X-rays) or an abdominal ultrasound to check for bladder stones.
My veterinarian sent a sample of urine to a laboratory for a culture and sensitivity test. What is this?
Not every urinary tract infection is the same! Escherichia coli, a bacteria found in feces, is the organism that causes UTIs in dogs most frequently, but there are a number of other organisms that could also be at fault. It can only be determined which particular bacteria is at fault by growing it in a lab. The lab can test which drug will work best to treat the infection at the same time.
In order to try to provide the dog instant comfort, a vet will frequently prescribe an antibiotic that is among the most widely used for treating UTIs. A change in diet may also be advised, along with the prescription of painkillers (because UTIs can be painful).
An appropriate antibiotic will be recommended after the results of the culture and sensitivity tests are known. It’s crucial to retest the urinalysis after the course of antibiotics has been administered to ensure that the infection has been treated. If not, it is crucial to look into any other problems that could be causing the recurring UTI.
Are some dogs predisposed to UTIs?
UTIs are more common in older female dogs and canines with diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes) than in the general population. Dogs with bladder stones are also more likely to experience UTIs repeatedly. This emphasizes how crucial it is to receive a thorough diagnosis whenever there are signs of disease in the urinary tract. To restore bladder health, bladder stones must be removed or broken apart.
What can I do to prevent a UTI from occurring in the future?
If there is anything you can do to stop the UTI from coming back in your dog, your vet will let you know. A change in diet is frequently suggested. Additionally, they might suggest some drugs or nutritional supplements that might help alter the pH of urine, making it more difficult for an infection to spread. To put techniques in place that have been proven to be helpful, it is advisable to discuss UTI prevention with your veterinarian.
D-mannose, a sugar found in cranberries, protects the urinary system by making it difficult for E coli, the bacterium typically responsible for UTIs, to attach to it. D-mannose was proven to be a safe and efficient treatment for recurrent UTI infections in women in a 2014 study by Porru et al in Italy—even more successful than antibiotic therapies (1,2).
Cranberries were discovered by researchers at the University of the Aegean to be efficient in both treating and preventing UTIs (3)
You shouldn’t give your dog cranberry juice because it is high in sugar. You should only consume real cranberries, supplements containing cranberries or D-mannose, or freeze-dried cranberries. D-mannose is an extra ingredient in some cranberry supplements.
You can give your dog a canine cranberry supplement. If you decide to use a human-made supplement, estimate the dose to be for a 150-lb person and adjust it to your dog’s body weight.
This mild herb naturally calms tissue that is sensitive and inflamed (4). This makes it a fantastic DIY treatment for canine UTIs.
For every pound of food you give your dog, add half a teaspoon of powdered marshmallow root.
A typical weed with diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial qualities. Diuretics encourage the kidneys to produce more urine to aid in system cleansing (5)
Make a tea by heating a spoonful of dried root in a cup of water for around 20 minutes to offer your dog couch grass. By using a dropper to administer it directly into the mouth or by placing it in your dog’s water, you can administer 1/2 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight twice day.
Additionally a diuretic, this plant (6). The simplest method is to juice parsley leaves in a juicer, then give your dog 1 teaspoon for every 20 pounds of body weight. Giving it on an empty stomach is preferable.
Horsetail is a traditional herbal medicine that fights bacteria naturally (7). This one functions best when combined with a calming herb, such as marshmallow root. Since it can irritate, it shouldn’t be used for an extended period of time.
By boiling the dried herb with water and half a teaspoon of sugar until the water turns dark green, you can make a decoction. Before giving your dog 1 tablespoon for every 20 pounds of body weight of the liquid, let it cool and filter.
These natural remedies for UTIs may be effective. What about antibiotics, though?