Let’s be honest: sometimes, our dogs act weird and do things that gross us out. If you’ve ever spent time watching your dog around other dogs, you may have noticed your dog licking another dog’s pee.
In the article below, we’ll walk through the reasons why your dog might lick another dog’s pee and what you can do to stop it.
Reasons Your Dog Licks Another Dog’s Pee
Dogs lick each other’s pee for a number of reasons. The following are the four main reasons why dogs lick pee.
It is how they explore the world
As humans, we often use our sense of sight to make sense of the world around us. Dogs use their smell and taste to discover the world.
Unfortunately, that also includes using their tongue to taste things we’d rather they leave alone.
All dogs have an organ in their nasal passages called the vomeronasal organ (Jacobson’s organ). This advanced olfactory system allows them to smell complex scents, including pheromones.
When they detect these types of scents, they will like objects and surfaces in order to get a closer whiff.
Dogs can learn about each other through their urine
With their advanced senses, dogs can learn about other dogs by licking urine. Dog urine contains both chemicals and pheromones, all of which are unique to each dog.
Your dog can learn a lot about another dog’s sex, health, reproductive status, and diet, all from licking urine.
When dogs mark their territory, they urinate on a spot to communicate with other dogs. It’s no surprise, then, that dogs are able to tell the difference between the urine of other dogs.
Dogs often lick things with scents they find desirable
As gross as it might seem, your dog might find another dog’s urine desirable. They might lick the urine to savor the smell and provide a closer whiff than sniffing alone might offer.
Their canine instincts tell them that this is a desirable thing, so they do it. To some extent, it cannot be helped.
Your dog isn’t spayed or neutered
Licking other dogs’ urine is more common in dogs that aren’t spayed or neutered. Unneutered male dogs are more likely to lick urine since they are also more likely to use urine to mark their territory.
They also engage in urine licking in an attempt to find mating partners. Since another dog’s urine can tell them whether a female dog is in heat, male dogs will be drawn to licking urine.
This behavior isn’t limited to male dogs, though. Female dogs may lick other dogs’ urine when they are in heat.
However, most female dogs discontinue urine licking after they’re spayed since they no longer have a heat cycle.
Check this out: Why Does My Dog Lick the Couch and How to Stop It?
How to Stop My Dog From Licking Other Dogs’ Pee
Before we dive into some tips to help you stop your dog from licking urine, it’s important to note that nothing is wrong with your dog if he or she licks another dog’s urine.
It is a natural, instinctive behavior that is almost always harmless. However, infectious diseases can be spread through urine.
That is the main reason you should do what you can to deter your dog from licking other dogs’ urine, especially those whose medical background you don’t know.
If your dog has all of his vaccination and regular deworming, there is significantly less risk of becoming ill from licking urine.
The following are five methods you can use to minimize how often your dog licks other dogs’ urine.
Spay or neuter your dog
Your dog is less likely to lick urine if they are spayed or neutered. This is especially true for male dogs, who lick other dogs’ urine to find suitable mating partners.
While spaying and neutering won’t entirely eliminate the problem, they will significantly reduce it.
Teach “drop it” and “leave it” commands
Your dog’s training can be a great asset when it comes to preventing unwanted behaviors. If you teach your dog commands like “drop it” or “leave it,” he will know to stop what he’s doing and come when commanded.
Not only will this help you prevent him from licking urine, but it can also help you stop him from other potentially hazardous behaviors.
Remember to use positive reinforcement instead of punishment if you’re struggling to teach your dog these commands.
Most dogs respond to positive reinforcement. It may take time for them to learn these commands, but it’s worth the time investment.
Divert your dog’s attention
Use a toy, game, or other distraction to divert your dog’s attention away from another dog’s pee.
When your dog switches his attention to focus on the new activity, reward him to praise or a treat. This will teach him that leaving behind another dog’s urine is a good thing.
If your dog is on a leash, use the leash to guide your dog away from the other dog’s pee. If you cannot get your dog’s attention off the pee, you may need to remove him from the area entirely.
Make sure your pup is getting plenty of fresh water to drink
Although rare, some dogs may drink urine in an attempt to quench their thirst. If your dog shows other signs of thirst, ensure he has enough fresh water to drink.
Long outings in the hot sun may make your dog extra thirsty. So pack a travel bowl and some water for your dog to drink while you’re out.
For more details, see our step-by-step guide on preventing dehydration and keeping your dog cool, especially during hot summers.
Enlist the help of a canine trainer or behaviorist
If your dog’s urine-licking bothers you and cannot be redirected, it may help to get help from a canine trainer or behaviorist.
These experts will be able to give you a custom plan of action to deter your dog from licking other dogs’ urine.
Final Thoughts on Dog Licking Other Dog’s Pee
If your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations and deworming, licking another dog’s urine is a low-risk behavior.
Because licking pee is a natural dog behavior, you should never scold your dog when he licks another dog’s urine. Simply find ways to redirect your dog’s attention and move on.
When your dog licks another dog’s urine, make sure you don’t allow your dog to lick your face. While the urine should pose very little risk to your dog, the bacteria may be problematic for humans.
If you continue to have trouble keeping your dog away from other dogs’ urine, consult a dog trainer or canine behaviorist. They can provide additional strategies to curb your dog’s urine licking.