Facts about the animal kingdom

Why does my Dog Lick Urine of Other Dogs?

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: March 11, 2020
Why does my Dog Lick Urine of Other Dogs?

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Dog's natural behavior is much different to humans. This leaves us wondering why they do certain things such as smell other dogs behind, sneeze when they begin to play or even lick another dog's urine. It's important to inform ourselves why they do this, not only to understand our dogs but to also make sure that whatever they are doing won't cause them any harm.

In this AnimalWised article we will explain what the causes this behavior and what you must take into account to protect their health and ultimately answer your question why does my dog lick urine of other dogs?

You may also be interested in: Why Does My Dog Mount Other Male Dogs?

Why do dogs lick urine?

To understand why your dog licks urine from other dogs, it's important to pay attention to the vomeronasal organ, also known as Jacobson's organ. This organ is located in the vomer bone, between the mouth and the nose of the dog. Its main responsibility is to transmit information to the brain.

Jacobson's organ is responsible for analyzing large molecules, such as pheromones and other compounds. This plays a crucial role in hunting, reproduction, their environmental perception and their social relationships. It is therefore a fundamental organ for dogs to decipher information related to other dogs, such as food, sex or estrous cycle.

If you watch your dog lick urine while "savoring" it, pressing their tongue against their palate and raising their snout, it's probably because they are using the vomeronasal organ to receive extra information from a dog in the area. It is a completely natural behavior for dogs. We should not scold our dog if they lick urine from other dogs. This is merely a result of their canine instinct.

Why does my Dog Lick Urine of Other Dogs? - Why do dogs lick urine?

Does it have a negative effect on their health?

According to ethologists and other professionals in canine behavior, this conduct is completely natural and should be respected by dog companions. Licking urine is a way for dogs to better perceive their environment and allowing them to follow this instinct is good for their well-being. To learn more about how dogs perceive their surrounding, read our article on why does my dog smell everything on the street?

As for health, it is important to understand that if your dog has strictly followed the vaccination schedule as well as regular deworming, they are very unlikely to become ill. However, sick dogs or those with weak immune systems are more susceptible to infections. Therefore, if this is the case for your dog, you should take more precautions.

In conclusion, allowing your dog to lick urine from other dogs is not a bad thing, but if your dog is sick or has a weak immune system it is best to be careful. Nevertheless, it's important to understand that this is a normal canine behavior and that your dog should not be scolded for following his instincts.

Why does my Dog Lick Urine of Other Dogs? - Does it have a negative effect on their health?

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This may be partially true but my pup only does this to my older dog’s urine. He has a brother from the same litter, not an issue. I must also say that they were raised with the older dog as well.
Also it seems as he is getting some type of weird fix from it. He starts foaming at the mouth.
Lastly, he also will eat the older dog’s excrement from time to time. I can’t help but to think my pup is broken
Princess has issues with licking urine of other dogs licking feet doesn’t let you wash her or brush her and scared of highways and groomers just passing them she hides so I take it she can smell them in the air
Princess is the one who licks other dogs urine and thanks for all the information that I didn’t know and now know... For the record my girls will NEVER BE SCOLDED FOR NOTHING AS THEY ARE MY HEART AND SOUL AND IT WOULD KILL ME TO EVER HURT EITHER OF THEM!!! Thank you
Rita E Nunneker
My six year old german shepherd has within the last month or so started constantly on king the urine of another dog that I have been taking care of for six years. These two have grown up together but now my GSD in like borderline oppressive with licking the other dog's urine and his private parts. My GSD is also wanting to kick the face, and feet of this dog. I'm thinking that my GSD thinks something is wrong but I can't get the owner to take his dog to the vet for a check up or blood work. My GSD just had his check up and he is good. Please help
Renee Miller
My 7yr old. Shit Thu is licking his pee off the puppy pads. I have taken to his doctor and his test results came back fine. Any suggestions

Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Renee,

Have you gone over the possible reasons in the article? Also, can we ask why they are still using pee pads and are not trained to go outside? Are they generally incontinent?
We have 3 working dogs, 2 are bitches, both bitches were spayed last year, the other dog a male is unneutered, every time the one bitch goes for a wee he follows her around then drinks it as soon as she does it. He then will lick her behind, he goes into a frenzy whilst following her. The only other time he has done this before was when they had just come out of season, he does not bother about the other bitches wee. Any ideas ?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Ashley,

Are your dog's neutered? If not, it is likely they are responding to their natural instincts which is to mate (usually with an intense focus).
minerva pabillare
is it natural for a dog after licking urine of another dog they produce a lot of saliva?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Minerva,

If there is something distasteful about the other dog's urine (bear in mind this is a natural behavior in dogs, so they shouldn't have a problem with it), they may salivate to get rid of the taste. However, hypersalivation is also a symptom of many pathologies, so it is possible they have something wrong. Only a vet would be able to determine accurately is this was the case.
Same issue. I figured it was some type of ultimate satisfaction like a high. Sorry to be so blunt. If it’s distasteful why go and do it again. Also both are males in this case. I thought of neutering the one licking the other is neutered. As natural as this article claim it to be, I have never in my life witnessed or heard of this behavior before this puppy and I am no spring chicken. I was raised with dogs. I raised dogs. Last note. Another dog in the litter died from eating excrement. My pup was not doing this when they were small. He is 10 months. This started maybe 6 months ago
Jennifer Best
I am at my wits end. My 12 yr old staffie constantly licks wee and is so rampant that i can't walk him with other dogs as it is embarrassing. Even on the back garden, where no other dogs have been, he will seek something out to lick whether it be cat, squirrels or whatever.
He is the most loving dog and never barks at any other dogs, he wants to make love not war. But as soon as he sees another dog he just wants to mount them. That u can sort of put up with but the wee licking is just disgusting and it's driving me mad.
My ex husband actually owns the dog but I look after him now. When he was a puppy my ex would not have him castrated, perhaps it's a man thing who knows, and at the time it was ok but now it's paying a nasty price.
Will he ever eventually get too old and stop it or what. I can't afford to have him castrated now, vets are so expensive. Any advice of what I can do.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Jennifer,

Even at this age, castration sounds like it might be one of the best options. However, you will need to take them to the vet for a proper examination and to determine the actual cause (we can't diagnose anything here). There are some programs by local shelters which help with spaying and neutering, so I would advise you speak to them about your options as they may be able to provide some practical assistance.
My 1 . 5 yr old Shitzuhuahua has been sniffing & "tasting" her pee spots on her potty pad today. She hasn't done this before. She is also licking her vagina more often and it is puffy. I believe she is entering her 2nd estrus cycle since birth. I have not seen any indication of spotting. (She is scheduled to be spayed in 3 days.) Could it be possible, that she is investigating her pheromones, hormones, etc?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Leanne,

It is likely hormones are affecting her interest in this area. Dogs will spot during the proestrus cycle before the 2nd estrus cycle. However, this will not always be the case. You should speak to your vet as dogs going through the estrus cycle might have complications during the spaying process.
My dog is 10 years old and have been doing this since he was little. Nothing helped to get rid of this habbit of his. I've tried different trainings, scolding, rewards for not licking - nothing helped. However lately, everytime he licks something outside he throws up several hours after, sometimes even has diarhea. I take him for a walk 3 times a day and I am sick of trying to pull him from licking spots and then cleaning up vomit anyway
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Diana,

Urine licking is a normal habit in dogs, but it doesn't mean they are immune from getting an infection or contracting some other disease. Consistent vomiting and diarrhea are signs of a problem in your pooch. We recommend taking them to the vet to diagnose the problem correctly.
my male dogs licks our females urine ,it has been going on for a long while ,I thought it was strange ,but now he seems to have a cough kinda like he is hacking then to a cough ,we have takin him to the vet and she gave us temaril -p tablets, they work for a little while but then he is back to that hacking again ,is the urine affecting his throat .and it is so hard to find a good vet ,its seems like they just don't take the time to actually look at the animal,my dogs name is Buddy ,also if you may know of any good surgeons in PA. FOR HIS CATARACT thankyou
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Dave,

As the article states, there are benefits of a dog licking another dog's urine. However, there are also some diseases which can be spread through canine waste. We can't give out any specific information about your dog or diagnose ailments. The best we can recommend is looking at reviews of other vets online and seeing if there are any better suited to give Buddy the attention he deserves.
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Why does my Dog Lick Urine of Other Dogs?