Why Does My Dog Lick Urine of Other Dogs?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

Dogs can do some nasty things sometimes like playing in pee puddles or rolling in dead stuff.

And licking another dog’s pee is one of those things. 

I found this out myself when I saw my dog doing this and decided to search it. 

So why does your dog licks urine of other dogs?

You might be surprised to hear this but:

Your dog can get a lot of information about the other dog by just licking its pee! The vomeronasal organ (Jacobson organ) is responsible for this as it deciphers the information from the urine and sends the information to the brain. This is normal for dogs and there is almost nothing to worry about.

Now you might be wondering “What type of information can my dog get by licking other dog’s pee?” or “Are there any health risks for my dog?”

Keep reading to find out the answers!

How Dog Pee Provides Information

Information in Dog Urine

Dog pee is made up of: 

  • Ammonia
  • Hormones
  • Bacteria
  • Uric acid. 

The uric acid and ammonia are not that interesting to your dog for information. But the bacteria and hormones are the things that provide the dog with the information. 

But what type of information is there in the smelly dog urine?

Well, it turns out that dogs (male or female) can determine the gender of the other dogs just by tasting the urine. 

Also, they can tell if a female dog is in heat or if the other dog has got an infection or is sick.   

Decoding The Dog Urine

Now:

If you are a good observer, then you might have seen that after licking a dog’s urine, your dog would raise its snout while pressing its tongue against its palate as if letting the taste sink in. 

Well, we do not know whether the urine tastes good to your dog. But what we do know is that while doing this, your dog is trying to let the urine into the Jacobson organ.

Jacobson organ (also known as a vomeronasal organ) is an organ located in the vomer bone of your dog, between its nose and mouth. 

This organ transfers the information from the urine to your dog’s brain and the dog’s powerful sense of smell helps in deciphering the urine information.

Watch this video to learn about the Jacobson organ:

And if your dog has been licking his own urine, prevent them from doing so by getting this absorbent urine patch for your dog from chewy.

But does licking urine affects your dog’s health?

Continue reading to find out!

Is Urine Licking Bad For Dogs?

Dogs normally have got very strong immune systems and the acids in their stomach kill any type of harmful substances. 

So dogs are very unlikely to get sick by licking urine unless their immune system is weak because of any disease. 

But here’s the worst part:

Dogs actually can get sick by drinking pee sometimes. 

There is an infection in dogs called Leptospirosis which can be caused by drinking either pee or just some contaminated water. The bacteria known as Spirochetes present in dog pee can cause this disease.

In the worst-case scenario, if this disease is left untreated, it can cause inflammation in your dog’s kidneys which can lead to permanent kidney damage. 

Pay a visit to your vet if you see these symptoms in your dog:

  • Redness of Mucous Membranes: This means the redness of the inside veins of the mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Fever: In dogs, a higher temperature is always a thing to worry about. And it’s even more worrisome in addition to these other symptoms.
  • Vomiting: Vomiting means that your dog is having some problems with its immune system just like humans. 
  • Tiredness: Your dog can be normally tired because of more movement or just old age, but it is a thing to be concerned about if this is mixed with the other symptoms. 
  • Change of Behavior: If there is a sudden change in your dog’s behaviour and it is being lazier and takes less interest in playing, it’s a sign that there is something wrong with your dog. Watch this video to learn more about dog behavior:

What To Do Of This Urine Licking Situation? 

I would advise you to stay relaxed and just let your dog be. Because according to dog behavior experts, licking other dog’s pee is normal behavior for dogs.

But there are some things that you need to avoid doing if your dog licks other dog’s urine. So here are some Do’s and Don’ts:

Do’s:

  • Vaccinate your dog to keep its immune system strong.
  • Feed your dog with safe water which is free of Spirochetes. Moving water is cleaner, so you can buy a dog water fountain to avoid your dog from getting Leptospirosis. 
  • Take your dog to the vet if you see any Leptospirosis symptoms in your dog.
  • Also, do not let your dog lick you after it has licked some urine. Let your dog drink some water to clean its mouth before it comes to dog-kiss you. 

Don’ts:

  • As told before, licking urine is normal for dogs. So do not scold your dog for doing so. Just keep this in mind that your dog is trying to learn about its companions and its environment.
  • If you do want to stop your dog from licking urine, then try to train it instead of scolding it. 

Related Questions

Why does my dog lick its own pee?

Your dog licking its own pee is bad news. This might be because of two things. One, that your dog has a urinary tract infection which is making it thirstier than usual. And two, your dog is dehydrating and is licking its own urine to survive.

Why do male dogs lick urine of female dogs?

As I said earlier, dogs can tell just by licking the urine of female dogs if they are in heat or not. After knowing that a female dog is in heat, your dog might act all excited and you would notice that its legs are a bit jiggly, with its mouth drooling more than usual. 

How do dogs show love to other dogs?

There are a lot of ways for dogs to show affection to each other. The most common one that you might already know is that they wag their tails. Other than that, sharing their space to sleep with other dogs, and licking or cuddling is also the signs for your dog to show love. 

Why do dogs mouths shudder after licking?

As described earlier, dogs do this when they smell or lick something interesting. They let the substance (urine for example) into the vomeronasal organ. After that, the dog’s good sense of smell lets it decode the info from the urine and the vomeronasal organ sends that information to the brain. 

Conclusion

If you are still reading this, I will like to let you know again that you need to take this matter a bit lightly. There is a very little chance for your dog to get sick if you give them clean water and if they’re properly vaccinated. 

But in the end, it’s on you if you are sick of the weird dog pee-kisses and you want your dog to stop licking urine. In this case, you can train them while keeping it calm and comfortable for your dog. Because you do not want your dog to hate you. Good luck with the training!

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