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Help! My Dog Keeps Licking a Pee Area

Pug licking lips against a white background.

Dogs are curious beings who can exhibit a lot of disgusting behaviors that can be embarrassing for the owners. Licking their own pee is probably on the top of this list, but they do so for a reason. In this article, we will discuss the causes behind this gross behavior and the ways to stop a dog from licking a pee area.

Why is My Dog Licking a Pee Area?

The answer to this question is not that simple because a range of factors could be responsible. Dog Lovers Digest mentions that all those issues are solvable but first, you need to identify the exact cause. Some of the reasons that can instigate a dog to lick a pee area are discussed below.

Behavioral Problems

German Shepherd looking shamefully towards owner because it ripped up paper

Just like humans, dogs can also develop bad habits. As their owner and guardian, it’s your responsibility to identify these behaviors and correct them. For instance, if your canine friend is urinating inappropriately, you may need to invest some time in house-training him/her. Even if the dog was trained, it’s possible that he/she wasn’t able to learn the behavior properly.

You should also schedule an appointment with the vet to ensure your pooch is healthy (before retraining). Similarly, if you haven’t set a fixed routine for your pup, it’s time to develop their regular schedule. All these things will minimize accidents and the chances of your dog licking his/her pee will also decrease.

Medical Problems

Urinary incontinence and dogs licking their own pee is quite common among older canines. Several factors can lead to incontinence, and this ailment should be treated immediately to avoid serious complications. Bladder infections and urinary tract problems are the most common causes of incontinence, and both of them will require veterinary help.

Similarly, urinary tract infections can also make a dog lick a pee area because they can result in inappropriate urination. This is because a dog may try to lick the urine back if he/she peed inside the house.

Get Rid of the Evidence

This happens when a properly housetrained pup urinates indoors and wants to avoid the shame and punishment. The canines that are left alone for long hours are more prone to this problem. Most owners who work full-time install a dog door so that their pooch can go outside and pee. Alternatively, you can also hire a dog walker who could visit your furry friend while you are away.

If none of these measures is taken and a dog is home alone for 8-10 hours, accidents are quite likely. However, a housetrained dog will feel guilty about breaking the training and will try to keep the secret by licking the pee area.


Pug drinking out of kitchen faucet

Although it is not very common, a dehydrated dog can also start licking a pee area. Fluffy Planet explains that a healthy, adult canine needs 1 ounce of water for every pound of its weight. This means that a 65-pound pooch in good health will require half a galloon of water, every day. The following are some other signs of dehydration that can help you determine if it’s the culprit.

  • Dry nose and sticky gums
  • Sunken eyes
  • Drinking liquids other than water
  • Excessive panting
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

What can I Do If My Dog Keeps Licking a Pee Area?

Once you have identified the right cause, it’s time to find a suitable solution for the situation. The following is a list of remedies that can help you to stop your dog from licking a pee area.

Reinforce Good Behavior

Person giving Jack Russell Terrier a treat outdoors in grass

If the previous sessions of housetraining are not working, try once again. Note the time when your pooch urinates inside the house and try to catch him/her in the act. When that happens, say “NO” in an affirmative tone to express your displeasure.

Then, speak to your canine friend in an excited tone to make him/her curious. This will allow you to guide your pup to the right peeing spot. If they do follow you and eliminate at the designated location, reward them with praise and treats.

Visit Your Vet

If you feel that medical problems are making your dog lick a pee area, visit your vet right away for a detailed examination. If you own a senior pup, the veterinarian will eliminate all the possibilities of incontinence. Similarly, he/she will perform tests for bladder infection, urinary tract infections, and kidney disease that could result in inappropriate urination.

If the vet finds that your dog is actually unhealthy, discuss the most suitable plan of action and execute it. Otherwise, something else is wrong with your canine friend that needs to be addressed.

Schedule Regular Toilet Breaks

Jack Russell Terrier next to an alarm clock on white wooden floors.

It’s extremely useful to reserve a toilet for your pooch in your backyard or anywhere close to your home. Once you have done that, regularly take them to that spot for elimination and reward their obedience. Repeating this practice multiple times will soon turn this act into a habit.

When your dog is familiar with his/her toilet, you need to ensure he/she is getting sufficient visits to avoid accidents. Dog Lovers Digest recommends setting up alarms on your phone to get notified, every few hours. Now that you have the routine, make sure to make proper arrangements before leaving your pooch alone for long hours.

Keep Your Pup Hydrated

Proper hydration is essential for every canine, even if he/she is not licking a pee area. Keep the water bowl close to your pup’s resting area and ensure that it’s always filled with water. For example, don’t forget to refill it before going to work in the morning. Similarly, fill the bowl and place it near your dog’s bed at night.

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