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Why Does My Dog Keep Licking His Private Area? Vet Approved Reasons & Solutions

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

Female dog grooming the genitals by licking

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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We’ve all had it happen. You’re sitting on the couch binge-watching your favorite show on television with your faithful canine pal beside you, and suddenly he starts licking his private area. You tell him to stop; he does, then goes right back to licking as soon as you restart your show.

You’ve probably wondered why your dog keeps licking his private area. Is something wrong? Do you need to take him to the vet? Perhaps, perhaps not. We’ll answer those questions and give you a few reasons for your dog’s behavior.

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The 4 Reasons Your Dog Keep Licking His Private Area

1. Your Dog Is Bored

Bored Giant Black Schnauzer dog is lying next to the robotic vacuum cleaner_frank11_shutterstock
Image Credit: Frank11, Shutterstock

If you’re sitting on the couch when your dog starts licking his private area, the dog might just be bored. You should probably take this as a sign that your dog needs to be exercised more or needs you to pay him more attention than you have been. However, boredom isn’t the only possible cause; allergies could also be the reason.

2. Your Dog Has Allergies

Dogs can suffer from allergies, just as their pet parents can. If your dog is allergic to something in the air or his environment, he’ll start licking at his fur to stop the itching. The groin is a common area for your dog to itch from allergies, and he may be trying to get relief by scratching.

Watch for any welts, rashes, changes in bathroom habits, and increased licking. If you see these signs, it’s best to take your dog to your vet for a diagnosis and possible treatment options.

3. Your Dog Has a UTI

a veterinarian checking a sick dog using a stethoscope
Image Credit: Tima Miroshnichenko, Pexels

One of the most common reasons for a dog to lick his privates is that the dog has a urinary tract infection (UTI). Licking the area helps to relieve the pain from the UTI. If you notice that your dog is constantly licking and using the bathroom more often, take him to the vet for a test to see if he has a urinary tract infection.

These conditions are treatable with antibiotics, and while it’s essential to get your dog to the vet, he should be okay. However, don’t wait to take your dog in because a UTI that isn’t taken care of can make your canine sick.

4. Your Dog Is Stressed

Your dog may be licking his private area because he’s stressed. Maybe you’ve moved to a new home or added a new pet to your household.

The dog will start licking his privates as a way to deal with the stress he’s feeling. Watch your dog carefully in this case because the stress can lead to the dog licking excessively and making his skin irritated and chafed.Divider 7

Is It Normal for My Dog to Lick His Private Area?

Yes, it is normal for a dog to lick his private area occasionally. However, if your dog takes the licking to an extreme or starts using the bathroom more frequently, it might be time to visit your vet to see what the problem is.

You shouldn’t punish your dog for this behavior, as he is only doing what comes naturally to him. You can try using positive reinforcement to get the dog to stop licking himself. Offering a treat and praise when he stops licking when you tell him to or doesn’t lick his privates can help the dog to associate treats and praise with not licking.

You can also try the following tips from the list below for the best results.
  • Give your dog plenty of TLC so he isn’t bored or anxious
  • Distract your pet with a toy or treat
  • Increase exercise and walks
  • Change his diet
  • Add supplements to his diet
  • Use a topical lotion for allergies

As with anything else you do with your dog’s diet, talk to your vet before changing his diet or adding supplements. If our tips don’t help, it’s best to make an appointment for a checkup for your furry friend.

dog licking its butt
Image Credit: Jiramath Noomuan, Shutterstock

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While it is normal for a dog to lick their private area occasionally, it’s not something they should constantly be doing. If you feel like your pet is excessively licking his privates, you should visit your vet for a thorough examination. They can determine if the behavior is related to an allergy, stress, UTI, or a lack of mental stimulation.

Featured Image Credit: _SOORACHET-KHEAWHOM_Shutterstock

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