Sounds gross, doesn’t it for a dog to lick their own pee but they have their reasons for doing so.  

When they urinate inside and then try to lick it up, it could be a medical issue or a bad habit.  If these are the reasons, then with a little effort, both can be solved.

Why a Dog Licks Its Pee

A dog is a curious animal and sometimes they can show some habits that are disturbing and confuse their owner.  The dog licking its own pee is one of those behaviors.  It is not a big deal nor is it an emergency that you have to rush your dog to the vet for.

  • Cannot pee Anywhere Else:  When a dog is trained to go outside to pee and then they have to go but no one is around to take them out, they just pee wherever they can.  They may try to lick it up to hide what they did because they are ashamed of peeing on the floor.  Some dog owners who have a fenced in backyard will have a doggy door that the dog can use if they need to go outside when no one is around to take them out.  Even with a doggy door, some dogs may not feel comfortable going out at night so they pee on the floor.  
  • Not housebroken:  If you have just gotten your new puppy and are housebreaking them, it is only natural that they may have an accident or two.  If you find them peeing in different places of the house it could be that they do not know where they can and cannot pee.  They could be embarrassed to pee in the house so they are trying to clean it up.  
  • Dehydration:  Always make sure that your dog has plenty of freshwaters to drink.  If they have no water, they can get dehydrated so that could be a reason they are licking their own pee.  It is uncommon for them to lick their own pee when they are dehydrated but if they are thirsty they might do that if no water is available.  A new puppy will have to be reminded several times as to where their bowl of water is and that they should drink that water to re-hydrate themselves.  Some senior dogs that develop dementia will forget where their water bowl is so they will lick their urine.
  • Raised in a Puppy Mile:  This is where there are a large number of puppies are raised in poor conditions and often are locked in small boxes or cages.  They are fed in their cages, poo, and pee in their cages so they may even eat their poo because that is what they learned to do. After all, it is possible they did not get fed right either or given water.  
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puppy smells its pee

Medical Reasons Why a Dog Might Lick Its Pee

When a dog licks its pee, it could just be a bad habit but there can also be a medical reason for them to do that.  Talk to your veterinarian to find out if it is a medical issue and not a behavioral problem so you know how to deal with it.  If it is a medical problem, they may need a course of medication 

  • Urinary Tract Infection:  Having a urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common occurrence in dogs.  It can cause symptoms like fever, accidental urination around the house, blood in their urine, and more frequent urination.  With a UTI, most dogs will feel thirstier so that might be a reason to lick their pee or they are having accidents because they feel the need to pee all the time.
  • Cushing’s Syndrome:  Although this is rare for a dog to have it they can still get it.  This disease is caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland.  The first two symptoms are the need to pee more often and excessive thirst.  The constant need to urinate is going to cause them to have accidents and being excessive will make them want to lick it back up.  

Stopping Your Dog From Peeing in the House

In order to stop your dog from licking its own pee, you have to eliminate them urinating in the house.  If they are outside, they will not try to lick their pee.  After eliminating a medical condition, it is time to work on correcting their bad habit.  

dashhund and urine
  • Take Then out More Often:  If a dog does not have a place to pee they are bound to have an accident.  You can remedy that with a doggie door, or putting down puppy pads when you are going to be gone for several hours.  You can also hire a dog walker, or someone to just come over and take the dog out to pee if your hours at work are going to be long.  Start to take them out more often to pee, watch them for signs that they need to go out.  Reward them for going out to pee and not in the house.  If possible, take them out to pee every few hours.
  • Keep Them Hydrated:  If they have plenty to drink they will probably stop licking their pee.  You may have to show and remind puppies where the water dish is but eventually, they will find it on their own.  For senior dogs or ones that have trouble remembering where their water dish is, keep one close by them.
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  • To help prevent accidents all over the house have a designated spot with puppy pads for them to go if they cannot go outside.
  • Remember that dogs cannot talk and tell you they have to go outside to pee so learn to watch them and know the signs of when they have to go outside.
  • Always take them out before you go to sleep so they do not have accidents.
  • If they are licking their pee, have them checked out by their veterinarian to rule out a medical reason.
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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".