Your dog obsessively licking their private parts could be a symptom of these health conditions

There’s nothing strange about seeing your dog lick their private parts once in a while. But when they do it all the time, you start to wonder if something is wrong. Here is all you need to know about your dog’s baffling habit.

Your dog obsessively licking their private parts can be a symptom of these dangerous conditions
© Photo by Egor Myznik on Unsplash
Your dog obsessively licking their private parts can be a symptom of these dangerous conditions

Is your dogobsessed with licking its private parts? While a few licks are ok, more than that can indicate serious health problems. Here are the conditions and symptoms to be aware of.

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A few licks are nothing to worry about

Licking private parts is a part of grooming and is considered normal. Dogs might do it after peeing just to clean that area up a bit. The same goes for number two. When the stool is sticky or watery, your pup might give his back-end a lick to feel cleanerMy Pet Child writes.

Obsessive licking can be a sign of a health condition

A few licks for grooming purposes are no cause for concern. But when your pup won’t stop fidgeting with its tongue, there could be an underlying problem behind it.

Here are some conditions where undue crotch licking is your pet’s attempt to relieve the discomfort, according to the American Kennel Club:

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Urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections can cause discomfort and more frequent urination. The infection could be in the bladder, the upper urinary tract, or the kidneys. Treatment with antibiotics is required to clear up the bacteria responsible for the infection.


Food or environmental allergies can cause rashes and irritation, and your dog will feel this even more in the genital area. Licking can be an attempt to soothe inflamed skin. If you think your dog is allergic to something, contact the vet ASAP.

Yeast infections

Yeast infections which live naturally on your dog’s skin and inside their intestinal system can be another culprit as they can cause an itchy flare-up. Topical and oral treatments can clear up the issue.

Clogged anal glands

Dogs have an anal gland on either side of their rectum, and unless they empty with firm bowel movements, they can become clogged. It leads to swelling, pain, and infection. If this is your dog’s problem, the glands may need to be drained by the vet, with a course of antibiotics.


Whether your female dog is intact or spayed, it can suffer from inflammation of the vagina or urogenital tract. It can make the vaginal area red and swollen. The treatment will depend on the cause.

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Symptoms to look out for in a back-end obsessed dog

If you think your dog is paying more attention to their unmentionables than normal, monitor its behaviour carefully and keep an eye out for the ‘red flag’ symptoms such as swelling or redness in the genital or anal area; frequent urination; scooting or rubbing the anal area on the ground; discharge or swelling in the genital or anal area can be a sign of infection; foul odour from the back end, and discolouration or a rash on the skin in the private area.

If you find any of these red flags, seek help from a vet as soon as you can to avoid your pooch’s unnecessary suffering.

But if no underlying health condition is detected, consulting a dog trainer or animal behaviourist is the next best thing, American Kennel Club writes.

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