Why Do Dogs Lick Their Crotch? All the Possible Reasons

Have you ever wondered “Why do dogs lick their crotch?” It’s a pretty strange habit, isn’t it? Well, there are a few different reasons that your dog might be licking his privates.

Dogs lick their genitals for a variety of reasons, some of which are quite understandable while others are a bit more mysterious. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common reasons and what you can do to help stop your dog from licking his crotch.                 

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Crotch?   

Dogs lick their crotch for a variety of reasons. These include:

To Stay Clean

The most common reason is to clean themselves. Dogs have a natural instinct to keep themselves clean and free of dirt and debris. If you see your dog licking his crotch, it’s probably because he’s trying to self-clean.

To Relieve Itchiness

for cleaning is why do dogs lick their crotch

Another common reason for crotch-licking is to relieve itchiness. If you notice your dog licking itself constantly, it could be a sign that he’s suffering from allergies or other skin irritations. If this is the case, you should take him to the vet for an evaluation and treatment plan.

To Show Submission

In some cases, dogs will lick their crotch as a way of showing submission. If your dog is licking his crotch in front of you, it could be a sign that he sees you as the alpha dog in the pack. This is usually not a cause for health concern unless your dog is also exhibiting other submissive behaviors, such as cowering or urinating.

To Taste Something

Sometimes, dogs will lick their crotch simply because they’re curious about the taste. If you see your dog licking his crotch and then looking up at you with a quizzical expression, it’s likely that he’s just trying to figure out what that strange taste is all about.


Some dogs lick their paws or other body parts when they’re anxious or stressed. This behavior is often accompanied by other signs of anxiety, such as panting, pacing, and shedding. If you think your dog is licking his crotch due to anxiety, you should take him to the vet for an evaluation. The vet may recommend antianxiety medications.

They are in Heat

Whenever female dogs are in heat, they lick their private parts. You may start noticing a bloody discharge from your pup’s vulva during her heat cycle, which in itself is normal for an intact (unspayed) dog. Every year, dogs go into heat one to three times. When your dog has finished her heat cycle, she ought to stop licking.


dog licking due to boredom

Finally, it’s possible that your dog is simply bored and is looking for something to do. If you find that your dog is licking their crotch more often when left alone, it might be a good idea to provide them with more toys and activities to keep them entertained.

What Causes Excessive Crotch Licking in Dogs?

There are a few reasons why your dog might be licking their crotch excessively. The most common reasons include:


Allergies can cause intense itching and discomfort, which leads to your dog licking and scratching the affected area. Food allergies are the most common type of allergy in dogs, but environmental allergies (such as pollen or mold) can also cause excessive licking.

Anal sac disease/Anal gland impaction

Anal sac disease is a condition that affects the anal glands, which are two small glands located near the anus. When these anal gland infections become infected or blocked, they can cause your dog to lick and bite at their rear end in an attempt to relieve the discomfort.

Urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections are a common health problem in dogs, and can cause your dog to lick their genital area in an attempt to relieve the burning sensation caused by the bacterial infection.


If your dog is in pain, they may lick their crotch as a way to self-soothe. This is especially common if the pain is caused by an injury or infection in the genital area. It could be something as simple as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or something more serious, like cancer.

Skin problems

Skin infections or problems such as hot spots, flea allergies, and mange can also cause your dog to lick their crotch excessively. These conditions can be very uncomfortable for your dog and may cause excessive licking of the crotch. They may require treatment with antibiotics from a veterinarian.

Yeast infections

There is yeast on your dog’s skin and inside their digestive system naturally, but a flare-up can cause a yeast infection that will be itchy for the dog. Other parts of the dog’s body are frequently infected, such as the ears, but the genital area can also become infected. The problem can be resolved with oral or topical treatment.


In both spayed and intact female dogs, inflammation of the urogenital and vaginal tract can cause the vaginal area to become swollen and red. Vaginitis that happens before puberty usually resolves after the first heat cycle. Otherwise, treatment will be determined by the cause.

When Should Licking Private Parts be Considered a Problem? 

If the licking is constant and is accompanied by the following alarming symptoms in your family pet, it might be a sign of an underlying health problem:

  • Redness or swelling in the anal or genital region
  • Urination more frequently/excess amounts of urine
  • Rubbing the genital area on the ground
  • Abnormal discharge or swelling in the genital or anal area
  • Pungent odor emanating from the crotch
  • Skin discoloration or a rash in the crotch area
  • Changes in normal behavior, such as lethargy or a decrease in appetite


Dogs lick their crotch for a variety of reasons. Some dogs do it because they’re excited or happy, while others do it because they’re trying to relieve itchiness or discomfort. In some cases, excessive licking can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as allergies or anxiety.

If you’re concerned about your dog’s licking behavior, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian. They can help you determine if the licking is normal or if there might be an underlying medical condition causing the excessive licking.

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