When it comes to dogs, the action we see as weird for them makes sense, and there’s an explanation for it. One of these odd behaviors is drinking their own urine, it sounds crazy, but many dogs do it, but for us owners, there’s still one question in our minds: Why dogs drink their own urine?
Dogs drink their own urine when they are dehydrated. Other reasons they drink their own urine include hiding their scent, lacking proper nutrients, being anxious, or suffering from Flehmen Response.
Today, we will be answering some of the most common questions regarding this subject. If you ever wanted an explanation on why dogs drink their own urine, then we will be giving them and allow you to understand your beloved pet a little more and even know how to deal with this habit. With no further due, let’s get into it.
Reasons Dogs Drink Their Own Urine
As mentioned before, there’s no defined reason for this behavior, but a set of reasons that might help explain why dos do this. Even though it’s completely odd and unnatural for humans, them is part of their nature. So, to help better understanding this, here are ten reasons why dogs drink their urine.
This might be one of the main reasons for this type of behavior. Dog dehydration happens when owners are not aware of the water level in their bowls.
Like humans, dogs drink a lot of water, and it’s healthy for them. When they find their bowl empty, drinking their urine is the first thing they think about. It’s a natural reaction, and really a survival instinct for them.
It’s not just adult dogs this happens with. This is a widespread activity for puppies since most are not yet trained to reach for the water bowl as a source for rehydration.
It’s essential always to make sure dogs have enough water and are placed near their favorite area. The bowl should always be accessible and monitored regularly so that your dog never runs out of water.
If you are not sure your dog is suffering from dehydration, check out the color of the dog’s urine. The darker it is, the more dehydrated your dog will be. Make sure always to have fresh water for your friend or to get an automatic water bowl that will keep the water levels consistently filled.
In some cases, puppies are raised in puppy mills. They would spend most of their time there and not get out. Being stuck in a cage for most of the time or life, they will use it as a bathroom too, and when in need of water, they will recur to their own urine to alleviate the thirst.
They were raised like this, and losing the habit can be challenging.
Lack Of Nutrients
The way we feed our dogs is significant and should be taken into reasonable consideration. Sometimes dogs drink their pee because of the lack of nutrients in their system.
A dog’s diet must be strict and carefully thought since many ingredients are bad for dogs. If this is a common habit to your dog, try to research or consult your veterinarian to establish a good diet for your furry companion.
By now, we already know that scent is the most efficient tool dogs have. So, licking and smelling their pee is part of their natural rituals; we usually see them doing that to other dog’s urine, although this can also happen with their own.
Their nose is sensitive, and dogs are always looking to investigate. Also, using Jacobson’s organ, their sniff can be by licking. It’s mostly a sign of curiosity.
Poor Training Leading To Bad Habits
One more straightforward reason for this is bad habits, dogs do this for lack of training, and even though it’s not harmful, it’s essential to teach them not to do it.
This can be a habit learned as a puppy out of curiosity. To avoid this, training is necessary; however, establishing a routine and good habits will significantly help.
The Flehmen response is very natural among animals, but this response can involve drinking and licking their pee when it comes to dogs.
Flehmen response is directly linked to Jacobson’s organ, meaning that when a dog curls their lips to make it easy to move the scent of urine to a specific part of the mouth. This is a very common behavior on a dog and part of their sniffing training.
Urinary Infection Is Impacting Your Dog
A valid reason for this behavior might be they are suffering from urinary problems, which leads them to suffer from frequent urination and end up urinating in the wrong places. Out of fear of being punished, they might want to cover their tracks by drinking it.
These types of infections can lead to pain. A few signs to keep an eye out for are blood in the urine, pain while doing it, and a strong smell to it. In case of this getting worse, don’t hesitate to bring him to the vet.
Your Dog Is Covering Their Tracks
Our dogs are like babies; when they do something bad, they will try to amend it before you notice.
This can happen when the dog urinates in the house, as he knows it’s not allowed, he will drink it to try to cover it up. When housetrained, they know this is bad behavior, and out of shame, they will try to avoid being reprimanded.
The best way to avoid this is to install a doggy door. If you spend a lot of time outside the house or have a specific schedule to take your dog outside, it will become a routine for them.
Even though it’s a rare condition, this dog’s disease has some symptoms that can lead to high levels of thirst, which can lead to drinking their urine in case there’s no water around, or even, like in cases mentioned before, the fear of punishment after not being able to contain themselves, since this syndrome also increases the urge to urinate.
If the dog is trained and starts doing this, it might be a sign of this infection and must be taken to the vet; he will give you the right mediation, and everything will be alright; most of the time, the cases are not severe.
Your Dog Was Treated Poorly In The Past
Dogs that were rescued after being abandoned or who grew up in the streets might have suffered in the hand of people or just neglected, which lead the pet into drinking their urine and even eating their excrement.
This can happen because they don’t have resources and can’t find food or water. It’s a sad thing to read, but it happens a lot with abandoned pets.
These dogs are usually more fragile and afraid; make sure to be patient when teaching them because they are not doing it on purpose but because they had to survive previously.
What Happens If A Dog Drinks Pee
For a dog to drink their pee is not dangerous, it won’t harm them; if it were harmful, it would have been when it was inside still. However, it still is a bad habit, but it can easily be avoided with a little bit of good training.
Dogs systems work even better than humans, and they sterilize it after being consumed.
Can Dogs Get Sick From Drinking Pee Water
Dogs do not get sick from drinking pee water. Dog’s systems are much more infective than ours when it comes to killing bacteria; if the pee were harmful, it would have shown its effect while in the body.
However, it’s important to mention that, while pee water is not harmful, pond water can be harmful, so always be aware of the water your dog drinks while going for a walk and don’t let them drink from ponds.
Do Dogs Drink Their Own Urine At Night
It can happen if they stay alone in the house or if the owner doesn’t leave water for them during the night; their only option is to drink their urine. Make sure always to fill your dog’s bowl at night to ensure your dog doesn’t dehydrate and resort to his last option.
Why Do Dogs Lick Their Puppies Pee
It’s common for the mother dog to lick the puppy’s genital area to stimulate it to pee and poop, leading to cleaning that same area by licking it.
It also a way for them to bond and get to know each other better. It’s like a mother’s duty and her way of taking care of the puppy, just a common act in the animal world.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Drinking His Pee
A few things can be done to make your dog stop this type of behavior, like training and sound reinforcement, and when we love our pets, we do everything in our power to make sure they are healthy and safe. This, even though it’s not harmful to the pet, it’s a bad habit and should be avoided.
When training, always go for positive techniques; we will feel safe and try to do better; they love you and want to make you happy. This takes time; changing a habit is not something that happens from day to night; it’s essential to be patient and consistent with the training, create a routine, and never give up.
However, something should be avoided, like yelling and hitting the pet, that should never happen; a lot of owners see discipline as tough love; some try to teach by rubbing the mistake in their nose, literally.
Even though these are the specific measures, a few simpler things can be added, like making sure there’s always water there for the dog or installing a doggy door to make sure the dog can always do his business outside.
Things To Consider
In this article, we covered many questions regarding this topic and gave a lot of important information for all the dog owner’s out there; however, there are always things to be considered. Make sure to consider these too.
Don’t Punish Your Dog
It can be frequent for owners to be mad when dogs do something wrong, and with that anger, comes yelling and physical punishment. That should never happen.
Dogs respect their owners more than anyone; they love them as family, and sometimes mistakes happen, and they end up feeling guilty.
The only way to avoid this and help them is by teaching them, but always with patience and care, they will understand it and do their best to learn. Luckily, this is something that, in most cases, can be completely corrected.
Dogs Drinking Other Dog’s Urine
While we are talking about dogs that drink their pee, owners might also be concerned about their dogs licking other dog’s pee. From all the weird things dogs do, licking each other’s pee might be on the top 3, but there’s still an explanation for this.
As mentioned before, dogs use their senses to learn about others, and Jacobson’s organ allows them to learn everything they need from a simple puddle of urine from another dog. This is something completely normal for them, and just like licking their urine, this isn’t harmful to them; they are just using it to learn more and explore.
However, there’s never 100% sure of anything, and even though most cases are not harmful, if you start seeing odd behavior in your dog, make sure to take them immediately to the vet. Your dog can get Leptospirosis from drinking another dog’s pee, and these are bad bacteria that can be more harmful.