Why does my dog ​​lick her vulva a lot?


If you do not plan to breed, it is better to sterilize your dog. However, if you have made the big decision to allow your dog to have puppies, you will participate in an adventure - here are some symptoms that indicate pregnancy in female dogs. Your dog's udders will swell and become more prominent in the first 25-30 days of pregnancy.

You will also begin to have vaginal discharge about a month after mating. You will notice that your dog's stomach gets bigger as she gains weight 45-50 days after conception. Some female dogs also have a lack of appetite or symptoms of depression during pregnancy.

A visit to the veterinarian

If you think your dog is pregnant, take her to the vet. It will allow you to confirm the pregnancy and at the same time detect any early complications. Your veterinarian will use a number of different methods to determine if your dog is pregnant. After 21-25 days the veterinarian can perform an analysis of relaxin, a hormone that only pregnant bitches produce.

This method will confirm pregnancy but not the number of puppies. By palpating your dog's abdomen after 21 days, your veterinarian can detect the thickening of the uterus and the presence of "bulges" that indicate pregnancy. However, there are a number of factors that can interfere with this method: an overweight female dog, a single puppy or even the dog's nervous state can make a correct palpation complicated.

A stethoscope or an electrocardiogram can detect the heartbeat of the puppy after 25 days, but it is probably not possible to detect the individual heartbeats so it is an insufficient tool to determine the number of puppies. A common pregnancy test is with ultrasound. It is a reliable and non-invasive method that can detect puppies in about 28 days.

The most accurate method of puppy counting is X-rays that can be detected by skeletons after 49 days. Some veterinarians advise against using them to avoid exposure to X-rays of puppies during their development. Preparations for a new litter In the months before birth you don't need to do many things for your pregnant dog except make sure you continue to receive a balanced and healthy diet.

You should encourage her to exercise so that she is fit for childbirth that can be long and strenuous. Some days before your dog gives birth, she will probably start to get restless and scratch the floor or her bed. He is trying to make a nest for his litter. Provide an enclosure for it, the ideal would be a place where she can enter and exit but where the puppies are held. You could serve a cardboard box of the appropriate size for your dog, or you could use a pool for young children. Fill the "nest" with old towels, blankets or sheets. Do not use anything you expect to use again, since births are usually dirty.

If you know the date of conception, your veterinarian can calculate the date of delivery. The other way is to control the mother's temperature when she thinks she has little left to give birth. The normal temperature for dogs is usually around 38.4 degrees. Its temperature will drop below 37.8 degrees just before delivery. Has my dog ​​gone into labor? The symptoms of imminent childbirth are restlessness, need for frequent urination, panting and digging in their "nest."

Normally there will be a dark green discharge in the vagina. This means that the placenta has separated and the mother is ready to give birth. If the discharge has appeared but your dog has not yet given birth a few hours later, ask your veterinarian for help. A dog can usually give birth completely alone. It will light the puppies, remove them from the amniotic membrane, cut the umbilical cord with their teeth and start cleaning them.

A little help

If the new mother does not know what to do, is exhausted or is giving birth to another puppy, there are a few things she can do. If the puppy is not yet out, remove it from the membrane in which it is wrapped. If you need to cut the umbilical cord, pick up a piece of sturdy thread and tie it tightly around the cord approximately to a finger of the puppy's body.

Make another turn and tie it a little lower than the first and then cut the cord with clean scissors. Pinch the skin on the neck of the puppy and try to make him cry. Crying will remove fluid from the puppy's airways. If you have a small pipette for the eyes you can use it to carefully absorb the liquid from the puppy's nose. When the delivery is over, try to get the mother out to stretch the muscles and do her needs. Remove towels and blankets and replace them with clean ones. Then leave the new mother alone to take care of her new puppies. Congratulations!

A stethoscope or an electrocardiogram can detect the heartbeat of the puppy after 25 days, but it is probably not possible to detect the individual heartbeats so it is an insufficient tool to determine the number of puppies. A common pregnancy test is with ultrasound. It is a reliable and non-invasive method that can detect puppies in about 28 days.

The bitch licks the vulva a lot to masturbate

The dog usually reaches sexual maturity between six months and one year of age if it is small or medium breed, and the year or year and a half if it is large or giant, with the arrival of the first heat. From this moment we can begin to see in her behaviors that until then she had not had, such as riding stuffed animals, blankets, other dogs or licking the vulva with intensity. All these behaviors are normal and part of their nature, but why exactly? The answer is simple: to masturbate and provide pleasure.

Just like women, bitches have clitoris inside the vulva, an organ whose sole function is to give pleasure. Being located inside the vagina, we rarely see it, however, some dogs do show as a round and reddish lump. If we observe this, we should not worry, we will be alarmed and go to the veterinarian if practically the entire clitoris protrudes from the vulva, is irritated or has abnormalities.

Thus, once the dog has experienced the pleasure of licking that area, which can be at any time in her life, it is completely normal for her to lick herself for a few seconds or minutes with intensity and emitting as a kind of groans. The problem lies when this behavior becomes compulsive, since then it is indicative that something is not going well.

In relation to the previous point, if we observe that the dog licks her vulva a lot and does it compulsively, it has stopped being a normal masturbation and has become an indicator of stress. When a dog is stressed, try to release that tension through behaviors that, in many cases, can be confused with bad behavior or other wrong causes. In the case of bitches, one of the ways to relieving that tension is by licking the vulva. Thus, it is essential to identify the situation that stresses the dog to avoid it and solve the problem. If not enough attention is paid and stress is not treated, this habit can end up becoming a stereotypy, much harder to correct.

On the other hand, another reason that can explain why your dog licks the vulva with great intensity is a hormonal imbalance, cause that can also develop stress in the animal and the consequences already mentioned. This happens in bitches that have not yet been sterilized, so if you suspect that this may be your case, you will have to go to the veterinarian to assess the option of performing the surgery.

Does the dog lick the vulva a lot and has pus?

When the dog licks her vulva a lot and also has a whitish or slightly yellowish discharge, suffer a serious health problem It must be taken care of immediately. The most common diseases and conditions that show these symptoms are the following:

  • Pyrometer (infection of the uterus)
  • Matrix infection
  • Ovarian infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Wounds in the vagina and / or cervix

As we say, these are not the only pathologies that can cause the secretion of pus by the vulva, since virtually any infection of the reproductive system under the dog can present this symptom. Of course, what we must be clear is that if we get to the point of observing this signal, it means that the infection he suffers is very serious and we must go quickly to the vet, since in some cases the condition can be fatal.

Does the vulva lick and have it inflamed?

If we see that the dog's vulva has become inflamed, it is usually due to the heat period. From the first phase of this stage, the dog's vulva increases its size and we begin to see the first bleeds, leading her to constantly lick her. Thus, if the date fits with the arrival of heat, we can be almost certain that this is the reason for both licking and inflammation.

Now, if the dog does not show the typical symptoms of heat but shows signs such as urinating more than usual, even in places that she knows she should not do, regrets, loss of appetite or decreased mood, inflammation of the vulva of the dog and the frequent licking of it may be due to the development of a urinary infection, in the presence of a vaginal tumor, cysts in the ovaries or other pathologies that only a specialist can diagnose. In this way, if you suspect that this may be the case for your dog, do not hesitate and go to the veterinarian.


Are dogs animals hypersexual? When does heat start in a bitch? How to know if you can get pregnant or if you already are? If I sterilize my dog, am I depriving him of something important in his life?

Surely some or all of these questions have gone through your head and you have probably heard many of the myths that revolve around the sexual life of dogs: that they have to cross because if they don't go crazy, that if a bitch has no puppies it can give him cancer, etc.

The reality is that dogs do not have a sexuality as we humans, that is, for them the only function of sex is reproduction and their reaction to a sexual stimulus is merely instinctive, does not correspond to a search for pleasure. So the answer to the question of whether dogs are hypersexual animals or will we deprive them of an important experience in their life when neutering them is: no. In fact, by sterilizing them we can reduce the risks of certain conditions (such as breast cancer in female dogs) and some aggressive or dominant behaviors in males.

The female reproductive system is made up of several organs internal: uterus, oviducts and ovaries, and external: vulva, clitoris, vaginal vestibule and vagina.

A female dog reaches sexual maturity with her first zeal around six and ten months of age, although there are cases in which she can appear until a year and a half, especially in large breeds. The optimal reproductive age is from the second heat and before the age of six.

The heat or estrous cycle of the dogs is divided into four phases of activity and hormonal rest that are repeated periodically, generating the necessary conditions for reproduction. The first phase is called proestroIn it, the dog is not yet receptive, but it begins to bleed, it increases the size of her vulva and urinates more frequently to disperse her fermons (lasts between seven and ten days). This stage is followed by oestrus, which is when the dog allows mating (its duration is approximately nine days). The last two phases are only distinguished if the dog is pregnant: the metaestro, which lasts two to two and a half months, includes nesting, gestation and lactation, while the anestro It begins with childbirth and ends with the next proestro (it is the ideal stage for sterilization).

The sexual maturity of the male is reached around the year of age. Dogs are always ready for mating when they are near a dog in heat.

The male reproductive system consists of testicles, scrotum, epididymis, vas deferens, prostate, urethra, penis (completely covered by the foreskin in a state of sagging, has the penile bone inside to keep it erect) and foreskin (normally secretes a fluid that lubricates the grief called smegma).

The decision to reproduce our dogs should be taken with a lot of responsibility, because if we do it lightly we can be encouraging that one more puppy ends up abandoned in the street if we do not place it in a house where they take care of it, respect and love it when it is no longer A cute and cute puppy or bite the legs of the chair.

The ride begins with courtship, where the male and female sniff each other. If she is in the estrus and accepts the dog, she lifts her tail, tilting her to show the male's vulva. The pheromones of the dog cause the erection of the male's penis, who rides it to introduce it into his vagina.

The canine ejaculation is carried out in three phases: in the first one it will expel a clear liquid in which there is no sperm, in the second, after turning, the second fraction of the semen, rich in sperm, will ejaculate, and in the third, the dog will remain attached to the dog with its back to it, due to the increase in the size of the penile bulb (this phase is known as "buttoning" and can last 20 to 60 minutes) until the third fraction of sperm comes out.

In order for the dog to get pregnant it must be in the estrus stage of heat. The most effective way to determine if it is in it is by vaginal cytology and a test that measures the rate of blood progesterone.

The signs of pregnancy appear approximately one month after the ride: the dog's character changes, her udders swell, she has a vaginal discharge and her abdomen begins to grow. It is at this time that you have to take it to the veterinarian to perform an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy (sometimes it can be psychological) and advise us regarding the care and requirements of the dog at this stage.


The dog lover. Santillana general editions, Mexico, 2008.

What to do if my dog ​​licks her vulva a lot?

Depending on the cause that causes the dog to lick the vulva we will carry out one method of action or another. So, if it is a normal masturbation we will not do anything and let it perform the ritual. As we said, it is something natural and physiological that does not cause any harm, quite the opposite.

If the reason is stress, we will look for the stressful situation and eradicate it as much as possible or look for a positive solution for the animal. In doing so, we will see how little by little these intense and compulsive licks disappear.

For hormonal imbalances and health problems mentioned in the previous sections, all we can do is go to the veterinarian to identify the exact cause and determine the best treatment. Especially if we look at the presence of pus, rapid action can be key to saving the dog's life.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why does my dog ​​lick her vulva a lot?, we recommend that you enter our Diseases section of the reproductive system.

Vaginitis in bitches

In the consultation he asked us what we observe of the dog: how often he licked himself, if he pee very often and little or pee normally, if we observe that he suppurates pus, etc. Then he looked at the vagina, both outside and inside.

The only thing we observe is that he licked very occasionally but insistently and that the vagina instead of white was red. The veterinarian explained that she did not see that it was a very important infection, but she was also going to do a cytology to take samples of the bacteria and make a culture. After 5 minutes the culture tested positive for infection, not very aggressive, but after all, an infection. He prescribed 10 tablets of Therios (antibiotics) to fight bacterial infection, 3 tablets of Prednisolone that is nothing more than cortisone and Vetericyn, which is a spray for vaginal showers, so that the area is clean.

But, to know more about vaginitis in dogs, we come to the help of our friend Adrián of Our Faithful Friend, animal health expert and this is what he told us about vaginitis in female dogs.

Phases of heat in bitches

The dogs present their first zeal between 6 and 12 months of age, approximately. Ovarian activity begins to decline after 6 years of age and ceases towards 10.

The heat period occurs every five to nine months, depending on each dog.

He zealor oestrus, is divided into four phases. The first two, proestro and estrus, are those we usually identify with the period of heat, which lasts about 21 days.

  • Proestro. It is the initial phase of the cycle. It lasts an average of nine days (although the margin is established between 3 and 17) and manifests with a bloody secretion by the vulva. In addition, the vulva is inflamed. During this phase, they segregate pheromones, intended to attract males. However, during the first days, the female will not show interest in them. Until the end of the proestro the female will not be receptive to the mount.
  • Oestrus. This second phase constitutes the receptive period and usually lasts between seven and nine days (the margin cons> Hormonal effects on the mood of female dogs

Hormonal variations undoubtedly influence the mood of our dog.

  • Estrogen effect on mood. Estrogens are female hormones that influence mood swings, tiredness and depressive states.
  • Effect of progesterone on mood. Progesterone helps eliminate stress and when its levels are low, it can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety or depression. Therefore, at the end of the heat, when their levels are very low, it is easy for your dog to experience these symptoms.

The hormones can therefore cause behavioral changes in your dog, which may be apathetic, sleep more than normal, stop playing and spend a lot of time lying down or experience a loss of appetite. Other times it will become hyperactive or aggressive.

During the first weeks of pregnancy, there are few symptoms that this has occurred. Occasionally, the dog may develop morning sickness during the third or fourth week, due to the effects of progesterone. Further, may be apathetic and lack of appetite. You may also vomit occasionally.

False pregnancy can present with symptoms of sadness or depression

The false pregnancy, also known as pseudo management or pseudociesis, is a fairly common phenomenon in which the dog acts as if she were pregnant without being. This condition is due to the progesterone Y the dog can present some or all the signs of a real pregnancy, including abdominal distension, the increase of the mammary glands and even milk production. Some prepare the nest for their puppies and sometimes cogenjuguetes or other objects as substitutes for the "expected" puppies, protecting them even aggressively. Sometimes the dog vomits intermittently and shows symptoms of sadness or depression. In addition, the mammary glands can harden and cause pain.

You generally do not need treatment, since disappears on its own in 12 weeks or less, although bitches that exhibit aggressive behavior can be treated with hormones.

So is it normal for my dog ​​to be sad after the heat?

Yes, it is normal for your dog to be apathetic or sad during the heat and after itEven sleep more than normal. However, if you see that you are very sad or have other symptoms, such as diarrhea or segregation of a kind of yellowish, greenish pus or bloody discharge, go to your veterinarian to rule out possible diseases.