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Why Is My Dog Licking Her Nipple?

If your dog is licking its nipple, you might be justifiably concerned, because this is somewhat unusual behavior and could indicate that there is something wrong.

It’s always important to pay attention to the things that your dog does and take note if the dog seems to be suffering or uncomfortable so you can take action. Sometimes, dogs will start to lick themselves excessively, and this could make the skin raw or inflamed.

There are a number of reasons that dogs will lick their nipples, especially females that are pregnant, nursing puppies, or in heat. Many of these reasons are benign, but it’s still a good idea to notice if your dog is doing this, as some could be life-threatening if not treated.

While the problem may not be too serious, it is better to be cautious when it comes to your pet’s health, and you shouldn’t ignore unusually intense licking.

You may need to step in if there is something causing your dog discomfort, and you should be able to get advice on what to do from a professional.

In some cases, a cone collar may be needed to prevent determined licking, but you should also address the source of the problem to make sure your dog is comfortable and healthy.

Why Is My Dog Licking Her Nipple?

Your dog is likely to be licking her nipple because she is pregnant or nursing, or because she is in heat.

She might also do this if she is suffering from an infection (and therefore the nipple is sore) or if she is experiencing a false pregnancy, and you need to take action regardless of what is prompting the licking.

These are the main explanations, but there could be others, such as an injury, a tumor, or possibly that she has been in contact with something that has irritated her skin.

If you notice your dog seems uncomfortable with something, it’s a good idea to organize a video call with a veterinarian so that you can find out what’s wrong.

This will give you access to professional advice on how to handle the problem, without having to put your dog through the stress of traveling to the vet, and at a lower cost. It’s important to do it, because if something is wrong, you’ll need to know how to treat it and how serious it is.

The vet should be able to determine whether it is an infection or whether your dog is pregnant via the video call, and may also be able to tell if she is suffering from a false pregnancy, an allergy, or something else.

Without this expertise, you won’t know how to handle the problem or whether it needs treatment. In some cases, trying to treat it yourself at home could worsen the problem if you incorrectly diagnose it.

Is It Normal For A Dog To Lick Their Nipple?

It’s not particularly unusual for a dog to lick its nipples, but it does indicate that something is wrong and it’s feeling uncomfortable.

If nothing is wrong, it’s unlikely that your dog will do this, especially enough for you to notice. A dog might occasionally lick to clean itself, but on the whole, persistent licking will indicate some sort of issue has arisen.

Some dogs do clean themselves more than others, but in general, a dog will only lick its nipples if it is pregnant or there is something wrong, so it’s not exactly “normal” for this to occur. You should take it as a sign that something isn’t quite right.

Sometimes, a mother that has finished nursing will lick her nipples to keep them clean and prevent any discharge, and a dog that is nursing or about to be nursing might do the same.

If your dog is coming into heat, it is considered normal for her to lick her nipples, but it may still be worth getting her checked if you are concerned.

What Can I Put On My Dog’s Sore Nipples?

You should not put anything on your dog’s sore nipples without first consulting a vet and making sure that it is okay to do so, because you could make the problem worse.

Always get expert advice before putting any medication or home remedies on your dog’s skin to avoid exacerbating the issue.

Unless you are an expert, you cannot accurately diagnose the problem, and so you should not attempt to treat it.

Often, your vet will recommend doing warm compresses, especially if your dog is suffering from mastitis, which is an infection of the mammary glands and can affect both male and female dogs.

To do a warm compress, you will need to soak a cloth in warm water and then apply it to the affected nipple for several minutes, and repeat this procedure a few times a day.

Make sure that the compress is not hot enough to hurt your dog’s skin, but is warm enough to pull blood to the area and help clear the infection.

If your dog is not suffering from mastitis, you may be advised to use other treatments, such as coconut oil, which can be antibacterial and antimicrobial, and will help to moisturize the skin.

However, all of these treatments should be recommended by a vet before you try them, as they might make certain conditions worse. Sometimes people put a t-shirt on their dog to stop the puppies from nursing when the female’s nipples are sore.


Your dog licking its nipple repeatedly is a clear sign that something is wrong, and you will need to take action to prevent this from getting worse. Organize a call with a vet so that you can find out what is causing the discomfort as soon as possible, as some of the illnesses that cause licking can be fatal if they are left untreated. Make sure that you follow your vet’s guidance on how to deal with the problem and keep an eye on the dog’s nipple to check that any swelling or inflammation is not getting worse as time goes on.