"When your dog is grooming, she will not solely focus on her private area but will move to lick other parts of her body."
Your dog's menstrual waste is not all that you think it is.
About half of it is blood and the other half is fluid from the reproductive system. It may seem gross to think about but blood is made up of iron, chloride, sodium, phosphate and calcium.
While the fluid contains cervical mucus, extra tissues and vaginal secretions from the uterine lining.
Menstrual waste doesn't seem to be that gross at all and your dog licking it may not be something you should freak out about. But why is your dog doing this?
THE GOOD REASONS
Before judging your dog for going way too far, know that her licking might be for good reasons.
As a standard part of grooming in the canine community, your dog licking her private area (and the menstrual waste that comes with it) is a way of grooming.
This happens pretty quickly even if dogs aren't attracted to the smell of blood.
When your dog is grooming, she will not solely focus on her private area but will move to lick other parts of her body.
But if you noticed that she is only licking her private area constantly and excessively then it might be a sign that...
SOMETHING IS WRONG
Your dog in heat may be licking her private because of the following:
She has a urinary tract infection. If your dog is focusing more on licking her private area even after she has cleaned it from menstrual waste, she may have a urinary tract infection. Consult your vet to confirm if your dog really has UTI through urinalysis and some bloodwork. If she does, she will be given antibiotics to steer the infection away.
She has an allergy. If your dog is excessively licking her private area, it is possible that she may have developed a rash around her privates. Rashes can be triggered by allergens from the environment, from food, from insect bites, etc. Run the affected area with cool water and clean it with a mild & gentle soap. If your dog keeps on licking it more and the rash worsens, you will have to take your dog to see her vet.
Your dog licking her privates can be because of stress. If you find your dog doing this, it may be her way of dealing with the stress that comes with being in heat.
Have her evaluated by her vet to make sure there isn't any underlying reasons for her licking. If it is proven that it's really caused by anxiety, you can provide your dog with different products and supplements that will calm her down.
It's not necessarily bad for your dog to lick their menstrual waste but know it can possibly lead to bacterial infections depending on where your dog is laying when she cleans her self. Your dog may have the following infections:
Yeast infections. This is commonly concentrated in your dog's ears, rectum and private areas. When your dog constantly cleans herself, yeast infection might develop from the inflamed/irritated skin because of the constant licking. This activity of your dog promotes overgrowth of yeasts (that are already present) in the private area.
Bladder infections. You never really know where your dog's mouth has been and her constant licking of her private area may cause bladder infections and UTIs as microbes and bacteria get into her urinary system.
Staph infections. Staph infections usually develop when your dog excessive licks a certain body part to the point that the skin in that area becomes red and irritated. Staph bacteria are already present in your dog's skin but once the skin is irritated, the bacteria will overrun the area.
Menstrual waste can never be avoided as it naturally comes with your dog's heat cycle. If you are a hygiene-freak and are bothered and don't want your dog to be licking her menstrual waste, you can always opt to let her wear washable dog diapers. These type of diapers are strong and don't easily tear off. They prevent your dog from licking her private area, prevent any more irritations and prevent your home from being soiled by your dog's menstrual waste.
"Staph infections usually develop when your dog excessive licks a certain body part to the point that the skin in that area becomes red and irritated."