Click here to learn more.
Squatting and leg lifting are acceptable behaviors in dogs of both sexes. You heard right: Males may squat to relieve themselves, and females may choose to lift a leg.
Studies suggest that regardless of whether or not a canine is spayed or neutered, some dogs will choose to only squat when it's time to do their business.
Most of the time, squatting to urinate is normal — and not a sign of a health problem.
“I wouldn’t worry unless it’s a change,” says board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Sueda, DVM, of the VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital. "Say, if a male dog who has always lifted his leg suddenly stops, and starts squatting."
No one knows for sure how or why leg lifting got, ahem, kick-started. There are only theories about urination styles, including one that surmises that males lift their back legs to better mark territory, as well as to spray higher and appear bigger to other pups who sniff their urine. Others speculate that leg lifting evolved as a way for dogs to simply avoid urinating on themselves.
A new squatting behavior may be a sign of a medical issue, including arthritis, orthopedic problems and even a hormonal or neurologic condition.
Squatting may also be a symptom of urinary incontinence, Dr. Sueda adds. “The dog may not realize that he is urinating and only squats in reaction to a stream of urine coming out,” she says.
If you do notice a change, visit your veterinarian. A physical exam and bloodwork may reveal the root cause of the problem.
But if it’s not a new behavior, don’t sweat the squat. Unless the pooch shows signs of pain or discomfort, he’s probably doing his business as usual.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
A baby squirrel who fell 75 feet from her nest is being nursed back to health at a rehabilitation center in…
Jan Jeffries, Jr., was working at a miserable jobsite when he encountered a dog who would change his life forever.
With their adorable matching outfits, best friends Zoey and Jasper have quickly become the new darlings of the…
With Easter on our minds, we combed our database of rabbits names to find out the 10 most popular monikers of 2013.
Dentistry used to be the outcast of the veterinary world. Now many vets dedicate tons of time to oral care for…
Our friends at JeanKnowsCars.com reveal cars that are great for pet owners, from versatile minivans to rugged SUVs.
With Easter coming up this weekend, we jumped at the opportunity to celebrate the holiday's most iconic species.
The Abyssinian, who wears a beautiful ticked coat, is an intelligent and athletic feline who stays in constant…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.