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Why Do Dogs Kick After They Pee? 4 Possible Reasons Explained

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on July 13, 2024 by Dogster Team

Brown poodle dog peeing over some tall grass in a dog park

Why Do Dogs Kick After They Pee? 4 Possible Reasons Explained

So, you’ve been going out to the bathroom with your dog since they were just a wee puppy. You have been watching their antics and their habits from the beginning. As they’ve been growing up, you realize they have a funky habit.

Every time they go to the bathroom, they have to kick behind them when they’re done for the grand finale. If it had not registered on your radar at first, you might wonder what this peculiar behavior is and why your dog is doing it. Here are some possible reasons that your dog kicks after they pee.

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The 4 Possible Reasons Why Dogs Kick After They Pee

1. Your Dog Is Scent Marking

Our dogs use their waste to communicate with other canines. Some of it says, “Hey! This is my house.” Other things say, “I noticed you were looking for an admirable suitor. Perhaps I could do the job?”

What our dogs communicate to others greatly depends on the manner, pheromones, and other factors that come into play. When your dog is kicking after using the bathroom, it’s a way for them to send these messages to any canine passersby.

Scent marking is a totally normal thing for dogs to do. There are scent glands on the back of your dog’s paws that release organic chemical compounds that tell a story. It is a method of communication and nothing more.

Scratching the grass after urination or defecation spreads the scent and sends necessary messages to nearby dogs.

Golden Retriever Dog peeing in the yard outdoors
Image Credit: MPH Photos, Shutterstock

 2. They’re Hiding Their Waste

Another obvious reason a dog may kick after they pee is that they’re hiding their waste, especially if they’re kicking up dirt or sand. They may be trying to cover their waste as a way to hide their scent from prey, or in the case of small dogs, from larger dogs and other predators.

3. It’s a Visual Message

Your dog may kick after they pee as a way to send a visual message to other dogs. It lets the other dogs know that they have just peed there and are marking their territory.

white dog peeing on grass
Image Credit: Nataly23, Shutterstock

4. They’re Communicating

Your dog could be kicking the ground after they pee as a way to spread the chemicals found in their pee to let other dogs and animals know that they’re there or send a message. It essentially goes back to scent marking , as scientists that have studied the behavior aren’t sure exactly what messages dogs are trying to convey.

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A Dog’s Sense of Smell

A dog’s sense of smell is far superior to ours. In fact, it’s estimated to be 1,000 to 10,000 times more acute than humans. Dogs can tell all sorts of information about their surroundings and those they interact with by scent alone.

Three Dogs greeting each other by sniffing butts
Image Credit: Whiskers Sleepy, Shutterstock

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Changes in Bathroom Habits to Be Aware Of

While kicking after peeing is perfectly normal, you might want to take a look at any other signals that could indicate a problem. The behavior by itself is 100% normal, but if you just started noticing some changes in your dogs’ actions, you might wonder why.
If it seems like your dog is struggling a little bit to use the bathroom and they seem agitated more than usual afterward, it can indicate a potential infection or other underlying health concern.


A urinary tract infection can affect dogs of all ages and cause pain during urination or frequent trips to the backyard.

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones are tiny, crystallized particles in the bladder that can be painful to pass. They usually cause blood in the urine, but your dog might show visible signs of strain or discomfort during potty time.


Cystitis is another painful bladder infection that requires vet support. It can be caused by tumors, polyps, and even bladder stones.

Veterinarian doctor is making a check up of a australian shepherd dog at clinic
Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

Kidney Infection

A kidney infection is pretty serious! If your pup has a kidney infection, they will need vet treatment promptly—likely a hefty course of antibiotics and other supportive care. Pups usually exhibit changes in bathroom habits, excessive thirst, and lack of appetite.

Prostate Issues

Having prostate issues can make it difficult for male dogs to do their business. Often it causes a condition called prostatitis, which can lead to interruption in urine stream among other signs.

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So now you understand a little more about dogs kicking after they pee and its purpose. They mostly do it as a way to mark their scent or hide their scent, but also use it as a visual cue or a form of communication to other dogs. But if you have a pup that is showing any difficulty going to the bathroom, it’s definitely time to see your vet.

Featured Image Credit: Ching Louis Liu, Shutterstock

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