Everything You Wanted to Know About a Dog’s Penis, but Were Afraid to Ask

Picture of a male dog

As embarrassing as the topic might seem to be, a dog’s penis is an organ that can be affected by a variety of medical conditions, and that can develop a series of clinical signs, many of which can be downright worrying for pet parents.

In this post, we’ll look at some things about dog penis behavior, but we’ll also go through a number of health problems that your canine friend can, unfortunately, develop in that sensitive area.


This is the scientific name for a Red Rocket, meaning a dog’s inability to retract its penis back into its sheath. It can happen both in male dogs, but also in male cats, and when it lasts for too long, it can lead to a variety of other issues, such as dryness, irritation, and inflammation.

Most vets agree that paraphimosis can be caused by a range of factors, from genetics to trauma, a narrow preputial opening, or a piece of inverted skin right at the preputial orifice. Even hair can prevent the penis from retracting into its sheath.

Fortunately, dealing with this problem is most often very easy, and veterinarians advise that you use a bit of coconut oil to gently reposition the penile gland into its sheath. If swelling is at the root of the problem, applying a cold compress onto the area can gradually decrease inflammation.

If none of these techniques seem to work and your dog’s penis remains unsheathed for too long, get in touch with the vet. Some cases might require surgery.

To prevent a Red Rocket case, keep your dog’s prepuce clean and well-trimmed. You can ask a dog groomer to do it if you do not feel comfortable performing the maneuver.

Why Do Some Dogs Lick Their Penises?

Dogs can lick their penises to comfort themselves, even if they have been neutered. They can also do it if they want to groom that body area. However, excessive licking can be pathological, and in some situations, it can be linked to a variety of health conditions, especially reproductive and urinary tract infections.

If you notice that your dog engages in this behavior and he’s been experiencing symptoms such as lethargy, pain, discharge, or fever, it’s time to take Fido to the vet. It’s better to get in touch with the veterinarian for any concern whatsoever, even if it might make you feel uncomfortable.


Whenever a dog’s penis is erected, it will naturally become swollen and reddish. There will also be sizable bumps on both sides of the penis base. So, in a way, a normal erection is synonymous with inflammation, in this case.

What could be problematic would be for the inflammation to last for more than an hour, for example, and for it to be associated with other symptoms, such as discharge, local pain, and obvious discomfort and unwillingness to be touched in that area. Trauma, tumors, as well as infections, can all lead to inflammation of a dog’s penis.


Blood is never something normal to be expressed out of a penis, nor should there be any on the surface of the dog’s penis.

If you see that there is blood coming out of your canine friend’s penis, it’s time to get to the veterinary clinic. In most unneutered dogs, this symptom shows up as a result of them having developed BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy).

This clinical sign is associated with other diseases, however, such as urinary tract infections and blood-clotting disorders. If your dog is unlucky enough to have bladder stones, you might notice blood in his urine, especially when the stone is eliminated.


Some types of discharge are physiological, while others are pathological. In most cases, if you notice that your dog expresses a very small amount of yellow/white or transparent white discharge every once in a while, that’s nothing to be worried about.

However, if the material begins to have unusual colors and it’s expressed in larger amounts, it could be a sign of an infection or some other disease. You might even notice pus-like discharge or bloody discharge if there is a more significant issue.

Unusual discharges can be caused by a wide range of medical problems from urinary tract stones and traumatic injuries to cancer of the reproductive or urinary tract, erectile disorders, infections, and irritants (such as materials stuck in the prepuce).

Rashes, Growths, and the Normal Color of the Canine Penis

It’s a bit challenging to tell whether your dog’s penis has a rash, especially since the physiological color of the glans is red. But if it’s redder than usual and your dog seems to be paying more attention to his penis than he typically does, a rash might have indeed appeared on the surface of the organ.

This can happen in infections or irritations, but also allergies. Some dogs can be stung by insects right in that area.

Growths can be associated with trauma and infections, but also with inflammation and tumors. In its erectile state, a dog penis will have bumps on either of its sides, and they are physiological. If you see or feel an unusual growth, make sure to take your dog for a checkup immediately. If it’s cancer, the sooner it is diagnosed, the better.

As for the normal color of a dog’s penis, it’s usually bright pink or red.

How Come Dogs Get Stuck When Mating?

The dog’s penis is a little different from that of other animals.

While the organ of other species is muscular, a dog actually has a unique organ, the bulbus glandis, which expands and gets locked into the female’s body so as to keep the semen in. Let’s just say that the chances of the female dog becoming pregnant are higher if a male dog becomes stuck to the female for a period of time.

In most cases, the dogs are locked together for anything from a couple of minutes to thirty minutes, but sometimes, they can be stuck for an hour or a bit more. If you’re a witness to such a situation, do not try to separate the two as you might accidentally cause vaginal or penile lesions.

If the two dogs seem to be calm enough, leave them be. If not, try to calm them down. Males are usually at ease, but some females can look a little panicked and try to separate. If that happens, get on the floor next to the dogs and try to calm them as best as possible.



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