Has it happened to you before?
A friend comes over. She or he goes over to fuss over your dog. Loving every scrap of attention, your dog rolls over onto his back for a good old belly rub from his new BFF … and that’s when it happens. The fleshy, pink dog lipstick comes out! You and your pal are left red-facing, feeling pretty uncomfortable.
I get it. It happens all the time with my pooch. But seriously, there’s nothing to worry about. Dog erections are perfectly normal — and healthy. There’s also nothing gross about it. By all means, keep on giving him those belly rubs!
In case you’re wondering why it happens, and what the signs are that he needs it checked out by a professional, read on. In this article, I’ll be exploring why your dog’s willy comes out and what causes it, so you can enjoy peace of mind.
Why a Dog’s Willy May Stick Out
A number of things can cause your dog’s willy to stick out. And by stick out, I mean sticking out from the prepuce. When it started happening with my dog, I was also curious why it was becoming a regular thing. That’s when I did some Googling. I even asked my vet. Here are a few reasons why it happens and what causes it.
Many things can cause a dog to become aroused. Most of the time, it happens when he walks past a hot pooch. However, he can also get an erection from any form of excitement. For instance, your friend arriving would be one example where your dog may get excited. Another would be the moment in which she started rubbing his belly.
Everything from playing fetch to playing with other dogs to getting his dinner bowl filled can all lead to higher levels of arousal in your dog.
Arousal, put simply, refers to a dog’s level of responsiveness. Even stressful events can trigger it. When exposed to a stressful stimulus like hearing a dog bark in a panicky way, his brain floods with excitatory chemicals, including adrenaline and cortisol. As a result, his attention, consciousness, and information processing are all impacted, leaving him quite literally hanging out.
In other words, dogs experience general arousal which can cause slight erections. And that’s what causes your dog lipstick to emerge. This is by far one of the most common reasons your dog’s willy is sticking out. So don’t worry, he’s not into you! Or at least, not that into you.
Hair Encircling the Penis
Sometimes, it could be something as minor as hair getting in the way. If you notice there’s a lot of hair in the penile area, go visit your vet to get his hair trimmed so he can live peacefully once more.
When there’s something getting in the way of him retracting, like hair or other foreign bodies like dirt or grit, it may show up as persistent erections.
Harmless Anatomical Anomalies
In some cases, dog lipstick sightings happen due to anatomical anomalies like a size mismatch between the penis and prepuce. Unfortunate, I know! Another reason it could occur may be down to a penis that’s prone to sagging out of the prepuce.
Some dogs have penises that don’t fully fit into their prepuces — causing it to be perpetually on display. These poor dogs experience chronically dry penises. On the plus side, it’s not dangerous and won’t cause any significant harm.
Paraphimosis is a condition in which a dog is unable to retract an erect penis back into the preputial sheath — the skin that covers the penis. When that happens, the situation can quickly turn into an emergency situation due to constriction of blood flow which can result in potential damage to the urethra and necrosis (death of tissue).
Common causes include sexual excitement, chronic licking, or foreign bodies entering the skin. However, there are more serious causes of paraphimosis in dogs including penis fractures, muscular issues, and even neurological disease.
Approximately 7% of penile problems in dogs can be linked to paraphimosis. It is an extremely uncomfortable condition which can cause great distress to your dog.
Visit your veterinarian straight away if you suspect he is experiencing this condition.