Dirk Kuyt made his debut for the Netherlands senior national team against lowly Liechtenstein in September 2004 and he went on to score 24 goals in 104 appearances. He benefited from the decision from Marco Van Basten to drop players like Patrick Kluivert and Roy Makaay. Dirk Kuyt was able to make his debut earlier due to that decision.

He became a regular in the Netherlands squad under Van Basten after his debut in 2004. Kuyt wore the number seven shirt always when he was in the national team apart from the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament where he wore the number 18 shirt. The versatile attacker was in the Netherlands senior national team setup for a decade between 2004 and 2014.

Dirk Kuyt was named in the starting XI for 11 out of the 12 qualifying games ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup tournament on German soil to show his importance for the Marco Van Basten managerial era. At the World Cup proper, Kuyt only started the last group game against Argentina with his team already through to the first knockout stage after winning the first two games. He was given a surprising start in the round of 16 clash with Portugal in the place of regular central striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy but he didn't play well as the Dutch team suffered a disappointing early exit via the 1-0 loss to opponents Portugal.
At the Euro 2008 tournament, Kuyt played primarily as a winger as the Dutch team were beaten in the quarterfinals by Russia after winning all their group games. The ex-Fenerbahce, Liverpool and Feyenoord player scored once and assisted two goals in the group stage. The Netherlands were in the Group of Death. Dirk Kuyt was also part of the Dutch team that reached the World Cup final at the 2010 edition in South Africa.
Kuyt also represented his country at Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup edition in Brazil.