Why Does My Dog Drag His Butt?

Many dog owners can recall a certain dreaded scenario. Youre sitting around your living room with a few guests when suddenly, your dog starts scooting their bottom brazenly across the floor in front of everyone.

Dogs have two small anal sacs on either side of their rear end that contain a foul, fishy-smelling liquid they release when they poop. If soft or watery bowel movements arent providing the pressure needed to empty the sacs properly, diet may be the cause.

A diet with only one or two types of protein, not enough fiber, or one that contains grains like corn, oatmeal, rice, wheat, or soy can be whats affecting stools and preventing the anal sacs from functioning properly. Resolution: Groomers in the past were taught to express anal sacs as part and parcel of your dogs grooming services. Telltale signs of tapeworms include an itchy bottom, scooting, and rice-like segments of worms around the anus, in your dogs feces or their bedding.

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How do I get my dog to stop scooting?

“Feeding your dog a good quality, well-balanced diet can help prevent scooting by ensuring their stools are firm enough to squeeze and empty the anal glands as they pass through the rectum,” says Strong. “A good diet will also help you prevent obesity, which increases the risk of anal gland problem in dogs.”

Why do dogs drag their butt along the floor?

Scooting a bottom across the floor is a common dog behavior often indicative of an anal sac issue. Anal sacs may become clogged or injured for a variety of reasons, which can lead to scooting. Visiting your vet is recommended to ensure scooting isn’t due to a serious issue like allergies or parasites.

Why does my dog drag himself across the carpet?

Scooting is your dog’s way of relieving either pain or an itch in its hindquarters. Scooting is when a dog drags its bottom along the floor to relieve itch, irritation, or pain. When canines scoot on the grass and carpet, it’s quite common.

How do you tell if your dog needs his glands expressed?

Scooting: Your dog is scooting their bottom along the floor. ….Licking and biting: If your pupster keeps licking and biting the hind end or around the tail, there is an issue..Presence of odor: If the glands are really full, there may be an odor that is on the stinky side.

Have you ever seen your dog dragging his butt across the ground? The act is commonly known as scooting and is done in an attempt to alleviate an itch or irritation caused by anal gland issues. The first time I saw my Chihuahua scoot was about two years ago. First, it was outside on the grass and then, later that day, he dragged his booty across my living room carpetthose are two surfaces that dogs seem to choose.

But, during my vet visit, I busted out my old news reporter skills and interviewed her about the common causes of scooting. Located internally on each side of your dogs anus (at approximately 4 and 8 oclock) are small pouchesthey are called anal glands.

Some of the things your dog does probably make you wonder, “What the poop?” Perhaps no behaviors are more perplexing than the classic butt scoot that your pup does on occasion.

In most cases, a dog scraping its anus along the carpet or ground means there’s irritation going on. You’ll be able to diagnose this issue easily by noticing the tiny tapeworm segments that look like rice around your dog‘s anus.

Rectal prolapse: Less commonly, your dog‘s rectumthe end of the large intestinecan protrude out of their anus.

The one downside is they think nothing of gluing their butt to the ground, lifting both back paws, and dragging their butt across the floor at the exact moment youre trying to impress a new partner, boss or parent-in-law.

Veterinarians have a tidy expression for this that they enter on clinical notes: perianal irritation (in other words, an itchy butt.) All dogs have a unique scent, a bit like a human fingerprint (only smelly) cooked up inside the anal sacs.

Kind of like the doggy equivalent of social media, this secretion then gives whoever cares to read (or sniff) it a message about who left it there. Cancer of the Anal Gland A tumor grows quietly, often undetected, until it blocks drainage from the sac. At this point, the anal gland becomes impacted or infected and the dog shows symptoms, drawing attention to the area.

If your dogs poop is excessively soft or has just tiny nuggets, then consider giving a fiber supplement. You can do this by giving raw vegetables grated in their food, veggies to chew on, bran or a fiber supplement in consultation with your vet. Avoid diarrhea: Producing runny stool doesnt squeeze on the anal sacs.

Always seek the help of someone experienced in the correct way to express anal sacs, rather than giving it a go yourself. There are lots of options out there, from cheap drugs with many possible side effects to more expensive but safer meds. However, they do have side effects such as increased thirst, and the risk of developing diabetes or Cushings disease.

Atopica: This started life as a med developed to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients. It has relatively few side effects , which can include diarrhea or the development of extra gum material. Second, diarrhea can scorch the delicate mucus membrane and skin of the anus, making it sore.

Personal hygiene: Keep the dogs rear clean by rinsing it with weak saltwater after each bowel movement. See a veterinarian: Diarrhea that doesnt settle down within 12 days needs to be sorted by a vet. This can tug on the hair, causing discomfort or the poop rubs on the skin, making it sore.

Ive seen dingleberries , as these are called, that are stuck so tight that they work like a cork in a bottle and prevent the dog from pooping altogether. Personal hygiene: Check the dogs rear on a daily basis to make sure theyre clean down below. Firm feces: Get diarrhea or soft stools sorted out quickly so the fur isnt soiled.

For the girl dogs, check their private parts, being alert for knots in the fur round the vulva, skin infections in the vulval folds or a vaginal discharge. Possible Cause #7: Behavioral Issues And finally, a word of warning: What do you do when the dog scoots their butt? So make a mental note, but then get to the root cause of why the dog is butt scooting and correct that problem to stop the behavior.

This pet health content was written by a veterinarian, Dr. Pippa Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS . It was last reviewed for accuracy and updated May 21, 2019.If you have questions or concerns, call your vet, who is best equipped to ensure the health and well-being of your pet.

Clogged Anal Sacs

Dogs have two small anal sacs on either side of their rear end that contain a foul, fishy-smelling liquid they release when they poop. The liquid may be a biomarker that helps leave a sort of “poop print” for other dogs to smell.Normally, your dog’s bowel movement triggers his anal sacs to empty. But if they’re not working properly, the fluid can build up. The glands in the sacs have a tendency to get inflamed, solidifying the liquid and hindering its release. When the sacs are continuously full or not emptying properly, it can be painful and can even become infected.“If your dog’s glands look very enlarged or they’re having bloody discharge, it’s time to see your vet,” says Sara Ochoa, DVM. “If the anal glands are very full, we express them. When they are infected, dogs get a round of antibiotics and sometimes pain medication.”

Skin Irritation From Grooming

Dogs that get groomed frequently, such as Cocker Spaniels and Poodles, may experience clipper burns and irritations from sprays, perfumes, or grooming products that get under their tail and around their bottom.

Food Allergies

Food allergies or intolerances may be to blame for some dogs’ anal sac issues. If soft or watery bowel movements aren’t providing the pressure needed to empty the sacs properly, diet may be the cause. A diet with only one or two types of protein, not enough fiber, or one that contains grains like corn, oatmeal, rice, wheat, or soy can be what’s affecting stools and preventing the anal sacs from functioning properly.“I frequently recommend adding canned pumpkin to their diets. Or using Glandex, a product that helps decrease anal gland material and helps the glands express easier,” says Ochoa.

Trauma To Anal Sacs

Your dog may have experienced trauma to their anal sacs by a groomer who manually expressed the glands unnecessarily. But, these sacs are delicate and can be injured by manipulation or squeezing during manual expression. The glands can experience tissue damage and become inflamed, preventing them from functioning normally. Repeated expressing can injure your dog’s anal sacs. What’s more, they can lose the necessary muscle tone that enables them to express themselves on their own.That said, groomers should be encouraged to check to see if the anal sacks are full and if so, to gently empty them. Many times, groomers are the first line of alert of growths and other issues, so it’s best to allow them to check first, and empty if needed.

2) Worms

Located internally on each side of your dog’s anus (at approximately 4 and 8 o’clock) are small pouches—they are called anal glands. They make a smelly, oily fluid used to identify each other and mark their territory. Usually, these glands drain themselves when they pass a healthy bowel movement of normal consistency. If they don’t empty properly, though, the anal glands can become inflamed, blocked, and abscessed. This causes a lot of discomfort for your canine cutie. So, in an attempt to relieve that discomfort, they will scoot their butt across the floor.Scooting is one of the main signs of anal sac problems. Other signs include:While you can learn to drain the anal glands yourself, it’s easier to have your vet or well-trained groomer do it for you.

3) Rectal Prolapse

Rectal prolapse occurs when the final portion of the large intestine protrudes through the anus. When this occurs, you will actually be able to see your dog’s anal tissue and rectal lining sticking out of his anus. If your dog is experiencing rectal prolapse, get him checked by a vet immediately. Your vet may need to stitch your dog’s anus or perform surgery to prevent it from happening again.

Perianal Irritation: An Itchy Butt

Dogs live in the moment. It’s one of the many qualities we love them for.The one downside is they think nothing of gluing their butt to the ground, lifting both back paws, and dragging their butt across the floor at the exact moment you’re trying to impress a new partner, boss or parent-in-law.People have different tolerance levels for how much dog scooting they’ll put up with. I’ve known clients to worry because their dog scoots once every few weeks, while other people are oblivious to their dog rubbing their backside bald.Butt scooting is just a symptom — usually of irritation in the nether regions. Veterinarians have a tidy expression for this that they enter on clinical notes: perianal irritation (in other words, an itchy butt.)The deeper question then becomes “Why does this dog have an itchy butt?”To answer that, here’s everything you ever wanted to know about why dogs scoot their butts on the floor.

Possible Cause #1: Anal Sac Issues

Dogs love to sniff butts to pick up the other dog’s scent signature — because simply saying, “Hi, I’m Bonzo” isn’t exactly possible for a dog to do.All dogs have a unique scent, a bit like a human fingerprint (only smelly) cooked up inside the anal sacs.Dogs have 2 anal sacs, on either side of the anus. The idea is that when the dog poops, the anal sphincter squeezes the anal glands, which express a small bleb of super-smelly secretion. Kind of like the doggy equivalent of social media, this secretion then gives whoever cares to “read” (or sniff) it a message about who left it there.

Over-Full Anal Sacs

But anal sacs have some design flaws. Each gland is the size of a small grape, but the secretion drains out through a fine duct. This duct can become clogged or blocked, and secretion builds up inside the gland. This is known as impaction.Like blowing too much air into a balloon, the glands stretch and stretch … which is very uncomfortable.The dog then tries to relieve the discomfort by rubbing their butt to try and free things off. Indeed, impacted anal sacs are the most common reason dogs scoot their butts.

Cancer of the Anal Gland

Another common problem occurs if the anal sac contents become infected.In the early stages, this is irritating to the dog who then scoots. But as the infection gets worse, the glands become painful and the symptoms change.Signs of an anal gland infection in a dog include:

Possible Cause #2: Allergies

Some dogs are martyrs to anal sac issues, but there are ways to help:

Hypoallergenic Diet

Because an allergen in the dog’s diet is responsible for the itch, feed them a food that lacks the allergen and all should be fine.This means finding a diet that contains a single protein source (i.e., the meaty part) and a single carbohydrate source that your dog hasn’t eaten before. Then feed this food and this only for 8–12 weeks, to wait for the allergens to clear their system.For more tips, see our article on conducting a food trial for allergies in a pet.

Possible Cause #3: Diarrhea

Food allergy doesn’t respond well to anti-allergy meds — but when those allergens cause skin inflammation, then meds should give comfort.There are lots of options out there, from cheap drugs with many possible side effects to more expensive but safer meds. For example:

Possible Cause #5: Parasites

Dogs with long fur sometimes get poop stuck in the fur. This can tug on the hair, causing discomfort — or the poop rubs on the skin, making it sore.I’ve seen “dingleberries,” as these are called, that are stuck so tight that they work like a cork in a bottle and prevent the dog from pooping altogether. Little wonder, then, the dog scoots their butt to try and free things off.To remedy the situation:For much more, see my article “The Delicate Subject of Dingleberries.”

Possible Cause #6: Trouble Down Below

Be aware that general irritation around the genitals may cause a dog to scoot.For the girl dogs, check their private parts, being alert for knots in the fur round the vulva, skin infections in the vulval folds or a vaginal discharge. If in doubt, visit the vet.

Possible Cause #7: Behavioral Issues

And finally, a word of warning: What do you do when the dog scoots their butt?If you a) shout at them or b) laugh, you may accidentally make the problem worse.Giving the dog attention (So make a mental note, but then get to the root cause of why the dog is butt scooting … and correct that problem to stop the behavior.