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It’s Gross When Your Dog Scoots Their Butt. But Do You Know the Reason?

It’s Gross When Your Dog Scoots Their Butt. But Do You Know the Reason?

September 2nd

You may have noticed that your dog drags their butt on the ground. This behavior, called scooting, is seen in most dog breeds.

It’s not always easy for humans to understand dog behavior, and scooting is no exception. If your dog is scooting, they probably have a health issue that you need to take care of.

Here’s what you need to know about what causes scooting in dogs.

Health Problems And Scooting

Scooting could be a sign that there is something bothering your dog. They might be itchy, and the only way they can reach the area is to rub it on the ground.

Although scooting is sometimes a sign that they have a mild itch, it could also indicate that they have a serious health problem.

Issues With The Anal Sac

Dogs communicate using smells. And one of the most important smells produced by a dog comes from their anal sac.

Although it sounds gross, the anal sac is an important social tool for dogs. It’s the reason they run up and sniff each other’s butts.

If the anal sac gets blocked, your dog may experience pain and irritation. It’s hard for them to reach the area, so they will often try to deal with this discomfort by scooting.

If you notice that your dog’s butt is inflamed, take them to the vet to get checked out. The vet can clear out the anal sac, as well as prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection.


Worms are one of the most common parasites for dogs. There are many different types of worms, although most of them affect the digestive system.

Parasites such as tapeworms can cause irritation around your dog’s rectum, leading to pain and itchiness. Your dog may scoot to try to deal with the discomfort.

If you notice that your dog is scooting more than usual, check their butt for any signs of worms. Tapeworms often appear as rice like segments on the outside of their rectum.

Take them to the vet to be treated for worms. Your vet will prescribe medication that can kill the worms. Also speak to your vet about any steps you can take to prevent the worms from coming back.

Anal Prolapse

This condition is caused when a part of the rectum extends out of your dog’s body. It often occurs after diarrhea or constipation, when your dog strains too much.

Anal prolapse can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, and can also lead to infections if not treated. It’s pretty easy to notice, as your dog will have a mass sticking out of their butt.

If you notice any anal prolapse, get your dog to the vet right away. Treatment options will vary depending on the severity of the prolapse.

Speak to your vet about your dog’s diet. They may advise you to switch their food so that there is a lower risk of prolapse in the future.

Cuts Or Abrasions

Open wounds can cause a lot of pain, and your dog may try to deal with this by scooting. Check your dog’s butt for any cuts or abrasions. If you notice any, regularly clean them with a mild antiseptic to prevent infections.

If you notice any pus or inflamed skin, you should take your dog to the vet. They can treat the infection and prevent it from spreading.


Dogs often start to grow tumors on their skin as they age. Although not always cancerous, these tumors can cause a lot of irritation, especially if they grow on your dog’s rear end.

If you notice that your dog is scooting, check their butt for any growths. Any masses or tumors you see should be checked out by a vet as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that may masses are just fat deposits or benign tumors, and pose little risk to your dog’s health. The vet may choose to remove them to keep them from irritating your dog’s rectum.

Muscle Or Spine Injury

Injuries to the spine or muscles in the back can cause issues with the rectum. Muscles will often contract, which puts added pressure on the anal glands. This can lead to severe discomfort, as well as inflammation and infections.

If your dog has a back injury, you should speak to your vet about treatment options. They may recommend certain types of mild exercise to loosen the muscles and strengthen your dog’s back.

Grooming Problems That Cause Scooting

In addition to health issues, problems with grooming can also cause scooting. Regularly groom and clean your dog to keep dirt and bacteria from building up on their rear end.

Mild antiseptic wipes are a good way of quickly and safely cleaning your dog’s butt. Use wipes after they roll around in dirt, or if they have diarrhea.

You should also monitor what professional groomers do with your dog. Some groomers will express the anal glands, which can lead to infections and irritation if not done correctly.

Let your vet handle any issues with the anal glands, as they are less likely to mess up and cause further health issues.

Avoid Chemicals

If you use any chemicals to clean your dog’s fur, keep them away from their rear end. This can cause irritation and damage to the skin. If you have a groomer, ask them about any chemicals they’re using.

Behavioral Causes Of Scooting

In some cases, scooting is caused by behavioral problems. Dogs tend to groom when they get anxious, and some develop obsessive behaviors.

If your dog seems more anxious or stressed than usual, this may explain why they are scooting. Speak to your vet about ways that you can reduce their anxiety.

Helping Out Your Dog

If you notice that your dog is scooting, there is likely a problem that needs to be dealt with. Although scooting is not rare, it’s not a normal behavior for a dog, so you should check out their rear end.

Look for any irritation or inflammation near their rectum. This can be uncomfortable for both you and your dog, but it’s important to spot any issues as soon as possible.

If you notice any swelling or large masses, speak to your vet. These could be swollen anal glands or tumors, and they require immediate attention.

Once you’ve identified the problem, there are a few steps you can take to keep it from coming back. Dietary changes are one of the best ways of preventing irritation.

With puppies, the anal glands often get swollen. Although not serious, the glands need to be expressed to prevent infections. You can do this yourself, although it’s best to have your vet walk you through the process first.

CBD Oil For Pain

CBD oil isn’t going to treat any of the serious causes of scooting. But it can help reduce pain and discomfort, making it less likely for your dog to chew the inflamed area.

Ways To Prevent Scooting

The best way to prevent scooting in your dog will depend on what’s causing the irritation. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Give your dog prebiotics to help digestion
  • Feed your dog a raw diet
  • Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise
  • Have them tested for allergies

Try to be proactive with your dog’s health, regularly checking in to make sure that they don’t have any major issues. Many of the main causes of scooting can be treated easily, provided that you notice them early.

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