Why Do Dogs Drag Their Butts?

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One of the less classy habits of dogs is wiping their butt on almost everything – rugs, couches, walls, etc. While this awkward situation is nothing short of hilarious, there are many reasons why your dog scoots. We at DogFriendly.com have compiled a list of the main reasons why your dog drags their tush, and what to do if you notice this behavior in your own pup:

Clogged Anal Sacs

Many people aren’t aware just how important a dog’s anal glands are to their overall health. Anal sacs, which are located inside the body on either side of the rectum, produce a foul-smelling liquid that acts as a dog’s identifier. Each scent is unique to that particular dog, and while humans don’t enjoy the smell, other dogs can learn the sex, approximate age, and health of another dog from smelling it. Some have also speculated that the liquid released from these sacs can help dogs pass hard stools.

When a dog poops, the anal glands release the fluid along with the stool. However, these sacs can become clogged, which creates discomfort for your dog. If you notice your dog scooting, this could be an attempt to ease the pain of clogged anal sacs. Other tell-tale signs are excessive licking, scratching, or blood/pus in or around the rectum and stool. Contact your vet if you notice any of these symptoms because clogged anal glands can lead to infection and severe health complications.

Skin Irritation

Occasionally, dogs can endure micro-abrasions or cuts after grooming. These can create discomfort and itchiness as they heel (especially being in such a sensitive area of your dog’s body). Shampoos, conditioners, and perfumes can also cause these same symptoms. If you notice your dog scooting after a grooming session, try using a warm compress on the area to alleviate some of the pain, and talk to your groomer about switching to organic or hypoallergenic products.

Food Allergies/Diet Deficiencies

While it sometimes seems like our dog could eat anything, this phrase isn’t always true. Some dogs have allergies to ingredients in standard dog foods such as chicken, pork, soy, or dairy. If your dog has a food allergy, it’s possible they could be having a reaction that upsets their bowel movements, which in return upsets their anal glands.

Anal Sac Injury

While anal sacs occasionally need to be drained manually by a vet or groomer, they are designed to function on their own. When either party goes to express these sacs manually, it’s possible they can push too hard and injure the sac, causing them to become inflamed and cease functioning normally. Older groomers were usually taught to express these glands as part of a a standard grooming service, but this usually isn’t necessary. If you believe your dog’s anal sacs were injured, it’d be a good idea to contact your vet.

Parasites

As gross as it sounds, dogs can carry intestinal parasites such as tapeworms without you even knowing. These parasites mature in your dog’s stomach and then make their way through your dog’s intestines and out of their rectum, causing itchiness, scooting, discomfort, and possible blood in the stool. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any rice-sized worms around your dog’s rectum. Luckily, parasites like tapeworms can be easily treated with de-wormers.

Overall, many things can cause our dog to drag their butt. While all these reasons sound a bit scary, your dog could simply be scooting to itch or wipe their bottom. Typically, excessive scooting is what you have to worry about. But if it’s only a few times that your dog does it? No need to worry. It’s just your dog being a dog!

Abigail Kurten
Author: Abigail Kurten

Hi! My name's Abigail, and I intern as a Content Writer for DogFriendly.com. I have one dog, a chocolate lab named Riley who's the best! My favorite breed of dog is a Bulldog or Saint Bernard, though.

Abigail Kurten
Author: Abigail Kurten

Hi! My name's Abigail, and I intern as a Content Writer for DogFriendly.com. I have one dog, a chocolate lab named Riley who's the best! My favorite breed of dog is a Bulldog or Saint Bernard, though.

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