Why is my dog scooting?

February 9, 2018



Imagine this scene: you and your guests are admiring your beautiful fur friend who is sitting on the rug with legs sticking out, so cute - until it is not. Within a second, without any warning or shame, your dog slide across your carpet, butt first, and all you can imagine is the trail being left behind, leaving you with that awkward feeling somewhere in between embarrassment and annoyance. I am sure this visualization sounds familiar to you. Now, you may be thinking your dog planned all this, that this is a ‘payback’ move for not taking him/her out for a walk earlier. Forget about that, your dog loves you way too much to ever think about vengeance. Then what is it? You might be asking. 

Scooting: scooting is when a dog drags its anus along the ground, and it most of cases, it is a sign that something is irritating your dog, it often indicates a medical problem that requires attention, ranging from infection to worms to inflammation.

Some of the most common reasons for scooting include:

Anal Sac Problems: whether you approve of this or not, dogs do communicate with their rear ends, more specifically, with the smelly substance that comes from the anal sacs located internally on both sides of their anus. These anal sacs can sometimes become inflamed, abscessed, or blocked. In order to ‘fix’ what is causing them to feel uncomfortable, dogs may start scooting. The Whole Dog Journal published a very well explanatory article regarding scooting and the important role the anal sacs play in it. 

Worms: tapeworms have the appearance of tiny, rice-like segments around your dog’s anus. Dogs get tapeworms by swallowing worm-infested fleas. Tapeworms are easy to treat with a simple dose of oral or injectable medication. If you suspect your dog might be infected with tapeworms, contact your veterinarian and schedule a consultation. They will be able to treat it and might prescribe a simple dose of oral or injectable medication.

Fecal contamination: diarrhea will not only leave your dog weak and dehydrated but will also leave her/him with a messy, nasty looking behind, causing so much discomfort, that scooting turns a form of relief. If your dog’s behind is not infected, you can treat fetal contamination by 

trimming away dirty hair, paying much care and attention to avoid cutting the skin, and a good cleaning with warm water right after.

Rectal prolapse: when the final portion of the large intestine is protruding through the anus, we call it rectal prolapse. It can happen after severe diarrhea or from constipation. If you notice that on your fur baby’s behind, call your veterinarian right away.

Other causes: discomfort caused by wounds, tumors or swelling can also cause your dog to scoot.


Issues around the anus can be smelly, messy and a painful business for your four-legged friend. If your dog is scooting or often licking at the anal area, you should talk to your veterinarian. Treatment can be quick and easy and can make your canine buddy a lot happier!










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