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Dog Scooting – Understanding Its Causes and Finding Solutions

dog scooting
Scooting can occur for various reasons, but as a dog owner, you must know these causes so you can work towards finding a solution.

While it can be alarming, dog scooting does not always mean something serious. 

Scooting can occur for various reasons, but as a dog owner, you must know these causes so you can work towards finding a solution.

This guide explains all of the possible causes of dog scooting and ways to treat it.

dog scooting treatment

What is Dog Scooting? What are The Causes of Dog Scooting?

dog scooting on bottom

Dog scooting is a peculiar behaviour where dogs drag their bottoms on the ground. It indicates discomfort, pain, or itchiness in the dog’s anal region.

Here are some likely causes behind dog scooting.

Anal Gland Impaction

This is one of the most common causes of dog scooting.

Dogs have anal glands, or sacs, situated on either side of the anus. These glands get filled with faeces and water, but they usually empty out naturally when the dog has a healthy bowel movement. 

In dogs with chronic diarrhoea or constipation, the anal glands do not empty out. This results in them getting impacted or blocked with faeces and water. Over time, they become hard and press on the dog’s anus, causing discomfort and pain.

Scooting helps the dog relieve that pain and pressure to some extent.

Infection of the Anal Sacs

dog scooting on bottom

The dog’s anal sacs can also get infected or inflamed due to bacteria. This can result in redness, pain, itchiness, and burning, which the dog tries to relieve by scooting or dragging its bottom on the floor.

Abscess in Anal Gland

An abscess in the anal glands can also result in dog scooting. This is a painful infection that causes a pus-filled blister in the anal sac region. Abscesses can also burst if not treated, resulting in foul odour and pain for the dog.

Parasites

Both internal and external parasites can sometimes result in dog scooting. Internal parasites include roundworms, pinworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. These can irritate the anal area when they exit the dog’s body through the faeces.

External parasites like ticks and fleas can bite the dog under its tail. This can result in a rash, blisters, or flea allergy dermatitis. To relieve the itchiness and burning, the dog might scoot or brush its bottom on the rug or carpet.

Allergies

Skin allergies can also trigger scooting behaviour in dogs. Allergies cause itchiness and rashes in the perineal area, which your dog might try to relieve by dragging its bottom on the floor.

Tumours or Cysts

Anal tumours, or cysts, are abnormal growths in the anal area. They can be extremely painful, and to relieve the discomfort, your dog might drag its bottom on the ground.

Home Remedies and Solutions to Prevent Dog Scooting

dog scooting bum

If your dog is scooting, it is important to first address the underlying cause. This can help you relieve your dog’s discomfort and provide relief.

 Here are some home remedies to prevent dog scooting:

Express Its Anal Glands

If your dog’s anal glands are not expressed naturally due to chronic diarrhoea or constipation, then you might have to manually express them.

Manual expression includes inserting your finger inside your dog’s anus on each side and pressing gently to release the trapped fluid. 

You can express your dog’s anal glands yourself or have your vet do it for you.

Deworm your Dog

dog scooting behaviour

If your pet has an itchy bum due to internal parasites like pinworms and roundworms, deworm it regularly to get rid of them. Your vet will recommend the right dosage and schedule for deworming based on your dog’s age and weight.

A product like Milbemax wormer will treat your dog or puppy for a range of intestinal worms including tapeworms. Not all worming products will kill tapeworms, therefore it’s important to read the packaging to ensure you’re using a brand spectrum wormer.

Once the worms are eliminated, the anal itch will also go away.

Prevent External Parasites

Use ongoing tick and flea prevention to keep your dog free from external parasites. This can prevent flea allergy dermatitis, which could result in scooting.

Use Anal Cream or Compresses

Soothing aloe vera gel, calendula cream, Epsom salts, or mild hydrocortisone cream can help eliminate itchy bums in dogs. 

Do not use hydrocortisone for more than three days. If the itch persists, please have your vet examine your dog.

Feed Pumpkin

Pumpkin puree contains soluble fibre, which can regulate your dog’s stools and prevent diarrhoea and constipation. Regular pumpkin intake can thus prevent anal gland impaction in dogs.

Add a tablespoon of pureed pumpkin to the dog food for a small dog. Larger dogs can have up to 4 tablespoons. Start with small quantities, as too much fibre in the pumpkin can also cause loose stools.

Increase Water Intake

dog scooting after grooming

Constipated dogs often suffer from anal gland impaction as the anal sacs do not express themselves on their own.

Make sure your dog drinks adequate water. You can also feed it wet food or a special fibre-rich food to prevent constipation. 

Give Your Dog Regular Exercise

Exercise is essential to prevent constipation and subsequent anal impaction in dogs. Make sure your dog gets adequate physical activity and playtime according to its breed, age, and overall health.

Maintain Proper Hygiene

Keep your dog clean and regularly groom and bathe it. Wash its anal region with warm water and mild dog shampoo. Avoid using harsh cleaners, which can increase irritation and itchiness.

FAQs – Why is My Dog Scooting?

Why is my dog scooting even after anal glands are expressed?

If your dog is still scooting even after the anal glands have been expressed, it could be due to an underlying issue such as an anal gland infection, abscesses, anal gland disease, skin irritation, allergies, or other medical conditions.
Please consult with your veterinarian for further evaluation and appropriate treatment.

My dog has been wormed but is still scooting?

If the scooting persists after deworming, it could be due to anal gland impaction, allergy dermatitis, or gastrointestinal issues. Please see your vet right away.

Does pumpkin help dogs stop scooting?

Yes, vets recommend pumpkins for dogs scooting. The soluble fibre in pumpkin helps relieve pressure on the anal sacs and prevent impaction.

Why is my dog scooting after pooping?

If your puppy scoots after pooping, it is likely to be an anal sac issue. Manually express its anal glands. Apply some soothing cream or a warm compress. If that does not help, have your vet rule out other health issues.

When should I worry about dog scooting?

If the scooting persists despite the above home remedies or if your dog has been scooting for days and is also showing signs of pain, bleeding, or pus/discharge, then take it to the vet right away.

Conclusion – Dog Scooting Causes and Remedies

Numerous factors can cause dogs to scoot or drag their bums on the ground. These include anal gland impaction, infections or abscesses, parasites, or allergies.

You can try home remedies like dietary changes with increased fibre intake, exercise, expressing the anal glands manually, and applying a warm compress or aloe gel to soothe the itch. If these remedies do not show results, then please see your vet.

If you’re wanting to increase calmness and confidence in your dog or puppy check out our online dog training course or book a consultation with one of our professional dog trainers.

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Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney
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Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney

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