Why do dog's drag their butts?

Why do dog's drag their butts?

Aug 09 , 2021

Katherine Medina

As dog parents, we’ve seen our pups randomly fixated on vacuuming our carpets with their butts. Although we try to stop them from spreading their booty bacteria all over our floors, they won’t stop dragging their butts on the floor when we’re not looking.

But why do dogs drag their butts? Is there anything we can do to stop our dogs from scooting on their butts? What should I do if our dog starts scooting their butts while we’re in public?

As funny (or cringy) as it may look to see your dog butt-surfing the floor, the reason they’re doing it may be more important than you think!

This blog post will explain why your dog is dragging their butts on the ground or rug while also providing tips on what you can do to stop them from scooting their butts.

What causes booty scooting?

There are many reasons that your dog is dragging their butt on the floor.  The most common reasons are:

  • It could be due to anal gland impaction which can cause excessive licking of the area around the anus 
  • Painful or uncomfortable anal sac inflammation (cystitis)
  • Chronic constipation may lead to pressure on the rectum making it difficult for them to control their bowel movements
  • Fecal incontinence is caused by neurological disorders such as diabetes mellitus, spinal cord injury, brain tumor, or stroke
  • Skin irritation from contact with urine or stool during potty time

Butt scooting is primarily a sign of discomfort and irritation in your dog’s heinie. Dragging it across the floor is the only way they can reach ‘back there” like a bear scratching his back on a tree trunk.

Among the many reasons your dog’s butt may be itchy, infected, or clogged anal glands are the most common culprit.

A dog’s anal glands are two small glands on either side of the rectum. These glands produce a smelly, oily secretion that is normally expressed through defecation or other activities such as scent marking.

Dog anal sac disease occurs when these little pockets become clogged, infected, or inflamed due to displacement of their contents.

Causes of this condition can be tension in the muscles around the anus and anal sacs themselves, leading to pressure on them and constipation resulting from a blockage farther up in the colon. This leads to stagnation or backup of feces into the rectum and eventually causing bacteria growth leading to inflammation, discharge, and odor issues usually secondary with itching at the base of your dog’s bottom.

Does my dog have worms?

Other reasons for dog scooting include UTI (urinary tract infections), intestinal parasites (especially tapeworms), injuries or tumors in or around the anus, rectal prolapse, and allergies.

One of the most common reasons for a dog to scoot its rear-end on the floor is because they have hookworms or pinworms. These tiny parasites can be transmitted by infected fleas, so make sure your dog receives an internal dewormer like Panacur and Frontline monthly. Corn on the cob (not cooked) is also great at absorbing these nasty little buggers from your dog’s digestive system.

How do I stop my dogs from butt surfing my floor?

We can’t predict the future. We’ll never know exactly when your dog’s heinie is about to itch. However, you can take these precautionary steps to prevent unsightly butt-dragging.

  1. Make sure to take your dog to get his anal glands cleared at the groomer’s or the vet if you notice your dog scooting and licking their rear-end excessively.
  2. If it’s not an anal gland issue, make sure your dog is not dehydrated and has a rich source of fiber in their diet. Pumpkin puree can help firm up their stools and chicken stock can help them rehydrate properly.
  3. Consult your veterinarian if your dog is scooting more than once a day for more than 1 or 2 days.