Why Does My Dog Scoot?

Dog Scoot

Why Does My Dog Scoot?

You might think it’s funny, cute, or even gross that dogs sometimes scoot their behinds along the carpet or grass. This is called scooting, and it’s a dog’s attempt at getting relief from a more serious health problem.

What Causes Dogs to Scoot Their Bums?

Sometimes, a dog might have an itch, and scooting will resolve it right away. As a result, they stop the behavior. If the scooting continues, however, your dog might be experiencing one of the following health problems.

Irritated or Infected Anal Sac Glands

Anal glands give your dog a unique scent, but they can be problematic to their health and comfort, and scooting might indicate a gland issue. Even though expression of the anal glands was recommended for some time, it can lead to irritation, inflammation, and infection. These glands should only be expressed by a veterinarian when there is a good reason to do so.

Skin Infections

Bacterial and fungal infections in and around a dog’s anus can cause irritation that leads to scooting. These infections can be resolved with antibiotics and/or topical treatments.


Food, flea, and seasonal allergies can cause rashes, itchiness, and skin irritation. Sometimes allergy-related skin problems express around a dog’s hind-quarters.
Dogs To Scoot Their Bums

Fecal Contamination

If a dog has long fur or has had a recent bout of diarrhea, then he’s especially susceptible to bacterial contamination and irritation in the perianal area. Keeping the fur in the area trimmed shorter and washing the area with gentle soap and warm water can resolve the problem.

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites such as tapeworms also cause irritation that leads to scooting. A veterinarian can sometimes diagnose intestinal parasites just by examining your dog’s behind. Other times, a fecal sample might be necessary. Intestinal parasites can be eliminated with a variety of treatments.

Rectal Prolapse

This condition occurs when a part of a dog’s lower intestine protrudes beyond the anus. This causes significant discomfort but can be fixed with a surgical procedure.
Dog with Scooting Problem

Have a Scooting Problem in Your Household? Schedule a Veterinary Checkup

While a little scooting might not indicate a problem, scooting that doesn’t resolve on its own, persistent licking, or visible signs of irritation are all cause for a veterinary checkup. At Compassion Animal Hospital, our Woodland Park veterinarian will perform an examination of your pet and order any necessary diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of your dog’s behind-dragging problem. We’ll then recommend the most appropriate treatment to resolve the underlying issue. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your dog.