Sometimes you might notice your dog dragging or scooting their bottom on the carpet. It can be funny, until they smear poop on the ground and the fun’s over!
If the scooting happens only once or twice, don’t run to the vet just yet! Much like humans, they may be just trying to scratch an itch. Your dog may have something irritating that they are trying to scratch or get rid of, and this is completely normal.
If it starts to happen frequently, you may want to call your vet. When combined with other symptoms, it could be an indication that something else is wrong. Here are some of the most common reasons your dog may be scooting.
Anal Gland Issues
All dogs have two anal sacs that secrete a fluid when they poop. It’s what marks their unique scent, and the anal sacs should empty every time they have a bowel movement. Sometimes they don’t, and that can cause the fluid to build up and cause your dog discomfort.
Dog’s anal glands can become infected, blocked, or even abscessed over time. Scooting is one symptom of anal gland issues, and others include constipation, swelling around the anus, and increased licking or chewing around your dog's private parts. You may also notice a foul smell.
Your dog may scoot as a way to relieve some of the discomfort from the compacted anal glands. If your dog’s anal glands are the issue, they will need to be expressed by a vet and they may benefit from having a scoop of pumpkin added to their daily diet.
Your dog may have intestinal parasites like worms, which can be identified by tiny, white streaks in their stool that look similar to rice in appearance. In addition, they may start scooting to help receive some of the irritation that tapeworms cause.
If you think your dog has tapeworms, you will need to call your vet. They will need to be dewormed. Flea and tick preventative precautions can help to prevent worms in the future.
Dogs get into everything and sometimes they will get cuts on their bottoms. This could be from a scratch or it could be from a clipper burn if they have recently been groomed. Has your dog recently been to the groomer? Scooting might also indicate that your dog is allergic to one of the product used at the groomer.
Check Out Your Dog’s Bottom
To help identify what might be wrong with your dog’s bottom, have a close look and keep an eye out for any swelling, irritation, discharge, growths, or injuries. Everything should be clean, without dirt, poop, or other foul-smelling material. If your dog has worms, you may even be able to see them around the anus. If there is a foul smell that isn’t being caused by any excess feces, your dog may have an gland problem.
When to Call the Vet
You may not need to rush to call the vet if the scooting only happens once or twice, but if you see this behavior more than a few times it’s probably a good time to schedule an appointment.