Dog owners know that sometimes pups do silly things. Whether it’s getting a little too close to a stranger or chasing their tail, they all have personalities of their own.
Scooting is another one of those behaviors that might cause you to scratch your head in confusion. If you start to notice your dog scooting across the floor, this might be more than just silly behavior.
To better understand why your dog is scooting, you’ll need to take inventory of their recent routine and diet and contact your vet to help you find the right remedy.
Why is My Dog Scooting?
This ears down, tail-between-the-legs, bottom-dragging move could indicate that your pup is suffering from a bigger problem, so it’s important to understand what could be causing it.
There are a wide variety of reasons as to why dogs scoot. These include but are not limited to:
- Clogged anal sacs: When a dog has a bowel movement, their anal sacs — two glands on either side of their rear — usually empty, too. But sometimes, these glands can get inflamed and clogged, causing irritation.
- Allergies: Scooting might indicate that your dog is experiencing food, environmental, or seasonal allergies, which can cause itchiness and inflammation. Even if your dog isn’t allergic to a specific food, a diet lacking in fiber or protein may cause watery bowel movements that don’t allow for proper digestion and emptying of anal sacs.
- Parasites: Parasites like tapeworms can cause aggravation in dogs around the rear area. If you also notice small, rice-size worms in your dog’s feces, this could be the culprit.
- Diarrhea: If your dog recently suffered from a bad bout of diarrhea, fecal matter can irritate and even contaminate the area around their bottom, leaving matted, dirty fur. If this appears to be the case, try to carefully trim the dirty fur to avoid infection.
- Skin irritation from grooming: Did your pup just get groomed? Sometimes, trimming around the rear or use of different sprays and soaps can cause irritation and itchiness.
- Wounds or Tumors: While less common, injuries and tumors inside of the anus can cause extreme swelling, bruising, and redness. If you notice these signs, we recommend talking with your vet right away.
What to Do if Your Dog is Scooting
It’s important to consult your vet when you notice scooting so you can rule out any medical conditions.
Depending on the cause of scooting, common treatment options include:
- Anal sac expression: Your veterinarian can safely perform this procedure if your dog is suffering from clogged anal glands.
- Antibiotics: If the scooting is caused by a parasite or infection, your vet will likely prescribe your pooch some antibiotics. It’s important to also get your dog on flea medication to avoid future cases of tapeworm. If the area is extremely inflamed, your vet might also give your dog an anti-inflammatory so they can find relief quickly.
- Dietary changes: Like we mentioned above, diet plays a key role in your dog’s ability to properly digest and get rid of food. Items like wheat, corn, and soy might irritate their system, or there may be key elements missing from your dog’s diet — like fiber — that prevent them from excreting properly. Discuss your dog’s food with your vet to understand if he’s receiving an adequate amount of nutrients.
- Warm compresses: Applying a warm compress, whether at home or at the vet, can help bring some temporary relief to your pup, decreasing inflammation and itchiness.
- Allergy medications and treats: If your dog’s scooting behavior is due to food, environmental, or seasonal allergies, you may want to start incorporating an AllergyImmunity Chew into their daily routine. These tasty treats help strengthen your dog’s immune system and provide support for a healthy GI tract.
Whether it’s just a simple itch or a possible infection, scooting is usually a sign that something isn’t quite right. Always pay close attention to your dog’s behavior and loop in your vet to keep Fido happy and healthy.