You may not be familiar with the term ‘dog scooting’ but there’s a good chance you’ve seen your own, or someone else’s, dog dragging their bottom across the carpet or lawn. 

This scooting motion is both fascinating and embarrassing, especially since dogs seem to do it whenever there are plenty of other people around to witness it, but your dog isn’t out to humiliate you and mess up your carpet, he’s trying to tell you that something’s wrong. 

Pay Attention 

If you see your dog scooting along on his bottom it’s usually because he has an itchy anus, which could indicate a more serious medical condition. 

There are a few reasons for the behaviour, but your dog is after just one result, he’s trying to find relief.  

Keep a close watch on your dog to see if his scooting is a one-off thing, or if he’s doing it regularly which means he needs your help. 

Lift his tail and look for signs of irritation, redness, swelling, or anything out of the ordinary. 

Anal Glands 

One of the most common causes of dog scooting is impacted or infected anal glands. 

Every dog has two anal glands either side of their anus which help to spread the dog’s scent.  

Your dog’s anal glands should empty at the same he empties his bowels, but sometimes they can become blocked or impacted causing pain and irritation. 

Your dog will lick and chew around his bottom to indicate that he’s in some discomfort, and you should take your dog to the vet to have the anal glands expressed. 

Intestinal Parasites 

Intestinal parasites are another cause of anal itching and discomfort. Your dog should be wormed regularly, every three months, and treated for fleas if necessary as some fleas can infect them with tapeworm. 

If you’ve been a bit lax with your dog’s worming schedule, a good all-wormer should eradicate any worms he’s picked up. 

You can often see tapeworm segments in your dog’s faeces, around his anus, or on his bedding. They look similar to grains of rice. 

When to See your Vet 

In some cases, your dog might just have an itch to scratch, especially if he’s had a bout of diarrhoea just recently and his bottom is less than clean.  

A good bath might be all he needs to feel more comfortable, but if your dog is scooting a lot and seems to be in pain or discomfort, make an appointment to visit your vet for diagnosis and treatment. 

Sydney Animal Hospital and Specialist Vet 

Sydney Vet Specialists is dedicated to providing quality 24 hour veterinary care for your pets, as well as specialist services for a wide range of conditions. 

To speak to one of caring, professional team members about your dog’s bottom scooting, call us on 02 9197 5800, or contact us online 

Book an appointment for your pet between Monday and Friday 8:30am-6pm or call us for emergency veterinarian services and after hours care.