Have you ever seen your dog scooting her butt on the floor? This is a fairly common dog behavior, but it can be odd the first time you see it. It’s normal for pet owners to be a little concerned that something is wrong with their dogs when butt scooting occurs, so if you’ve been fretting about your pet, you’re in the right place.
Common Reasons Why Your Dog is Scooting Their Butt
Below, you’ll find information about six of the most common reasons why dogs might scoot their butts. You can use this information to recognize when your dog might need to see a veterinarian in Matthews, NC and when she’s just fine at home.
6 reasons for a dog scooting butt behavior include, but aren’t necessarily limited to:
Intestinal parasites are the leading cause of butt scooting in dogs. If your dog is scooting often, there’s a good chance she’s dealing with parasites and is trying to scratch an itch they are causing. Look for signs of parasites in your dog’s poop or around her bedding; they may look like grains of rice.
If the scooting continues for more than a day or two, take your pet to the vet. Even if you don’t see signs of worms, there is a chance your dog is still suffering from an intestinal parasite you just can’t see.
Anal Sac Backup
Another one of the most common causes of dog butt scooting is a backup of the anal sacs. Anal sacs release fluid when dogs poop which causes their poop to have a specific smell. When other dogs sniff it, they can tell who the poop belongs to, based on this smell.
If your dog’s anal sacs are not emptying the way they should when she poops, then she may need to have them expressed by the vet or by a groomer. The sacs can become painful and swollen if they do not express naturally, which may cause your dog to start scooting to relieve the pain.
Food allergies can cause serious skin itching and irritation in dogs. In fact, skin problems are the number one symptom of food allergy in dogs, and if you have an overly itchy dog who does not have fleas, there’s a good chance food allergy is the culprit.
If your dog is scooting her butt, she may be itching as a result of something she’s been eating. If the scooting increases in frequency about an hour after she is fed—or shortly after she goes to the bathroom—then you may be able to pinpoint food allergy as the cause.
Skin Irritation or General Itching
Since dogs can’t scratch their itches the same way humans can, they must resort to scooting if they have general skin irritation or itching in the region of their rear ends. Skin irritation can come from grooming, fleas, contact allergies, or just general everyday life, and the same is true of itchiness.
Female dogs may experience itching of the vulva, which will also cause them to scoot along the floor in an attempt to scratch it. If you see your dog do this once or twice, there’s probably nothing to worry about. However, if she does it frequently, she may have a vaginal infection.
Urinary Tract Infection
Sometimes, dog butt scooting can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, especially in female dogs. This is a much less common cause of scooting than the others on this list, but it is still a potential risk you should keep in mind. Dogs may scoot from a urinary tract infection because of the itching and burning it causes when they urinate.
If your dog is scooting and showing other signs of urinary tract infection, such as frequent urinating and excessive thirst, you should have her checked by the vet as soon as possible. She may need medication to help clear up the infection.
Although it might be a little gross for you to think about, dogs don’t have the ability to use toilet paper the way humans do. Every now and then, a dog may have a dirty bottom after going to the bathroom, and this may bother or irritate her.
Since she cannot take care of the problem herself, she may scoot across the floor to try to clean her rear. If she is able to do so, the scooting will probably stop within a few moments.
Butt Scooting in Dogs Can be Very Common
Most of the common causes of butt scooting in dogs are perfectly normal and benign. However, if you have any concerns about your pet’s health or wellness, talk to your vet for more information. Your vet may have some insights about your individual pet based on her specific health history.
For the most part, there is nothing to worry about when you notice your dog scooting her butt. You can simply monitor this behavior and determine whether or not it clears up in a few days or it persists for a while.
At Caring Hearts Animal Hospital, we care about your pet’s health and wellbeing as much as you do and are here to answer any questions you may have about the causes of your pet’s behavior. So if you have any questions about the dog scooting butt behavior, or if you’re worried that something may be wrong with your pet, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can make an appointment by calling our team at (704) 893-2799 or scheduling an appointment online.