Why Does My Dog Scoot?

Why Does My Dog Scoot?

Scooting is a canine habit not many dog parents are fond of. For one, it can be embarrassing. Imagine entertaining guests in the living room when your dog suddenly scoots their bottom across the floor shamelessly. They may as well beg for scraps or hump someone’s leg while they’re at it.

However, more than feeling ashamed of your dog’s behavior, you should be concerned about why it’s happening in the first place. Why does your dog have the scoots, and what can be done about it?

It does seem weird that your pup drags their butt across the yard or carpet now and then, but it’s usually because they’re feeling quite uncomfortable back there. They may be trying to alleviate an itch, pain, or irritation. There could be all kinds of reasons this strange and funny habit develops, and it is your job, as the pet owner, to get to the bottom of things and find the right solutions.

Who knows? Maybe all your dog needs is a steady diet of high-fiber dog foods to get rid of the scooting.

Reasons Why Your Dog Scoots

Canine scooting could be rooted in so many things, from food allergies and anal sac issues to skin and intestinal problems. Let’s go over a few of them.

Clogged Anal Sacs

On either side of a dog’s rear end are two tiny anal sacs that house a foul, fishy-smelling liquid that’s discharged along with poop. This liquid may serve as a biomarker or a poop print that other canines can smell.

Usually, a dog’s anal sacs empty upon removing its bowels. However, when they aren’t working correctly, they could build up fluids instead. That’s because poorly functioning sacs tend to get inflamed, solidifying the liquid and preventing it from discharging. Thus, the sacs are either constantly full or never empty. Not only does this irritate the dog, but it can also cause them pain once infected.

If the problem has gotten severe, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. They may recommend antibiotics and warm compress as part of the treatment.

Skin Irritation Caused by Grooming

For breeds like Poodles and Cocker Spaniels, grooming might be best done in moderation. Too much of it, and your canine friends could experience clipper burns and irritations from perfumes, sprays, and other grooming items that can stick under their tails or on their bottoms.

If you’re unwilling to compromise on this end, make sure to inspect post-grooming properly. Your dog could be scooting after a grooming session because of nicks and razor burns around his bottom. Have the groomer switch products and inspect your pooch more closely after grooming.

Food Allergies

Allergies and intolerances regarding food could be the reasons behind dogs’ anal sac issues. When bowel movements don’t have enough pressure behind them for emptying the anal sacs properly, a poor diet could be the culprit.

If a dog’s diet consists of only one or two protein types and lacks fiber, it may be blamed for the anal sacs’ poor functioning. Visit your veterinarian to talk about the possible diet changes to implement.

Anal Sac Trauma

Irresponsible grooming can sometimes lead to anal sac trauma. These sacs are quite delicate and can be easily injured by someone who doesn’t know how to handle them. When the glands in these areas are squeezed or expressed unnecessarily, tissue inflammation and damage could occur. What’s worse is that it may lead to the loss of muscle tones that enables these parts to express themselves voluntarily.

In the past, groomers were taught anal sac expression was part of the package. However, new information shows this part of the service is rarely required, as anal sacs can operate fine independently. Of course, that doesn’t mean groomers shouldn’t check to see if the anal sacs need emptying. In case it does, the groomers should empty them gently.

Intestinal Parasites

Scoots can result from tapeworms and other intestinal parasites using your dogs as hosts. Canines can acquire tapeworms by ingesting a flea carrying tapeworm larvae. These irritate and cause itching around the anus once the tapeworm makes its home in the intestines after maturing in the stomach. Signs your dog could have tapeworms include segments of worms around your dog’s anus, in their feces, and on their bedding and an itchy bottom.

If you suspect your pet is hosting such parasites, have them examined by your veterinarian right away.

Why Does Your Dog Scoot: The Bottomline

Your dog scooting once or twice shouldn’t be a cause for concern. It isn’t uncommon for dogs to catch an itch or irritation after a trip outside. The issue is when scooting behavior becomes more frequent and is accompanied by constant biting and licking of the rear. Have your pet examined by the vet as soon as possible.

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