You may notice that your furry pooch is scooting his bottom along the ground, grass, wooden floor, rug or carpet. While your pet may generally seem quite normal and happy, if you see your pet doing this quite often, then there may be an actual underlying problem that may be causing your pooch to scoot frequently.
While there may be many reasons that may be causing this, thankfully, there are a few simple, but effective home remedies that you can try to prevent your pet from scooting around. But before we go onto the remedies for scooting, let’s look at what is causing your dog to scoot.
- Why Is My Dog Scooting?
- Home Remedies for Dog Scooting
- Wrapping Up
Why Is My Dog Scooting?
Your dog may be scooting because he is trying to relieve some discomfort. It may simply be an itch or it could be a more serious, health-related matter. Here are a few reasons why your furry pooch may be scooting.
A very common reason why your pooch may be scooting and dragging his bottom may be because of worms like ringworm or tapeworm. Worms can be very itchy, making your dog very uncomfortable, so your pet may be scooting to relieve the itch.
You can spot the worms around your pet’s anus as tiny rice-like segments or in his feces. So, if your pet has worms, then the best course would be to take him to the vet and get the appropriate deworming treatment.
Infection of the Anal Gland
Typically, when your dog defecates, the anal gland can sometimes get blocked, infected and inflamed, which may be caused due to a bacterial infection or the glands not draining properly. And, if your pet’s anal gland is infected then this could cause him to scoot, attempting to relieve discomfort and pain.
If your pet suffers from food allergies, seasonal allergies or allergies to other pets, this can cause dry and itchy skin. The dry, itchy skin is often paired with yeast infection and may cause your pet to scoot to relieve the itching and discomfort.
So, if you think that your pet is allergic to something, monitor his diet along with everything else in your home and then take your dog to the vet so that you can get him tested to pinpoint the allergy.
If your dog is suffering from diarrhea and he’s passing loose stools, then he could have feces stuck to his bottom, causing the hair to become matted. The feces under his tail could be causing your pet a lot of discomfort, causing him to scoot to relieve himself.
Check your pet’s bottom and clean any feces, debris or dirt with warm water. You could also trim the dirty, matted hair. Keep the hair around the anus cut short at all times to prevent anything from sticking to it.
If your dog is suffering from constipation and is finding it difficult to poop, then he may be scooting to relieve the discomfort and pain.
If your pet has been suffering from severe constipation or diarrhea, then it could cause rectal prolapse, which is essentially when the rectum or the final portion of the large intestine protrudes through the anus.
This could cause your dog to scoot. Check your pet’s anus and if you see an elongated mass protruding from his bottom, then you should take him to the vet immediately to get treatment.
Home Remedies for Dog Scooting
Now that you have understood the reasons as to why your pooch may be scooting, in this section we’ll discuss some remedies that you can try at home to relieve the problems and how to prevent them from recurring.
Clean Your Dog’s Bottom
If your dog’s bottom is dirty and he has feces, mud or debris stuck to it or if your pet has ticks or fleas, this will cause itching and cause your pet to scoot and drag his bottom on the ground to relieve his discomfort and itch. So, it is very important to ensure that your pet’s bottom is clean.
Wash his butt with soap and clean water to remove all the poop and mud stuck to his bottom. You could also use pet wipes to clean his bottom. If your dog has been outdoors, check if there are any insects or parasites like fleas or ticks clinging to his fur and remove them immediately.
Give More Fiber
Just as for humans, increasing fiber in your dog’s diet can help to reduce the occurrence of anal gland infection. The increased fiber can help to reduce constipation and help to empty the anal glands, making your pet more comfortable and prevents him from scooting. Feed your pet high-fiber foods such as sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin with added chia or flax seeds. This can help to ease your pet’s bowel movement.
Increase Your Pet’s Water Intake
When you feed your dog dry kibble, then a common problem that occurs is constipation, which may cause your pet to scoot. So, it is extremely important to ensure that your pet is drinking sufficient water, which is needed to drain his anal glands, without straining a lot or becoming constipated.
You can add water to the dry kibble. Adding some healthy gravy or canned food to your pet’s meal can also help to add moisture. It is seen that dogs prefer to drink moving water compared to a still and tepid pool. So, you could install a drinking fountain that will encourage your pet to drink more water.
If your dog’s bottom is sore and red, then applying witch hazel, which is a natural disinfectant and anti-inflammatory, will help to relieve the itching. Make sure to use natural, unscented witch hazel without any alcohol or coloring, as these can aggravate the irritation. Simply pour some witch hazel onto cotton or a rag and pat it on your dog’s bottom.
Adding probiotics to your pet’s diet can help the anal glands to function properly and empty on their own. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea, probiotics can help to stabilize his digestive system and also firm up the feces. Feed your pet foods that are rich in probiotics like yogurt, etc., which can help to reduce inflammation in the gut and empty the anal sacs more efficiently.
Fish oil is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce the swelling in your dog’s anal glands. And, when the swelling reduces, your pet’s anal sacs will be able to empty themselves on their own. Giving your pet fish oil supplements can help to reduce scooting.
Epsom salt has excellent healing properties and can help to reduce swelling, soothe sores and relieve itching. All you need to do is dissolve some Epsom salt in warm water and then soak a rag into this and apply a warm compress to your dog’s bottom.
Applying a warm compress with Epsom salt thrice a day can help to release your pet’s anal sacs and stop him from scooting.
If your dog’s anal glands are inflamed and they are not able to drain on their own, using a warm compress on your pet’s bottom can help to ease the pain and swelling. Applying a warm compress is very simple. Simply soak a cloth in warm water.
You can add some Epsom salt or witch hazel to the warm water. Wring out the excess water and apply the cloth to your dog’s bottom and allow it to rest on the affected area for around 5 minutes. Repeat the process. Applying warm compress 2 times a day can help to reduce the swelling and soreness and prevent scooting.
Applying a thin layer of Vaseline or petroleum jelly on your dog’s bottom can help to soothe sores and reduce itching. Once you apply the Vaseline, keep a watch on your pet to make sure that he does not lick off the Vaseline.
While Vaseline may not be toxic to your pet, too much of it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. To prevent your pet from licking off the Vaseline, place a cone on him.
Sometimes, when your pet scoots on the ground, it may cause scrapes and lacerations, which can get infected. You need to keep the wounds clean and prevent bacteria from entering them until they heal. You can use Neosporin to keep the sores clean.
This creates a protective barrier and blocks the harmful germs from entering. Applying Neosporin a few times a day can help the sores heal faster.
Reduce Your Dog’s Weight
Overweight and obese dogs are prone to metabolic issues, which leads to a greater probability of anal gland inflammation. So, it is extremely important to feed your dog a healthy diet to ensure that he is lean and fit.
And, if your dog is overweight switching to healthier and less fatty foods or putting him on a diet can help to reduce the pressure on the anal glands so that they can empty easily.
Keep Your Pet Active
Regular exercise not only helps your pet to be healthy, active and fit, but it also helps to keep his joints, lungs and heart healthy. Exercise also helps to stimulate your pet’s digestive system and improves its efficiency in digesting food that he eats. It also helps in regular bowel movements that encourage the anal sacs to be emptied efficiently, thus preventing scooting.
Expressing the Anal Glands
Expressing is an excellent and effective way to reduce anal gland inflammation and also prevents your dog from scooting. If your dog’s anal glands are infected and inflamed, you may see pus-like fluid oozing from your pet’s bottom.
Ideally, you should take your pet to the vet for medical treatment. However, if you’re unable to go to the vet, then you can express your pet’s anal glands at home. To do this, you will need gloves, cloth, water, Vaseline and Epsom salt.
First, use warm water with some Epsom salt or witch hazel and apply a warm compress on your dog’s inflamed anal sacs. After you do this for a few minutes, wear your gloves and apply some Vaseline on the fingertips. Hold your dog’s rear by the base of his tail and lift it as high as possible. Squeeze on both sides of the anus to relieve the pressure.
If this does not help, insert a finger into your pet’s anus and squeeze gently on both sides of the anus. When you squeeze the anal glands properly, it will expel a brown liquid, accompanied by a foul odor. Once you finish expressing the anal glands, you can give your pet a bath and apply some witch hazel onto your pet’s bottom to prevent any inflammation in the future.
In conclusion, anal gland issues and scooting are common problems that pet owners face. Typically, any problem with the anal sacs causes your pet to scoot; however, your pet may scoot occasionally just to clean himself. So, the first thing to do is to check if your dog’s bottom is clean.
And, if the problem of scooting persists, then you can try any or a combination of home remedies we have discussed in our article. And, if everything fails, then the final option is to take your dog to your vet, who can give him some medication to treat the problem and stop him from scooting.