Why Do Dogs Drag Their Bottom Along The Floor?

Why do dogs drag their bottom along the floor?If you are a dog owner you probably know what I am referring to when I use the term, “dog butt scootch”.

We recently had a few friends over to the house, and in the midst of conversation our dog began the awkward process of dragging his bottom along the floor (no shame!). That brought on bouts of laughter from the group; our dog had instantly become more entertaining than us, fantastic! Maybe it wouldn’t have had the same entertaining effect had I been hosting a formal gathering for business clients.

But, I digress…..there is a “real” reason why dogs drag their bottom along the floor, and it is not purely a form of entertainment!

Issues With Anal Glands

Probably the most common reason dogs drag their bottom along the floor is due to issues with the anal glands. The anal glands are located just inside a dog’s rectum, and their purpose is to enable a dog to mark his territory through scent. When a dog has a bowel movement it pushes against the anal glands which then squeezes a strong smelling fluid out onto the feces. When you notice your dog smelling another dog’s poop, or rear end, it is to smell the secretion from the anal glands. Your dog’s superb smelling abilities can identify a different scent for each dog.

It is not uncommon for a dog’s anal glands to become impacted. When they get too full, your dog will feel an uncomfortable pressure and he will attempt to empty the glands by dragging his bottom along the floor.

A veterinarian, or groomer, can remedy the problem by squeezing the glands to express the fluid. This is a common procedure and is necessary to eliminate your dog’s discomfort and keep him healthy. If left untreated, infection of the glands can occur and can lead to painful abscess. Infection can be treated with an oral or topical antibiotic prescribed by a veterinarian.

Infected Fleas Cause Tapeworms!

Another cause of the doggie butt scootch is tapeworms, which can be quite bothersome. This parasite occurs when your dog ingests an infected flea. If a dog has fleas, then grooms himself, it is easy to see how a flea can simply be licked up and swallowed. The tapeworm grows inside the gastrointestinal tract and can be 4 to 28 inches long.

If your dog has tapeworms you may be able to see small white or yellowish specks, about the size of a grain of rice, around his bottom (also check his stool). These specks are not the whole worm, rather segments that break off and are left behind after a bowel movement. A veterinarian can diagnose whether or not your dog has tapeworms through a stool sample.

Could It Be Allergies?

Although not the most pleasant of thoughts, your dog may just be trying to itch himself…..all across your clean carpet (ugh!). However, if rear end scooting is a common theme with your dog you may want to investigate the possibility of allergies. Allergies commonly cause inflammation resulting in sensitivity and itching. This could be particularly true for food allergens, since the food will move through the intestinal tract and eventually exit through the anus, thus the itching in the rear end.

Be Sure To Check For The Obvious

When investigating possible causes of your dog dragging his bottom on the floor, always be sure to lift his tail and check out the surrounding area. The problem could be as simple as just having something stuck to his back end, or a bowel movement that left fecal matter tangled in the fur. These are easy fixes, but if you see anything unusual such as swelling, bumps, discoloration, or blood, it is best to seek the opinion of a veterinarian as soon as possible.


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