Dog scooting is a common problem when your dog feels itchy and uncomfortable. If you have ever seen your dog dragging their bottom along the floor, then you are already familiar with this behavior.
In most cases, scooting is a sign that something is bothering your dog and causing discomfort, but it is usually nothing serious to worry about. Fortunately, many simple home remedies for dog scooting can quickly and easily fix this problem. Whether you are looking for a quick fix or a more long-term solution, there is sure to be an option that will work for you and your furry friend.
Common Causes of Dog Scooting
Dog scooting is a behavior that many pet owners are familiar with. It usually occurs when a dog drags its rear end across the ground or floor. This behavior may occur due to a variety of reasons, some of which can be harmless or even beneficial to the dog.
One of the most common causes of dog scooting is an itchy or irritated anus. This can be caused by parasites such as fleas or worms or even a foreign object stuck in the fur. In this case, the dog may be scooting to scratch or remove the object or parasite.
Sometimes, scooting can simply be a dog‘s way of relieving discomfort from an anal gland infection. Dogs with this condition may scoot to express the glands and relieve the associated pain and itching. If this is the case, treatment from a veterinarian is necessary.
In some cases, dogs will scoot for no reason at all. This can be a sign of happiness, excitement, or even boredom. If this is the case, it is best to take your pet for a walk or some playtime to ensure that it is getting enough exercise and stimulation.
Other causes of dog scooting
Allergies: If your dog is scooting, it could indicate allergies. Allergies can cause skin irritation, which can cause your pup to drag his bottom along the floor in an attempt to find relief.
Parasites: If your dog is scooting, it could be a sign of parasites such as mites or worms. These parasites can cause discomfort and itching, which causes your pup to scoot in an attempt to ease the irritation.
Injury: If your pup is scooting, it could be a sign that he’s injured his rectum or anus. This could be due to a foreign object or something else that was stuck in the area.
Skin Disease or Infection: Scooting is often the result of a skin disease or infection, such as pyoderma or management. These conditions can cause intense itching and discomfort, so your pup may drag his bottom along the floor to find relief.
Home Remedies For Dog Scooting
Properly treating your dog’s scooting ultimately comes down to its underlying cause. In many cases, the scooting may go away with some simple methods or adjustments to your dog’s lifestyle.
Make sure to talk to your vet before you make any big changes to how you care for your little friend. While all these solutions can be carried out quickly, not all are safe to proceed without a recommendation from a professional.
1. Inspect The Bottoms Of Your Dog
Check your dog’s butts for foreign objects, such as half-digested sticks, dingleberries, or nicks. Use a pair of rubber gloves for this visual inspection. The anus and the surrounding hair should be clean and not carry any intense odor. Look also for signs of injury, discharge, growths, or swelling.
If you detect a strong, offensive smell around your dog’s bottom, the anal sac may have been infected or impacted. Tapeworm segments, on the other hand, would look like tiny rice grains or wiggling worms.
2. Anal Gland Expression
Anal gland expression empties the anal sacs, which are small glands near a dog’s anus. When dragging its butts does not solve the problem, your dog may need you to empty (or “express”) the clogged anal sacs for it.
While anyone can express your dog’s anal glands at home, it is always a good idea to get proper training from your vet first to ensure you do it correctly and safely. They may also give you some safe-for-dogs pain relievers or antibiotics to accompany the remedy.
Anal Gland Expression. Source: Vetnique Labs
Ask for help from a family member or friend to hold and control your dog. In short, this is how to do it:
- Locate the glands: The glands are located on either side of the anus, about halfway between the rectum and the tail.
- Gently squeeze the glands: Place your thumb on one gland and your fingers on the other, then gently squeeze the glands until a small amount of fluid is expressed.
- Clean the area: After expressing the glands, clean the area with a warm, damp cloth to remove dirt or debris.
Keep in mind that expressing anal glands can be messy and smelly. Make sure to wear gloves and have plenty of towels on hand. Be gentle with these delicate areas; you may break them and cause more swelling and pain.
Anal gland expression should be an as-needed procedure, not a permanent step in your care routine. If you have concerns about your dog’s anal glands or if they continue to scoot, consult your vet to rule out any underlying health issues.
3. Find And Remove Food Allergens
Dealing with dog food allergies can be challenging and require investigation. But you can help your furry friend feel better with patience and effort.
To spot the food irritant, try keeping a diary and noting any changes in your dog’s behavior after eating certain foods. You can also try an elimination diet, removing certain ingredients from your dog’s diet one at a time to see if it makes a difference. Also, consider environmental factors like dust mites, pollen, or flea saliva.
4. Change The Diet
Changing your dog’s diet is one of the simplest ways to eliminate this problem. In particular, adding more fiber and water to your dog’s diet can promote healthy digestion and reduce the likelihood of anal gland issues.
Fiber helps to bulk up stools, making them easier to pass and reducing the pressure on the anal glands. Foods that are high in fiber include pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and green beans. You can also try adding a fiber supplement to your dog’s food.
Increasing your dog’s water intake can also help to keep their stools soft and prevent constipation, which can put pressure on the anal glands and lead to discomfort. Ensure your dog always has access to fresh, clean water, and consider adding wet food to their diet to increase their water intake.
It is crucial to gradually change your dog’s diet to avoid upsetting its digestive system. If you add a new food or supplement to the diet, start with a small amount and increase it gradually over several days.
And as always, you should consult your vet before introducing big dietary changes. They may recommend some specific great brands of dog food. This is even more important when your dog has any existing health conditions or is on any medications.
5. Warm Compress
Warm compresses are another simple solution you may consider to treat dog scooting.
Soak a clean cloth in warm water, wring it out, and apply it to the affected area for 10-15 minutes. The heat from the compress can help to soothe and relax the muscles in the area, reducing discomfort and promoting healing. You can add a few drops of soothing essential oil, such as chamomile or lavender, to the water to enhance the calming effect.
Just be sure to monitor your dog while using the warm compress, and never apply heat that is too hot or uncomfortable.
6. Anal Gland Supplements
Anal gland supplements can be a simple and convenient way to help keep your dog’s anal glands functioning correctly and reduce scooting. They can also promote healthy bowel movements and support the overall health of the anal glands.
Look for supplements with safe and effective ingredients like psyllium seed husk, flaxseed, and beet pulp. Follow the recommended dosage on the product label and feed it to your dog daily.
7. Prebiotics And Probiotics
Using dog-friendly probiotics or prebiotics can effectively support their gut health, especially when your dog is suffering from digestive issues or a sensitive stomach. Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that help to balance the digestive system, while prebiotics provides food for those good bacteria.
Add those supplements daily to your dog’s food while following the recommended dosage. You can see the results soon with an improved digestive system. Without loose stools or diarrhea, your dog will easily express their anal glands.
When your dog scratches itself and rolls around all over the place when grooming, your current products may have caused some allergic reactions. Consider safer alternatives like hypoallergenic dog wash or oatmeal-based shampoos.
Regular grooming is vital to keeping your dog healthy and avoiding issues that can cause scooting. It helps keep your dog’s skin and fur clean and eliminates irritants. Regular brushing and bathing can remove dead hair and keep your dog’s coat free of tangles and mats, irritating the skin and leading to scooting.
As directed by your vet, dewormers can remove parasites like tapeworms from your dog and promote good digestive health. They are available in both injectable and oral forms, some of which you can give your dog at home.
Regular flea control is also essential to help keep your dog’s skin and fur free of fleas and their bites, which can cause itching and irritation.
Whether it is a daily walk, a game of fetch, or a dog park trip, ensure your dog gets plenty of exercises. Not only does it make life more fun for your pet, but it also makes it easier for it to empty the anal glands and avoid scooting. Regular physical activity helps keep the digestive system’s muscles strong and functioning correctly, reducing the risk of digestive issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Scooting A Serious Problem?
In many cases, this is just a minor issue that can be fixed easily. However, never rule out anything, and consider a vet visit when you see signs of more severe cases.
Will My Dog Be Scooting After Getting Their Anal Glands Expressed?
Most of the time, a single anal gland expression can be enough to stop the scooting. But your dog may also need to be expressed a few more times to empty its glands.
Can I Use Regular Fiber Supplements For My Dog?
You should opt for dog-friendly products as some supplements for humans come with unsafe ingredients like sugar or aspartame.
Whether it’s adding fiber and water to your dog’s diet, using warm compresses or anal gland supplements, or incorporating regular exercise and grooming, there are many steps you can take to support your dog’s health.
In addition to those home remedies for dog scooting, it is always best to consult your vet to determine the underlying cause. With the proper treatment, you can help relieve your dog’s discomfort and get back its happy, wagging tail.