How to Stop Your Dog From Scooting Its Bottom on the Floor

If you have ever walked in on your pet dog scooting butt on the floor, you might let out a laugh at first at the comical sight. That is until you think about what might be left behind on the carpet and the potential distress behind the behavior.

A dog is scooting for relief, not for fun. It is your responsibility to provide a better option and cure the underlying issue. In this guide, we will talk about the many different reasons for dog scooting and the action you can take to stop it.

It is important to consider the issue from different angles and be aware that this behavior is the result of underlying discomfort and medical concern. By the end, you should be a little closer to figuring why your dog keeps scooting and how to resolve the issues swiftly.

Why Is Your Dog Scooting on the Carpet?

The short answer here is that your pet is dealing with some form of irritation in this area and using the friction from the carpet as a relief. It’s like a bear scratching itself on a tree or a human using a back-scratcher for those hard to reach places. We all use what is available for soothing relief.

A dog scooting butt on your rug or carpet knows no better. The cause could be a simple as a blockage of the anal glands or worms. Once you determine the cause of your dog scooting on the floor, you can then work with your vet to provide the best possible treatment.

Be aware right now that this might not be pretty. But, it is essential for the well-being of your pet. So, let’s look at some of the top dog scooting causes and treatment options. These issues include:

  • Anal sac problems
  • Fecal contamination
  • Food intolerances
  • Worms
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Tumors
  • Irritation after grooming your pet

So, let’s take a closer look at these causes and what you can do to help.

1.) Anal Sac Problems

This is one of the most common problems causing dogs scooting. Dogs have anal sacs that secrete a smelly substance that aids in dog communication. In a healthy dog, this is released normally during defecation and there is a steady release over time.

Your dog is happy, you don’t smell anything nasty, they get to mark their territory. But, there are cases where the sacs get blocked and built-up due to problems with bowel movements or infections. The discomfort and inflammation mean dogs want to find relief on the carpet.

When this happens, you may have to help them to empty the sacs manually. The sooner you express the liquid and handle the problem, the better it is for all concerned. Your vet can teach you how to do this in an effective manner that won’t harm your pet.

They might also prescribe antibiotics for any infection. Warm compresses can also help bring down any inflammation for pain relief.

2.) Fecal Contamination

If it isn’t a problem with a blockage in the anal gland, you might instead find that there is a nasty build-up of fecal matter in the hair and around the skin of the anus. We know how important it is to clean ourselves and our kids up properly after going to the bathroom.

We don’t want any rashes or infections. The same is true for dogs. Loose stools and diarrhea could stick to the fur if a dog has intestine discomfort or a poor diet. If it stays there, it makes sense that they would want to rub it off and relieve any itching from any rashes that develop.

This problem could be easily cured with a good bath and some antiseptic treatments in the area. If your dog has an illness and is at risk of looser stools right now, check the fur around their butt frequently to minimize the risk of discomfort.

3.) Food Intolerances

The problems with dogs scooting on the floor because of glands or fecal contamination could come down to their diet. It might be that they aren’t passing solid waste as frequently as necessary to create the right pressure for the anal glands. A lack of protein and/or fiber might be to blame for softer stools. 

Or, your dog may have eaten something recently that has brought on a case of diarrhea. Food allergies and intolerances can play havoc with a digestive system until you find a solution. The best thing to do in this situation is to look at what your pet is or isn’t eating and talk to your vet about a new diet plan. 

You might find that a new meal plan with increased levels of fiber is enough to improve your dog’s bowel movements and minimize the risks mentioned above. If there is a suspected allergy, work hard to eliminate that component from their diet.

4.) Worms

Another common problem that you will see when learning why your dog is scooting is worms. Worm treatments are a big part of doggy health care as there are all kinds of risks of dogs ingesting larvae through the random things they eat over a day.

Tapeworms enter the body through eating fleas containing larvae. These then mature in the dog’s stomach and try and leave through the anus. Understandably, this can be itchy and terribly uncomfortable. So, it makes sense to the dog to rub themselves on the carpet.

If you notice signs of worms, or suspect this could be the problem, talk to your veterinarian to get a starting on a worming program. Worming treatments are simple and effective. Your dog may need little more than one oral dose of medication to kill the worms and allow them to pass naturally.

In addition to this, you might need to consider a flea treatment if that is where your dog picked up the larvae.

5.) Rectal Prolapse

Rectal prolapse occurs when a section of the dog’s rectum protrudes through the anus. The common causes of this are poor bowel health, such as long-term diarrhea or excessive straining from constipation.

The straining and pressure push the tissue out, leading to a cylindrical mass of intestine visible outside the anus. This is a cause for concern and uncomfortable for the dog. So, it must be treated as soon as possible.

If you see this occur with your dog, you need to get them to a vet for treatment. This isn’t something that you can just fix yourself by pushing the rectum back into the body. You might cause additional problems and miss the underlying causes.

Your vet may perform a surgical procedure to repair the prolapse and secure the anus to prevent it from occurring again. They can also help with medication to improve bowel health to reduce straining in the future.

6.) Tumors and Abscesses

There is also the risk that the irritation and any swelling that develops around your dog’s butt is actually the result of a tumor or abscess. Abscesses will be painful to the touch, so be sure to be careful and offer plenty of reassurance.

They may also be red and bruised with signs of discharge. Tumors under the skins may be more difficult to define. Either way, you need to seek medical attention. If you are sure it is an abscess then you need to get treatment for drainage, antibiotics, and other aftercare.

If you are unsure what the lump is, take your dog for an examination to be sure that it isn’t a tumor. If it is a tumor, a speedy diagnosis could make a difference to the prognosis.

7.) Irritation After Grooming Your Pet

Finally, it is worth considering that your pet may have some form of cut or irritation due to a session at the groomers. The risk is obviously greater with long-haired dogs that need regular clipping and grooming around this area.

Professional groomers should be able to avoid injury or distress with careful cuts and dog-friendly products. But, accidents do happen and some dogs may have allergic reactions to ingredients in sprays or shampoos.

If you notice any small cuts on your dog’s butt, they may cause more discomfort than you realize. After all, we know how much small cuts can sting or how easy it is to infect them. Infection is a risk in this area with the proximity to fecal matter and anal fluid. 

Do your best to keep the wounds clean and soothed with antibiotics, antiseptic creams, and warm compresses. And make sure to talk to your groomer about what happened to avoid any issues in the future.

Be prepared to examine your pet when you see your dog scooting on the carpet.

When you see your dog scooting butt, don’t ignore it. There is no point in chastising them for messing up your carpet without trying to help them. You will only prolong the discomfort and run the risk of it happening again.

The first thing to do is to call your dog over and give them an examination. You aren’t going to like what you find, but you will get the evidence you need to help with a diagnosis.

Determining issues by sight:

Start by taking a closer look at what is going on down there. Are there any clear signs of swelling, lumps, prolapses, or infections around the anus or anal glands? 

Are there any remnants of fecal matter in their fur that suggest diarrhea? Or, can you see any little white fragments of worms around the anus? If you’re not sure what you can see, but it doesn’t look right, ask a vet.

Determining issues by smell:

The smell around your dog’s butt is another signal of infection or blockage. It could be quite a strong, unpleasant smell but it is a clear sign that they need some medical treatment and relief. Make sure that you take great care when examining your dog to determine why your dog is scooting.

Don’t take a quick glance and assume it’s all fine. Put on a pair of rubber gloves, lift your dog’s tail, and really look at what is going on. Make sure the hair is clean and feel for any sort of swelling or abnormality.

Always seek medical advice from veterinarians when dealing with a dog scooting butt.

In many cases, it might be obvious from the fecal remains, signs of worms, or the smell that there is a specific problem. But, it helps to talk to your vet about the best course of action. They can carry out tests to see if dietary issues are to blame for some problems.

They can also check for infections, provide helpful supplements and antibiotics, and also guide you in the best methods for relieving anal glands. Also, don’t delay in getting help if you think there is a problem.

There is a chance that your dog is merely scooting as a one-off for an itch or a bit of irritation and it will pass. But, there is a risk of unnecessary distress for your dog if you assume this is the case every time.

There is also the risk that that one scoot you saw is just the first time they did it when you were in the room. It is better to be cautious, inspect your dog, and then ask your vet for advice.

Get to the root cause of why your dog is scooting for quick and simple relief.

In short, while there are many possible reasons for a dog scooting butt on the carpet, they are all treatable with the right action.

It might take some unpleasant work to get to the bottom of things – no pun intended – but examinations and a desire to provide relief from the start are essential.

The sooner you try and do something about this problem, the soon your dog will get the relief they need. Figure out the problem, talk to your vet about the best solution, and then work to make the appropriate changes.


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