It’s an age-old question that nobody seems to have an answer to.
And it can be a funny or embarrassing thing.
But have you ever wondered why your pooch rubs their butt on the ground?
Well, it’s time to uncover this mystery.
Keep reading to discover:
- 15 reasons why dogs rub their bum on the ground.
- How intestinal parasites cause your pooch to scoot.
- What are anal sacs (and what do they have to do with dogs rubbing their bum on the ground).
- And many more…
Table of contents
- Why do dogs rub their bum on the ground?
- 15 reasons dogs rub their bum on the ground
- #1: Full anal sacs
- #2: Grooming irritations
- #3: Matted fur
- #4: Food allergies and intolerance
- #5: Skin allergy
- #6: Diarrhea
- #7: Parasite
- #8: Problem in the genitals
- #9: Trauma to anal sacs
- #10: Rectal prolapse
- #11: Tumors and wounds
- #12: Behavioral problem
- #13: Relieve an itch
- #14: Low-fiber diet
- #15: Foreign bodies
- What should I do if my dog rubs his/her bum on the ground?
Why do dogs rub their bum on the ground?
Dogs rub their bum on the ground because they have full anal sacs. This behavior can also be caused by allergies or parasites in their rear area. A behavioral or neurological problem is also another reason why dogs rub their butts on the ground.
15 reasons dogs rub their bum on the ground
#1: Full anal sacs
Scooting is the medical term used when your Fido’s rubbing their butts on the ground.
And it’s usually caused by a problem in their anal sacs.
Anal sacs are sac-like organs located on both sides of your pup’s anus.
They contain foul-smelling liquid that’s released when your Fido poops.
This liquid is somewhat a “poop print” that carries your doggo’s biomarker.
With this, they can mark their territory through their stool.
Normally, as your pup poops, the anal sacs will also empty.
But the fluid can collect if your Fido’s anal sacs are defective.
It’ll cause the glands in the sac to be inflamed and the liquid to solidify.
If left like this, it can cause an infection.
That’s why they’d rub their butt on the ground to try to release the liquid in the anal sacs.
Also, to ease the pain in their bum.
#2: Grooming irritations
If your Fido scoots after grooming, check for clipper burns or tiny cuts around their butt.
Clipper burns are the red marks or lines that appear on your doggo’s skin. And they’re caused by blades that are too hot or dull.
Besides that, also check the bath shampoo or soap used by the groomer.
The chemicals in these products can be too strong. Then, it can irritate your pup’s bottom upon contact.
As a result, they rub their bums on the ground to find relief.
Poodles and cocker spaniels, in particular, are prone to grooming irritations.
It’s because these breeds are taken to the groomers more frequently than others.
But how do you prevent grooming irritations?
First, inform your groomer about the situation. So that next time, they’ll be more careful.
Second, ask them to switch bath products to something not too strong.
Better yet, bring your Fido’s hypoallergenic shampoo.
Here are some highly-rated shampoo suggestions you can try:
- WAHL Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs.
- Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs.
- OLIVER’S CHOICE Dog Shampoo with Oatmeal and Aloe.
AKC also advises applying a warm compress in the area. You’ll do this to help with the irritation.
#3: Matted fur
Matted hair and poop around your pup’s rectum can also cause scooting.
This is especially true for pooches with long hair that aren’t regularly groomed.
And if fecal matter collects under your doggo’s tail…
It can also cause matting and irritation.
Moreover, the excess poop in your Fido’s fur is called “dingleberries”.
And in extreme situations, it can stick tightly in your pup’s rear like a bottle cork.
As a result, it prevents your pooch from pooping altogether.
So your pup will try to free their bum by rubbing it on the ground.
A simple solution for this is to trim away the matted fur. Just be careful not to cut any skin.
Here’s a simple video tutorial you can follow:
After trimming, you can wash the area with warm water.
#4: Food allergies and intolerance
Food allergy is your Fido’s immune system overreacting to an allergen.
In contrast, food intolerance happens when your doggo eats food they can’t digest easily.
But both can give your pooch an abnormal poop.
And having a soft, watery stool doesn’t provide the pressure needed for your pup’s anal sac to empty.
Hence, they’d rub their bums on the ground.
If this happens, find out what your doggo ate recently.
They might’ve ingested something they’re allergic to or intolerant of.
Research shows that most pooches are allergic to beef and dairy.
Aside from that, Fidos are also prone to lactose intolerance.
That’s why, according to PetMD, you shouldn’t give your pups large amounts of milk. Because it can lead to an upset stomach.
But here’s what you can do if your pooch has tummy problems:
- Bland diet.
- Give them ice cubes.
- Feed them 100% canned pumpkin.
Editor’s Pick: 21 Dog Breeds That Are Prone To Have Sensitive Stomachs
#5: Skin allergy
In some pooches, skin allergies can form around the anus.
And to soothe the itch it causes, pups rub their bum on the floor.
AKC says that dust, molds, and pollen are the common causes of your Fido’s skin allergies.
Aside from that, fleas can also cause an allergic reaction.
It’s because some Fidos are allergic to flea saliva.
Now to check if your pup has skin allergies, PetMD listed down these symptoms:
- Greasy skin.
- A yeasty smell.
- Redness or tough skin.
There are two reasons why diarrhea can make your pooch scoot.
First, the soft poop produced during diarrhea makes it hard for the anal sac to release its fluid fully.
This, of course, causes inflammation of the anal sacs.
Second, diarrhea can burn the delicate skin around your pup’s anus.
It’ll then lead to soreness and itchiness in your Fido’s rear.
And since your pup can’t scratch their bum, they’ll go scooting instead.
To avoid diarrhea, make sure that your Fido has proper eating habits.
Also, add a probiotic supplement to their diet for a healthier gut.
Finally, see your vet if your doggo’s diarrhea lasts for 1-2 days.
Reading Tip: My Dog Poop Starts Solid Then Runny: 11 Vital Tips
If you see your pooch scooting, check their anus or their poop for any white segments.
If you find some, then your pooch may have tapeworms.
That’s also the reason why they’re rubbing their bum on the ground.
But how do pooches get tapeworms?
Your Fido can get this parasite from fleas that carry tapeworm larvae in them.
Once a tapeworm matures, it exits through your pup’s anus.
And this causes your pooch to have an itchy bottom.
To treat it, give your Fido a dewormer.
Note: Use a dewormer with Praziquantel for it to work.
#8: Problem in the genitals
If you see your female pup rubbing their butt on the floor, check their bottom and their privates.
Since their genitals are close to their bums, they can scoot if there are problems down there.
Examples of those problems are:
- Yeast infection.
- Bladder problems.
- Urinary tract infection.
Try to see if there is fur or swelling around their vulva.
Also, take note of vaginal discharge.
If you find any of these, consult your vet.
#9: Trauma to anal sacs
Your pooch’s anal sacs can experience trauma when they’re expressed unnecessarily.
Expressing your Fido’s anal gland means releasing the liquid in them.
The dog groomers know how to do this kind of process on your dog’s anal sacs.
That’s because it’s a part of their grooming service.
But your pooch rarely needs this.
Because they can express their sacs on their own when pooping.
According to AKC, repeated manual expression can injure the delicate sacs.
As a result, the tissues get damaged and inflamed.
So it would be best to tell groomers to check first if Fido’s anal sacs are full.
And to only express it if needed.
#10: Rectal prolapse
The rectum is the final part of Fido’s large intestine.
And when your pooch is straining too hard to poop, a part of their rectum could pop out.
This condition is called rectal prolapse.
When this happens, you’ll see a tube-shaped mass of tissue peeking out of your pup’s anus.
As a result, your pooch will feel discomfort and will start scooting.
To treat this, your pupper needs to see a veterinarian.
They’ll restore the tissue to its normal position.
Then, the vet will partially close your pup’s anus.
It’s needed to prevent prolapse recurrence.
#11: Tumors and wounds
Injuries and tumors in or around the anus can also cause your Fido to rub their bum on the ground.
That’s why you must check your pup after they scoot.
FETCH recommends watching out for any swelling in your Fido’s anus.
As this can indicate an anal tumor.
An anal tumor is a tumor that originated from your doggo’s anal glands.
This type of tumor grows very quickly and spreads anywhere.
VCA says that the earlier anal tumors are detected, the better it is for your pooch.
This way, your pup can then get treated at once. And surgery is the usual treatment for anal tumors.
#12: Behavioral problem
Scooting can also be brought about by behavioral issues in your pooch.
It can be a sign of canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD).
CCD is a behavioral problem for Fidos with old age.
When pooches have CCD, they tend to have changes in their behavior.
That’s why a senior dog can suddenly rub their bottom on the ground for no reason at all.
Moreover, their desire to play declines.
And the signs worsens over time.
What’s more, research says that there’s no cure for CCD.
The available treatment and medication only slow down its progression.
#13: Relieve an itch
Unlike humans, Fidos can’t reach under their butts to scratch it.
So they settle the itch by scooting instead.
You see, your pooch sits anywhere.
And sometimes, foreign objects can get attached to their booty.
This irritates the skin in the area and can cause inflammation.
To ease the discomfort, your pooch will drag their bottoms on the ground.
But this isn’t advisable.
Because your pooch can rub their bum so hard until it tears.
You can prevent this from happening by giving your Fido’s bum a wipe or a wash.
Make sure to use warm water and mild soap when cleaning their butt.
#14: Low-fiber diet
If your Fido’s poop isn’t consistent, then problems with their anal glands can occur.
And if your pooch has a low-fiber diet, it can cause wet and soft stools.
Moreover, here’s a study’s finding:
Results show that adding more fiber to their diet can treat anal gland problems.
Therefore, if you see your pooch scooting, try giving them more fiber.
Here’s some safe and high-fiber food for your Fido:
- Beet Pulp.
- Brown Rice.
- Ground Flaxseed.
- Fiber-rich supplements.
- Strawberries and Blueberries.
Bear in mind that you should consult your vet before changing your pup’s diet.
This is to make sure that you won’t upset your doggo’s stomach.
#15: Foreign bodies
Doggos love rolling around grass and walking in the field.
And this can cause seeds to stick to their coats and skin.
Their bums are no exception.
As a result, they rub their bottom on the ground for the stuck seeds to come off.
But some weeds are hard to detach, like foxtails.
Foxtail is a weed with a barbed seed head.
It’s dangerous because it can enter your pup’s anus.
Moreover, it doesn’t break down inside their body or come out on its own.
Instead, it moves deeper into your pup like an arrow.
Then eventually, it’ll cause an infection.
To prevent foxtail infection, always check your pooch after they’re back from outside.
Make sure that no foreign body is attached to their fur.
What should I do if my dog rubs his/her bum on the ground?
If you see your pooch rubbing their bum on the ground, don’t give them attention.
Because it can reward the action and your pooch can repeat scooting as a way to get attention.
Instead, wait until they’re done dragging their bums on the floor to inspect their rears.
To do this, lift their tails and look for any signs of irritation or infection, such as:
- Dry, flaky skin.
- Foreign discharge.
When should you see a vet?
If you only see your pup scoot once and just for a short moment, it’s not a cause for concern.
But according to FETCH, call your vet if your Fido’s continuously scooting and licking their bums.
You should also contact the professionals if you can see clear signs that your Fido is in pain or distress.