Have you ever noticed how the sign ‘&’ looks like a man dragging his but on the floor?
While people don’t do this, you may see your dog scooting like that.
Especially if they’re trying to wipe their bum after a messy pooping time.
You’ll then see them dragging their bum on the grass.
But why does your dog do this at home (on the carpet)?
What are other reasons for the behavior?
Read on to learn more:
- 3 tips to make them stop scooting their butts.
- Possible health-related issues causing them to do this.
- 15 weird reasons why dogs scoot their butt on the floor.
- And so much more……
Table of contents
Why do dogs scoot their butts on the floor?
Dogs scoot their butts on the floor usually because they are experiencing issues with their bums. They could have something itchy on their bums, there may also be problems with their anal sacs. If you’ve been to the groomer recently, they may also have caused irritations from the products they use.
15 reasons why dogs scoot their butt on the floor
#1: There is something itchy down there
Our dogs don’t have hands to scratch their bums.
Unlike humans that have long limbs that can reach almost every part of their body.
If you’re flexible enough, you can even scratch your own back and wouldn’t need a friend to do it for you.
However, dogs have a limited ability to do this.
The easiest way for them to relieve themselves from the itchiness in their bum? By rubbing it across any surface that’s a little bit rough.
You shouldn’t have to worry so much if you see them do this a few times in a month.
It could just be an insect annoying their butts off.
Ants and other non-harmful crawlies could also cause your pooch to scoot their butts across the floor.
You can also see them do this in the yard against the grass.
As long as you don’t see any infections or parasites harmful to your dog’s health, you need not worry.
Just take the insects away that you may find on their butts and you’re good to go.
#2: They might have diarrhea
When your dog is scooting their butt on the floor, you should always check it out if they have internal problems.
Diarrhea might be one of the reasons why they drag their bums across your floor.
It makes them remove their bowels in an abnormal manner.
According to VCA, it could also cause your dogs to not be able to absorb much-needed nutrients from their food.
Since everything they eat goes through them quickly, they can’t make the most out of their meals.
Here are a few causes of diarrhea in your dogs:
- A drastic change in diet.
- Eating garbage and other waste when you’re not around.
- Travel-induced stress (together with weather change and fatigue from moving too much).
“I think my dog is experiencing this. What should I do?”
How to initially treat diarrhea
Keep them hydrated.
Make sure water is always available for them.
Having bad bowel movements can dehydrate your pooch if they don’t get enough fluids.
VCA also suggests to stop feeding your dog within 12-24 or giving them small amounts of food at frequent intervals.
It would also help if you give them meals that have prebiotic fiber, as it helps your dog recover from what they’re feeling.
#3: Their skin might have been irritated from grooming
Been to the groomer lately?
Maybe they are someone new?
If they haven’t had an experience working with your dog, they can cause irritations.
If your pooch isn’t familiar with the new grooming place, they might become uncomfortable.
They start to move around a lot, be all hyper and be unnecessarily active.
Due to this, their groomer could have irritated their bums.
A little mistake while handling clippers could cause tiny wounds.
I know it can be difficult to look for new groomers.
However, it is always best to go to a well-known and recommended grooming salon. Where the staff already has experience working with furbabies.
If location is an issue, and you need to find a new one, at least ask them if they’ve had experience working with your dog’s breed.
Dogs with thicker and longer hair tend to be harder to groom.
Such breeds are:
- Bichon Frise.
- Afghan Hound.
You gotta be extra careful when choosing groomers if your pooch is one of them.
#4: They could have excess poop stuck in their butts
Sorry, I gotta talk a little about poop now.
Put your food down first if you’re a bit sensitive to the topic.
The closest dogs have to toilet paper is the hard floor on your house.
Or the grass blades you have outside if you live somewhere with a yard.
It can get annoying to your pooch if they have a little smudge of poop on their butt.
Especially if they dumped something that isn’t solid.
It can get on their butt area, their fur, or even their behind legs.
This phenomenon is called “Canine Pseudocoprostasis”.
Well, there’s another term for it.
When your pooch has long hair, they are more susceptible to having this.
Their hair can get in the way when they poop.
It can catch fecal matter and it turns into a matted clump of fur.
“If my dog has this, what can I do to help?”
You can start by cutting off the matted part of their hair.
Check if their bum has any wounds or infections.
If it doesn’t, then wash your dog’s butt with soap and water.
Should there be any open wounds and infections, bring your dog to the vet to get them checked.
#5: Clogged anal sacs
“Their what? What’s an anal sac?”
If you look at your dog’s butt, you’ll see two anal sacs.
They are located slightly below your pooch’s anus and they have one on each side.
Together, the anal sacs and the anus will form a sort of triangle.
The butthole will be on the top of the triangle.
These sacs release a smelly liquid whenever they poop.
As canines release their feces, these sacs get pressed. That’s how they naturally empty out the liquid inside.
There are times, however, that this process doesn’t work as intended. Then the liquid in the sacs gets stuck.
When this happens frequently, the liquid inside their sacs could solidify. Which can cause a buildup.
If the buildup continues and the liquid keeps on staying inside their anal sacs, more problems may arise.
Your dog will feel pain and discomfort if their anal sacs keep being clogged.
If you see that your dog’s anal sacs are very enlarged, you should go and see the vet.
Bloody discharges are also a sign that you need to get your fur baby checked.
Vets can then express the anal sacs.
They can also safely remove the buildup and treat their sacs if they have an infection.
#6: They have irritations in their anal sacs
As mentioned in #5, dogs’ anal sacs could get filled and clogged.
As part of the solution, you can get your vet or your local groomer to express their sacs.
“How do I know if I should go to the groomer or the vet?”
When to go to the groomer
Groomers can only do an external expression of your dog’s sacs. This means they’ll squeeze it from the outside.
This is okay if your pooch’s glands aren’t badly clogged. Usually, liquid can be easily expressed externally.
However, this method may not be effective in fully emptying out anal sacs of canines.
When to go to the vet
In contrast to groomers, vets are professionally trained to do internal gland expression.
This is better if your dog’s sacs are filled with thick liquid that is relatively harder to express.
To protect your dog, groomers will tell you if they don’t think they can express your pooch’s glands.
Internally expressing their sacs is better to avoid rupturing them causing damage and pain to your fur baby.
Through this method, your dog will have empty glands and can then be free from pain and infections.
Warning: Unnecessarily squeezing and emptying out their sacs could lead to inflammation. Bruises and small cuts may also occur.
When they have an open wound in their bum area, bacteria and other harmful foreign entities can enter the cut.
This may happen during the following activities:
- Playing around on dirty surfaces.
- And other activities that may expose their sacs to germs.
Tissue and gland damage may also occur when groomers or fur parents themselves do the procedure.
If your fur baby’s sacs are damaged this way, they could lose their natural ability to express themselves.
Dragging their butts across the floor could provide canines with a short relief as it can press on their sacs.
However, this behavior will lead to further inflammation, injuries, and cuts.
#7: They have parasites in their tummies
Butt scooting doesn’t only mean external problems in your dog’s bum.
Internal problems may also arise and have caused them to rub their booty all around your home.
Parasites like tapeworms can cause itchiness and discomfort in your dog’s anal region.
The problem here is that you can’t see the internal pests.
You‘ll only be seeing symptoms of them having tapeworms and other parasites.
If you see your dog do these they might have parasites:
- Drastic weight loss.
- Licking their bum area.
- Parts of worms found in their poop.
“How could my pooch have tapeworms?”
One of the more common reasons for having parasites is ingesting them.
They could have eaten something that has eggs of the parasite and therefore got into your dog’s system.
Fleas can also carry tapeworm eggs and can be ingested by your pooch.
Your vet may recommend giving your pooch dewormers or drugs to be taken orally or injected to treat intestinal parasites.
#8: They are having an allergic reaction to food
If you have food restrictions due to an allergy, you know how sad it can get.
Some people can’t eat dairy products.
Others have to stay away from seafood.
Whatever the restrictions are, you’ll be sure to miss the food groups you aren’t allowed to eat.
Your dog knows your pain.
They can experience this, too!
And not only will they not be allowed to eat the food, they can get itchy bums along the way!
Much like humans, dogs can also feel itchy when they eat something that they’re allergic to.
They can develop skin irritations and inflammations, which cause discomfort.
These skin issues may reach your dog’s butt area, prompting them to drag their butt across your floor.
Poor bowel movements are also symptoms of food allergies.
Because of irregularities in their bowel, their anal sacs can get clogged up too.
Soft or runny poop can’t give the proper pressure to express their sacs and cause buildup inside.
“Oh no, I don’t want that to happen. What can I do?”
You can start by adding more fiber and protein to their diet, so it becomes more solid.
If your dog has gone through a recent diet change, then that might be the cause of the allergy.
It can be hard and frustrating to rule out food allergies in dogs. While it is a standard method to do the dietary elimination trial, it can be time-consuming.
However, your vet can do a saliva and blood test to let you know of possible causes of your pooch’s allergies. This type of test is simpler and quicker but can also be sometimes inaccurate.
#9: They might have problems in their private parts
Although their genitals are separate from their butt, your pooch will also scoot their bums if they feel something down there.
Itchiness, inflammations, and other irritations can be present in your pooch’s private parts.
If their scooting is paired by constant licking of their genitals, then it might be time to have them checked.
According to VCA, you need to be on the lookout for the following signs of your dog having problems in their genitals:
- Difficulty in peeing.
- Distorted skin color.
- Abnormally frequent peeing.
- Scooting their butt on the floor.
- Genitals or anus are swollen or reddish.
- Having pimples and red bumps on their skin.
- Having a terrible smell after pooping or peeing.
- Having something unusual come out of their genitals.
All of the abovementioned issues make your dog uncomfortable.
Different aspects of your dog’s life might be affected by this.
An example would be lack of sleep.
Because they are in a constant state of discomfort, they might have shorter sleeping times at night.
They won’t also be able to enjoy long walks or playtime because of their situation.
A quick visit to the vet can help rule out the following possible issues:
- Bladder problems.
- Urinary Tract Infection.
- And other genital-related diseases.
#10: They think you like it when they scoot
What do you usually do when your dog scoots?
Do you laugh?
A lot of people find it funny when dogs scoot their butts.
Well, it looks weird when they sit in that ‘L’ position and start moving.
Some fur parents may even pet their pooches when they’re scooting because they find it cute and adorable.
Whatever you do, as long as it’s considered a positive interaction, it can encourage your dog to constantly do a certain behavior.
In this case, scooting.
And if you give out “rewards” when they do this, they’ll be more inclined to always scoot.
Getting smiles and laughs from you may also make your dog feel like they’re the center of attention.
And dogs love that!
After all, getting these reactions from you releases the love hormone in a dog’s brain.
It’s called oxytocin.
More commonly known as the love hormone, this chemical is released by your dog’s brain when they receive affection from you.
When canines have a surge of oxytocin, it can change their social behaviors towards their fur parents.
Since dogs respond better to being trained using positive reinforcement, there is a high chance this is the reason they scoot.
Examples of these behaviors could be:
- Giving them treats.
- Cuddling with them.
- Rubbing their head or chin to pet them.
- Showing them affection through words.
- Taking them out for an activity they like e.g., walking.
Especially if you do all the actions above to your dog after scooting, they might think of it as a reward.
Note: A dog may feel rewarded even if you give them negative attention. Say, a fur parent was shocked and raised their voice at their dog because they’re worried about their carpet.
#11: They’re trying to catch your attention
As established earlier, dogs love being the center of attention.
However, there will be times when we’re busy.
We could be focusing on work.
Or are in a call with family, friends, and colleagues.
Some fur parents have even experienced their dogs jumping up on them during a video call!
During these times when we’re not giving our pooches enough attention and time, they’d feel left out and want you to notice them.
They’d do all sorts of things just to get you to get up and play with them.
One way they do this is by making you look at them by scooting on your floor.
They know that it can grab your attention and maybe even make you laugh for a little bit.
Here are a few reasons why your dog is scooting to get your attention:
It’s eating time
Have you given food to your pooch today?
If not, they just might be hungry.
Make sure you also feed them the right amount of food.
Your vet can answer you regarding the specific requirements of dogs when it comes to meals.
However, here is a table from Purina showing the number of cups of feed needed by your dog.
|Adult (1-year-old and above) dog size||Amount of dry food (in cups)|
|3 – 12 lb. (1.4 – 5.4 kg.)||1/3 – 1|
|13 – 20 lb. (5.9 – 9 kg.)||1 – 1/3|
|21 – 35 lb. (9.5 – 15.9 kg.)||1-1/3 – 2|
|26 – 50 lb. (11.8 – 22.7 kg.)||2 – 2-2/3|
|51 – 75 lb. (23.1 – 34 kg.)||2-2/3 – 3-1/3|
|76 – 100 lb. (34.5 – 45.4 kg.)||3-1/3 – 4-1/4|
|100+ lb. (45.4+ kg.)||4-1/4 + 1/4 cup for every 10 lbs (4.5 kg.) of body weight over 100 lbs (45.3 kg.)|
Of course, their age and activity levels will always come into play.
If you and your fur baby are always out on long walks, then they might need more food.
Playtimes are essential to every dog’s well-being.
It keeps them physically healthy and increases their socialization skills.
Especially if you go to parks and other places where there are other dogs present.
If you have been too busy recently, it’s totally normal to forget getting your dog out even for a quick walk.
But don’t worry, your dog will remind you.
These creatures adhere to a schedule and would want to spend a chunk of their time playing with you!
#12: They have colitis
If you’re not familiar with this condition, it’s the inflammation of a dog’s colon or large intestine.
This will cause your dogs to have diarrhea or mushy poop when they go number 2.
In some cases, they will feel pain and difficulty when trying to defecate.
However, colitis is relatively easy to cure and there are several ways your vet can help your dog such as:
- Deworming treatment.
- Feeding them probiotics.
- Giving them anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Change their diet to something bland.
- Letting your dog fast to help their tummy rest.
#13: They have a pinched nerve
As dogs grow older, it is normal for them to have weaker bone structures.
Because of this, nerves can sometimes be pinched in between discs which will cause pain and discomfort in your pooch.
This condition can occur when your dog is being too active for their age.
Notice how some older humans still want to go do physical activities they used to be good at?
Dogs can be the same way, too.
Luckily, pinched nerves have the tendency to cure on their own – well, most of the time.
Here are a few things your vet might suggest you to do to help relieve your dog’s pain:
- Let them rest.
- Administer painkillers as needed.
- Stop using leashes that are too tight.
- Surgery. But this will only happen in severe cases.
Abscesses can form when an open wound gets infected and develops pus.
These can form from anywhere in a dog’s body and that includes their butts.
It can be uncomfortable to your pooch if they have this and sometimes painful when touched.
An abscess usually appears to form a sort of inflammation that sometimes is soft and filled with liquid. It can also cause redness in the skin and may pop and release a bad-smelling liquid.
You can start addressing this issue by cleaning your pooch’s abscess with water.
Once you visit the vet, they might administer either of the following treatments:
- Giving antibiotics to your dog.
- Surgery to remove the abscess.
- Draining the pus in the affected area.
- Suggest a healthy diet that fits your dog’s needs.
#15: Anal Gland Cancer
“Dogs can have cancer, too?”
Unfortunately, yes. They can.
Makes you think how can such a beautiful soul have such a dangerous disease.
And I hope this’ll never happen to your pooch.
Nevertheless, it can still be one of the reasons why your dog scoots their butt on the floor.
Christopher Pinard says that the causes of these cancerous tumors are still unknown.
However, when it comes to conditions like this, early detection is best for your pooch.
If your dog is diagnosed with anal gland cancer, your vet might suggest surgery to remove the tumor.
Chemotherapy can then be applied to prevent cancer from spreading to other body parts.
3 tips to stop your dog from scooting on the floor
#1: Always keep your pooch away from pests
You can do this by keeping your lawn clean.
Pests like mites and fleas hide in bushes and tall grass.
When your dog plays around them they might cling to their fur and cause itchiness in their backsides.
You can also purchase anti-flea products you can put on your pooch to keep the pests away from them when you go out.
There are several parasite solutions you can purchase for your pooch:
- Anti-flea collars.
Here is an example of a well-known anti-flea collar you can find on Amazon.
Especially during walks in hiking trails where fleas can be plenty.
#2: Keep an eye on the things that they eat
Since a few of the reasons why dogs scoot their butts on the floor are tummy issues, you need to keep their meals in check.
Keep their stomach healthy by feeding them nutritious meals and treats.
Giving them meals that are rich in probiotics can help.
AKC suggests that to let your dog’s tummy adjust to changing your dog’s meals, you should introduce it gradually.
Note: As part of AKC’s advice, the whole transition to the new food should last between 5-7 days.
Below is their suggested balance of new and old food to help them adjust:
|Day||Old Food||New Food|
Make sure that your garbage is out of their reach lest they climb up and eat some – dogs are fond of this.
#3: Visit the vet
Getting frequent visits from the vet is essential to keeping your pooch and their butt healthy.