Have you ever noticed your dog scooting? That is, dragging their bottom along the ground, often on your carpet. This indicates that their bottom is itchy and it's often the only way they can try to obtain relief.
There are four main reasons why dogs do this:
Your dog may have tapeworms. You may notice their segments on your dog's feces on the hair around their bottom. They look like wriggly grains of rice and cause itching. Fortunately, these worms rarely cause serious ill health, but they are annoying.
The best way to control worms in your pet is to use a reliable worming product on a regular basis. Because tapeworms are spread by fleas, any worming program should include good flea control, both on the dog and in their environment.
Speaking of fleas, these too can cause itching around your dog's rump and bottom. They'll chew and bite at their skin, but most dogs can't quite reach the area around their bottom. This makes them drag their bottom on the ground to scratch it. Some dogs are allergic to fleas and have a severe reaction to flea bites. Flea control is essential in keeping your dog comfortable, and in some areas, it needs to be used all year round. There are a number of flea control products to choose from, such as liquid spot-on medications, tablets, and chewable treats. Chat to your vet to find out what product may best suit your dog.
3. Soiled Fur
If your dog has a long or fluffy coat, it's possible that the hair around his bottom can become soiled. Small pieces of stool can make the hair stick together in clumps, which can be irritating. This may be more likely if their stools are soft. You'll notice your dog scooting as they try to wipe their fur on the floor and they may leave soil marks on the floor or carpet. This problem can be managed by clipping the hair around your pet's bottom and changing their diet so that their stools are firmer.
4. Anal Gland Issues
Some of the most common reasons for dogs scooting are anal gland issues. These little glands can be found just inside their anus, and they produce a liquid that is expressed onto their stools as they go to the toilet. This liquid is very smelly and is important in marking territories. Sometimes these little glands can become blocked or infected, which is extremely uncomfortable. Affected dogs will drag their bottom on the ground frequently as they try to relieve the pressure of the swollen glands.
Blocked glands can be expressed manually, and if infection is present, then antibiotics can be prescribed by your vet. In some cases, the glands need to be surgically removed, which permanently solves this problem.
Scooting in dogs is often a source of amusement for a pet parent but it indicates that a pet is uncomfortable and needs help to resolve the issue. The reasons for scooting are usually easily managed with flea treatment, worm control, and expressing of blocked or infected anal glands. If you notice your dog scooting on your carpet, we recommend that you take him to the vet immediately for a thorough examination.