What Causes Dogs to Scoot and How to Make Them Feel Better

While dog scoot may be amusing for some people who have never seen it before, it is important to remember that the dog is experiencing discomfort or itchiness.


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Scooting occurs when a dog drags its anus along the ground using its hind legs. This behavior is often caused by full or impacted anal glands, indicating that the dog is in some level of discomfort.

If a dog is scooting frequently, it is important to consult a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Dogs with swollen anal glands may experience discomfort and pain, which can have a negative effect on the owner’s quality of life.

What are the anal glands?

Anal glands, also known as anal sacs, are small glands located near the anus of dogs. They produce a strong-smelling, oily substance that is used for marking territory and identifying individual dogs. These glands are located on either side of the anus, and they open into the anus through small ducts.

While the fluid produced by these glands may smell foul to humans, it is used for canine identification near the anus.

When a dog defecates, this fluid is secreted from these sacs. As a result of the increased strain, some of the fluid stored in the glands will be excreted through a small opening near the edge of the anus.

The anal glands cause discomfort during bowel movements and can even cause infections if they aren’t regularly drained. When a dog needs to get his rear end off the floor, he “scoots.”


Most dog owners take their pets to the vet to have their dog’s glands fully expressed to prevent this and promote their health.

If you don’t mind the stench and the mess, you can do it yourself. As an analogy, think about whether you would rather change the oil in your car yourself or take it to a mechanic. It’s up to you!

How to tell if something is wrong with your dog’s anal glands? Indications and symptoms may include the following:

Signs that a dog’s anal glands may be impacted or infected include scooting on the ground, licking or biting at the anus, crying or yelping in pain when the area is touched, and swollen or irritated skin around the anus.

Other signs that your dog’s anal glands may be problematic include:

  • Constipation or straining to defecate
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood or pus in the feces
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling or lump near the anus
  • Redness or irritation around the anus

If you notice any of these signs in your dog, it is important to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. Anal gland problems can be uncomfortable for your dog and can lead to serious infections if left untreated.

A veterinarian will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate treatment, which may include expressing the anal glands, prescribing medication, or in severe cases, surgery.

If this happens, don’t delay in taking your dog to the vet. Ignoring these warnings can lead to serious illness or even death for your dog.

If a dog has recurrent infections in the anal glands, the veterinarian may recommend surgical removal. If this procedure is performed, the dog’s lack of anal glands will not cause him any discomfort.

Anal gland removal

A permanent removal of the anal glands is possible through a surgical procedure called an anal sacculectomy. During surgery, the entire gland and a small amount of adjacent tissue are removed.


General anaesthesia is used for this procedure, and the amount of time needed to fully recover varies from animal to animal. A veterinarian skilled in soft tissue surgery will perform the procedure.

It’s worth remembering that it’s not always necessary to remove the anal glands; sometimes, other methods, like treating the underlying disease or infection, can resolve the problem.

Your vet will weigh the risks and benefits before making a decision to remove the glands, which may have long-term effects such as faecal incontinence.

How the anal glands can be eliminated

  • Make sure you use soap and water to clean your dog’s behind and then rinse it off completely.
  • Since there is a potential for mess, it is recommended that you get a box of latex gloves from your local pharmacy and put them on.
  • Raise the tail so the glands may be felt more easily.
  • The fluid may be released by placing your fingers at the 4 and 8 o’clock positions and gently squeezing them together, beginning at the base.
  • Remove the fluid with paper towels and clean the area thoroughly. Keep in mind that the fluid might produce a foul stench, so check to see that their behind is fresh and odor-free.

So, that’s all. Bring your dog to the vet if you’d rather not perform the surgery yourself; many individuals decide against doing it after their first attempt.

Here’s a hint: your groomer may do the treatment for you, but they won’t always. If the dog is being groomed at the same time, this may be a significant cost savings.

What can I give my dog to stop scooting?

When a dog drags its anus along the floor, or “scoots,” it may have a problem with its anal glands. To find out why your dog is scooting, a trip to the vet is in order. Possible triggers of scooting behavior may include:

Impacted or infected anal glands: The anal glands may need to be expressed or treated with antibiotics.

Allergies: Allergic skin disease can cause itching and discomfort in the anal area.

Parasites: Certain parasites, such as tapeworms, can cause itching and discomfort around the anus.

Tumors: Tumors in the anal area can also cause scooting.


Depending on the underlying cause of the scooting, your veterinarian may recommend a variety of treatment options. Some options include:

Medications: Antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to treat infection or inflammation.

Diet change: A change in diet may be recommended if food allergies are suspected.

Anal gland expression: Your vet may express the anal glands manually or surgically remove them.

Topical treatment: A soothing cream or ointment may be applied to the anal area to provide relief from itching and discomfort.

It’s important to have your dog checked out by a vet if you notice any scooting behavior, as it can be a symptom of more serious problems like worm infestations or rectal prolapse.


In conclusion, if you care about your dog’s health and cleanliness, you should keep an eye out for indicators of anal gland pain and act quickly to alleviate them. When you do this, your dog will appreciate it very much.

You now know how to easily treat scooting, a disorder that prevents dogs from living a regular and pleasant life.

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