Scooting in dogs

Photo of dog on white background

Overview

Scooting is when a dog sits down and drags their anus (bottom) along the ground. It’s usually because of an itch or pain caused by:

It’s likely your dog needs to see a vet if they are scooting.

Why does my dog drag their bottom?

The most common causes of scooting include:

Something stuck on their bottom

  • Check your dog’s bottom for pieces of poo or anything else that could cause irritation.

Anal gland disease

  • Anal glands are two little sacs that sit inside the anus. They can cause discomfort if they become blocked or infected.

Worms

  • Tapeworms (found in the guts) can crawl out of your dog’s bottom and cause itching. Remember to treat your dog for worms regularly to prevent this from happening.

Skin allergies (atopy)

Illustration of dog scooting

Dog scooting

How can I stop my dog dragging their bottom along the floor?

If your dog is dragging his/her bottom along the floor it’s usually a sign that something is wrong. There isn’t anything you can do to break the behaviour other than treat the problem that’s causing the irritation.

  • Check under their tail and around their bottom for anything obviously wrong, if something is stuck – remove it or seek veterinary advice.
  • Treat your dog for worms if they are due.
  • Take your dog to the vet if they continue to scoot.

When to contact your vet

Unless it’s something simple to fix at home (for example a piece of poo or matted hair stuck around their bottom), if you notice your dog scooting, always book an appointment with your vet.

You know your dog best. If they don’t have the symptoms listed above but you are still concerned it’s always best to contact your vet.

Published: July 2018

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Written by vets and vet nurses

Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst