Everyone has seen their dogs do it. The dog seems happy and content, and the next minute you have a dog scooting on the carpet. It’s not a pretty sight, and your first instinct might be to protect your carpet. But have you ever wondered why a dog drags their bottom? You may be shocked to know that there are many reasons, and most of them are health-related. We are going to talk about why your dog does this, and home remedies for dog scooting.
Why They Do It
For the most part, a dog dragging its butt is trying to relieve discomfort. It could be just an itch, or it could be something more serious. Here are a few reasons why your dog might be scooting.
Anal Gland Infection
The anal glands are that produce fluid when a dog defecates. The fluid tells other dogs important information about themselves when they smell it. Sometimes these glands can be inflamed and get infected, which can cause scooting. Infections can come from a dog not being able to drain the glands himself or a bacteria infection. But some breeds tend to more prone to anal gland infections, while others don’t have a problem at all.
Another common reason for a dog dragging his butt is worms. You will be able to see them in your dog’s feces or around the anus. It can be very itchy and uncomfortable, so your dog is dragging to relieve it. There are several different types of worms that a dog can get. And they all have slightly different life cycles so that treatment can vary. For getting rid of worms in your dog, it is best done with the guidance of a vet.
Allergies can make a dog’s skin itchy all over. Dog’s can be prone to seasonal allergies, food allergies, and even allergies to other pets. Dog scooting allergies are often paired with dry flakey skin and yeast infections. If you suspect allergies in your dog, start taking note of everything in your house and your pet’s diet. Then you can better pinpoint what is causing that allergy with a vet with testing.
If your dog is having a hard time passing feces, they could be scooting to relieve pain. It is also thought to help stimulate them into going easier. While this might not be the answer you were looking for, it does help adjust their diet. We will talk more about supplements and diet changes in the home remedies for dog scooting section.
Feces Stuck On Hair
On the flip side, if your dog has been passing loose stools, it could be stuck to them. Checking their rears for any poop or debris of any kind could alleviate the problem quickly. You might also want to keep the hair cut short to prevent anything from sticking later.
On a rare occasion, your dog could be scooting because of prolapse. You know your dog has a prolapse when you can see parts of their rectum coming out of the anus. A prolapse should be treated by a vet immediately to prevent infections.
Home Remedies For Dog Scooting
Now that we see what causes your dog scooting, we can talk about prevention. These dog scooting treatments can not only relieve the issue directly but also prevent them from happening again.
1. Increased Fiber
Some recent research found that increasing fiber in a dog’s diet decreases the frequency of anal gland infections. Increasing fiber will reduce constipation that can lead to dog scooting. The fiber will also help assist the anal glands in expressing themselves. A great way to add fiber to your dog’s diet is NaturVet’s Stool Ease For Dogs. These tasty chews are irresistible to dogs and can relieve chronic constipation.
2. Witch Hazel
Is the dog bottom red and sore? The perfect anti-inflammatory is witch hazel on a warm rag. Not only is it a natural disinfectant, but it will relieve a dog itchy bum. But not all witch hazel is created equal. Thayers Alcohol-free Unscented Witch Hazel is the best because it is all-natural and won’t burn. Other witch hazels have strong perfumes, coloring, and even irritating alcohol added.
3. Increased Moisture
If your dog is eating dry kibble and having constant problems with anal glands, you might want to add a little moisture to their diet. Water is needed for them to drain their anal sacs without straining or becoming constipated. This is especially true for dogs prone to GI issues. Adding some canned food or healthy gravy to your dog’s dinner could solve the problem.
If your dog has an issue with diarrhea, then they aren’t able to express their anal glands. Using a probiotic can help stabilize their digestive tract and firm up the poop. An excellent pre and probiotic are the Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites. Your dogs will love the flavor, and you should start seeing results within a week.
5. Fish Oil
Fish oil is a miracle supplement that helps humans and animals alike. So it is no surprise that it is also a dog scooting treatment. Because fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, it can reduce the swelling in the anal sacs. Once the swelling is down, your dog should be able to express his glands naturally. The Zesty Paws Omega Bites are easy to give and hide the strong fish flavor well.
6. Epsom Salt
Like witch hazel, Epsom salt has fantastic healing properties. Soaking a rag in warm water and Epsom salt and using it as a compress will heal any irritation. It will soothe sores, relieve itching, and reduces swelling. Using an Epsom salt compress three times a day should help release your dog’s anal glands and stop the scooting. If you are looking for a great salt to use, we like the Epsoak Natural Selection Pure Epsom for it’s unscented and purest qualities.
7. Losing Weight
Dogs who are overweight have an increased probability that they will have chronic anal gland inflammation. Keeping your dog lean and trim is the best way to combat this. The extra activity can also help with immunities and fight the infections that go along with anal gland issues.
Vaseline on a dog’s bottom might help relieve itching and soothe sores. All you need to do is put a thin layer of vaseline over the affected area. Then watch your dog to make sure that they don’t lick it all off. While it’s not toxic to your dog, too much petroleum jelly can cause diarrhea and vomiting. If you need to, place a cone on your dog to prevent licking.
What cream can I put on my dog’s sore bum? Neosporin, without any pain relievers in it, will help keep open sores clean. In some cases, a dog dragging its butt will cause small lacerations that get infected. In these cases, you will need to prevent as much bacteria from entering the wound until it heals. Neosporin blocks out the harmful germs and creates a protective barrier. It can also provide a small barrier so that if your dog scoots again, it isn’t directly on the skin. Your dog will heal and feel better in no time if you apply this a few times a day.
10. Expressing Anal Glands
And the last of the home remedies for dog scooting is expression. In the past, people used to get their dog’s anal glands expressed regularly. But recently it has been found to cause more harm than good. Sometimes having too much expression done can cause more inflammation and infections. If your dog only occasionally has scooting problems, then the regular expression isn’t needed. But if you suspect that they need expressing, you can do this yourself, or have a vet or groomer do it for you.
How To Express At Home
Expressing anal glands can be a tricky process, so we thought it needed a heading all of its own. Anal gland expression is not for the weak stomach, and it will not be pleasant. But we will do anything for our furry family. Before we begin, there are a few things you will need:
- Witch hazel or Epsom salt
- And a bathtub
If you suspect that your dog’s anal glands are inflamed, you might want to do a witch hazel or Epsom salt compress first. Your dog won’t like this, but you should keep the compress on the anus for minutes. After your compress, put on your gloves and cover the fingertips with vaseline.
Pointing your dog’s rear away from you, hold them by the base of the tail and lift it as high as you can. First, try to squeeze the area on either side of the anus to relieve pressure. If nothing comes out, you will need to insert one finger slowly in the anus and squeeze on both sides gently.
You will know if you got the anal glands properly because there will be a foul smell and brown liquid. That is why we recommend doing this in the bathtub. After you have expressed the glands, you might need to bath your dog and clean the tub. Some people even add a little more witch hazel to the anus to prevent more inflammation.
What if a dog still scoots after glands expressed? After about three days, the dog shouldn’t be scooting anymore. If the scooting persists and you have tried everything else, there might be an infection. Take your dog to the vet, where they can give antibiotics and prescription anti-inflammatories.
Dog Scooting Conclusion
A dog dragging its butt is not fun for humans or animals. But instead of reacting negatively, take a closer look at what your dog is trying to say. One of these home remedies for dog scooting can help solve the mystery as to why they do it.
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