I was outside in my back-yard yesterday throwing a toy for Maddie and Riley. It was hard work, standing there throwing while they ran around, tongues hanging out…bringing their toy back to me.  So…I sat down on top of a grassy hill where we were playing.  

Riley decided to come over to me for what I thought was a pat on the head, but instead he sat down next to me and then proceeded to drag his butt all the way down the hill. He almost fell head-over heels…and he kept looking back at me a little sheepishly, as if to say “sorry, mom…but my butt itches”.

Did I mention it was a really big hill?

It’s gross.  Sometimes it’s smelly.  It’s always on your nicest rug or happens in front of your guests. You yell, you discourage, you shoo them away.

It’s the dreaded “butt-scoot”.

Why do they do it, other than to annoy you (you think)? Well, it turns out there is no easy answer, but I was surprised at some of the reasons that I found when I researched the topic:

But dragging could denotes a parasitic GIT worm infestation. This could indicate heartworms, which is a serious condition and is fatal if not treated. It can also be due to allergies, which is quite common in dogs. Your vet can do an allergy test to determine what, if anything, your dog is allergic to, including foods and pollens, dust, etc. The dog might have worms, which causes it to be itchy; by dragging himself around on his bum, he is trying to relieve the itch. 

Other Conditions
Dogs have a gland in that area called the anal gland. Sometimes this can become clogged and it will swell, that makes it uncomfortable so the dog will scoot to try to relieve this. His/her anal sacks (located around the anus) need to be expressed. You can take your dog to a groomer or to a vet and they will do this for you. The sacks get itchy and inflamed when they are full. (note, the liquid that comes out is foul smelling.) 

Territory Marking
This one surprised me, and explained some odd behaviors from my husband. Butt-dragging could be a way of marking their territory. all dogs have two small scent glands, one on either side of their tail. especially dogs that are not neutered or spayed, will have more hormones and the glands can sometimes be overactive causing the dog to feel the need to relieve the pressure down there, so they drag they’re butt. if you take your dog to the vet or to a groomers, they can squeeze the glands for your dog so he/she stops doing it. 

So, what should you do about butt-dragging?

I always recommend calling your vet and having your pooch checked. The dog may have parasites or its anal gland may be impacted. Groomers will ‘manually express’ their anal glands if needed. There is a technique involved that isn’t recommended for people who lose their lunch easily.  It is something like popping a pimple, only much grosser. “Dirty Jobs” had a spot about it a couple years ago. 

Also, don’t forget to wash the carpet or floor where the dog has done it. The Odor Dude Odor Expert can help you when it comes to getting rid of the smell. It really stinks!

By Beth Green, Owner
Paws Pet Care Pet Sitting & Dog Walking