Other health problems

Why Does My Dog Drag his Bum on the Ground?

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. July 9, 2017
Why Does My Dog Drag his Bum on the Ground?

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Surely more than once, you have seen your dog crawl and drag their backside on the ground, in a somewhat strange position. You should know that your dog is not dragging their anus on the floor, they are dragging their anal glands in order to get rid of some discomfort. For your pet, it is a rather uncomfortable and disgusting technique that they do for a very particular reason.

The real question is why do they itch? Dogs can have an itch in their anus for several reasons. As they have no hands to ease the sensation, the best solution they have found is to drag themselves across the floor. The anal sacs of dogs can sometimes be blocked, abscessed or inflamed, which will cause them to feel itchy.

If your dog drags their anus down the ground, it is important to know what the real root of the problem is and how to fix it. Continue reading this AnimalWised article where we will address the causes and give you some solutions for you dog's discomfort.

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  1. Their anal glands are full
  2. Internal parasites and diarrhea
  3. Some solutions to help your dog

Their anal glands are full

As we mentioned earlier, your dog drags the anus down the ground for the simple reason that itches. One of the most likely causes for this to happen is because your anal glands are full.

What are anal glands? What are they for?

Some mammals, such as dogs and cats, have glands around the anus that secrete a substance when they defecate. This physiological act has a very particular purpose: to leave its personal smell in each place where they make their needs; Is like a personal mark that indicates that a particular dog was there. The liquid of the anal glands of each dog has a unique smell, is its fingerprint, very effective to differentiate among others of its same species. Also they serve to lubricate the anus and to allow that the feces do not cause them annoyances.

Usually the dogs empty them is substance when they defecate. However, on other occasions, the glands do not empty as they should and your dog suffers from an annoying itch, which causes it to drag the anus to relieve the sensation. This is a natural process that occurs every so often. The glands empty and can be refilled after a while.

If these glands are not drained from time to time, the substance becomes thicker to the point of plugging the opening of the gland and this can derive not only in inconveniences but in more serious problems that require medical attention as is the case of the inflamed anal glands or abscesses.

Why Does My Dog Drag his Bum on the Ground? - Their anal glands are full

Internal parasites and diarrhea

Another reason why your dog may be dragging their bottom is because they have internal parasites. Most dogs have no filter when it comes to sniffing, licking and eating things. Whether it be poop or pee from other dogs, living and dead animals, trash, rotten food etc. It is very common for a dog to have intestinal parasites.

This will cause them a severe itch in their anus. Remember that does not mean that we should not allow them to sniff. We simply must deworm them regularly and vaccinate them according to their immunization schedule. To know if your dog has a parasitic infection, just look at their feces, the parasites are usually quite visible (thin, long and whitish).

On the other hand, diarrhea can also be one of the causes why your dog is dragging their anus on the ground, your carpet or the park lawn. Some dogs that are healthy and have been to the toilet, may drag their backs in an attempt to remove any residue. If they do not succeed after crawling desperately, help them. Try wiping the remains with a warm damp cloth (not too much) or a damp baby wipe.

Why Does My Dog Drag his Bum on the Ground? - Internal parasites and diarrhea

Some solutions to help your dog

The first thing to do next time your dog drags them-self, and before jumping to conclusions, is to check that there is something stuck, such as a piece of grass. Dogs love to eat grass, plants and branches. Sometimes when they defecate, a piece gets stuck in their butt. This is not pleasant at all so they will try to get it anyway. If you see something strange help them take it out before they drag their anus again.

The most practical solution to parasites is an antiparasitic pill once every three months, along with food. In this way, the parasites won't appear and therefore, our dog will not suffer from the consequential itching.

You could also include more fiber in your dog's diet. For those animals that frequently suffer from constipation, they are recommended a diet high in fiber to increase the volume of feces and the pressure on the anal sacs when they defecate. This will encourage the need for the toilet. You can also add pumpkin to their diet to relieve the pain and itching that comes with an irritated gland.

Other tips you can use:

  • Apply warm compresses to relieve the itching sensation.
  • Some experts argue that feeding a dog twice a day with dry food may prevent the anal glands from getting irritated.

Finally and sometimes the most practical method will be to manually relieve your dog's anal glands. This may not enchant you or your pet and, in some cases, will require a visit to the veterinarian. You should always put on a latex glove and, with the help of soft toilet paper or wet baby towels, firmly hold the dog's anus and pull it slightly outwards. This will help the glands empty as you gently squeeze them onto paper.

Whatever the reason for your dog's discomfort, it is essential to go to the specialist whenever necessary. The veterinarian will offer you a diagnosis and propose a treatment according to your dog's medical condition.

Why Does My Dog Drag his Bum on the Ground? - Some solutions to help your dog

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does My Dog Drag his Bum on the Ground?, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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Ava M.
Also beware if you are expelling the anal glands at home with your dog: my vet told me how to do it but that to be extremely careful I did not puncture the anal gland in the process or an abcess would occur due to the bacterial environment the anal gland is in. Better to just take your animal to the vet and have them deal with the smelly process safely themselves! This is one time not to be cheap.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Ava,

Yes if it is possible to have a veterinarian do it, it is ideal. Unfortunately, a lot of our readers struggle financially, so doing it at home might be better for their budget or for simple practical reasons. However, being very careful is necessary for anyone performing the procedure, thank you for the reminder!
Cory E
Great article.

Besides internal parasites and diarrhea, your dog may be experiencing other handful of reasons why he's scooting or dragging his butt on the floor. He be having allergies or UTI (urinary tract infection--- rare but possible). He could also have a tumor in his anus that is manifesting as an inflamed anal sac. In any case, the best approach would be to take a visit to your nearest vet.
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Why Does My Dog Drag his Bum on the Ground?