If your dog keeps scooting and licking its anal region and you are wondering what to do, we’ve gathered some possible methods you could use to help your pet.
While some issues would require a trip to the vet, most of the time, there are home remedies that could relieve your pet’s discomfort — so keep reading to learn all about them.
Best Home Remedies for Dog Scooting
Everybody who has a pet knows they can do some silly things. However, if you notice your dog scooting its bottom along the ground, don’t ignore it or laugh at it.
According to Sawgrass Veterinary Center, while scooting usually isn’t an emergency, it can be a sign of a more serious issue if it happens too often. It mostly happens when its bottom is dirty from poop or mud, which is why it is essential to ensure your pet’s backside is clean.
However, it can also happen due to inflamed anal glands or sacs, the presence of parasites such as ringworm or tapeworm, or a tick or flea infestation.
Luckily, there are several simple but effective remedies for a scooting dog, and we have listed some of them below.
Express the Anal Glands
Expressing is one of the most effective ways to help your dog deal with anal gland inflammation and prevent it from scooting. However, before you do that, you need to be entirely sure your dog’s anal glands are infected or inflamed.
This is important because if your furry family member doesn’t have an anal gland issue, expressing it might cause inflammation and anal gland sacculitis.
Some symptoms to look for include licking the area excessively, a strong fishy smell, and swelling or bleeding around the anal region. Once you’re 100% certain, you can take your pet to the vet or a professional groomer, or you can express your pet’s anal glands yourself.
Increase Your Dog’s Water Intake
Scooting in dogs can also be caused by constipation. One of the reasons for constipation can be dehydration, which is why you should encourage your dog to drink more water. You can do so in several ways:
- Adding water to the dry kibble
- Switching to a canned food diet
- Getting a water fountain for cats, which is suitable for small dogs too.
Feed Your Dog More Fiber
The best dog food to prevent scooting is one rich in fiber, as it can help reduce the risk of anal gland infection and help your dog poop more easily.
Since you can’t be sure how your dog will react to dietary changes, you may want to consult a vet about quality pet food high in fiber or a fiber supplement designed especially for dogs.
You can also give your dog some human food as treats — some high-fiber foods include carrots, sweet potato, or pumpkin with added chia or flax seeds.
Pumpkin for dog scooting has proven to be pretty effective, and can be found in treats, toppers, supplements, and dog meals. You can start with a simple canned pumpkin, but avoid products that contain added sugar, like pumpkin pie filling or puree.
Add Probiotics to Its Diet
Related to the advice above, probiotic-rich food, such as yogurt, has proven to be effective in reducing inflammation and emptying the anal sacs. What’s more, most vets will encourage you to provide your pets with probiotic treats and supplements to improve your dog’s digestion.
If you notice your dog scooting after pooping, the reason could also be diarrhea. Adding probiotics or prebiotics will help stabilize its digestive system and firm up the feces.
Monitor Your Dog’s Weight
Underweight, overweight, and obese dogs are more likely to suffer from anal sacs inflammation.
So, be sure to know what nutrients your dog needs to be fit, and check with your vet about its ideal body weight, since stats have shown that almost half of dog owners can’t tell whether their dog is overweight or not.
Make Sure Your Pet Exercises Enough
To avoid dealing with your dog’s inflamed bum, you need to keep your furry best friend active. Not only will this stimulate your pet’s digestive system, but it will also improve its overall health, lung function, and joint mobility.
Use Witch Hazel
If your pet’s bottom is red and sore, witch hazel can be a perfect anti-inflammatory treatment.
Grab a soft towel, apply a generous amount of witch hazel on it and gently pat the inflamed area. Just make sure you use alcohol-free and unscented witch hazel, as scented one can only worsen the irritation.
Clean Your Pet’s Bottom Regularly
After listing several home remedies you could try, you should also know what to do to prevent scooting in the first place.
This is how to clean a dog’s bottom and stop it from scooting.
- Use running water and some soap to wash your pet’s bottom on a daily basis, or at least a few times per week.
- Use pet wipes after walking your dog. A simple wipe-down of your pet’s rear bottom can help remove dirt, mud, and poop.
- Ticks on your dog’s butt and fleas could be one of the causes of scooting (the most common area for a flea infestation is around your pet’s bum). This is why you should consider one of many effective treatments for fleas and ticks.
When to Consult Your Vet
If you’ve tried more than a few of the listed home remedies for dog scooting, and none seem to help, it may be time to visit the vet. Additionally, if you notice an open wound in that area or if your dog seems to be in constant pain, it’s even more urgent to set an appointment.
The growth of cysts around anal sacs is another potential reason for persistent inflammation. If the problem is not treated, there’s a risk your pet will develop an aching anal gland abscess or tumor.
Fortunately, your vet can diagnose the issue in time, so don’t hesitate to take your dog for a checkup.
What do you do when your dog won’t stop scooting?
If your dog is scooting persistently during a day, or if that behavior lasts for more than a day or two, it’s time to visit the vet.
Moreover, if you notice your dog still scooting after glands are expressed, your vet needs to recheck the anal glands.
He will determine the type of medication or tell you whether your dog’s anal sacs need to be expressed monthly, in which case you may be advised to have the sacs surgically removed.
Can dogs get hemorrhoids?
Since the anatomy of dogs’ gastrointestinal systems is different from that of humans, they don’t get hemorrhoids. However, anal tumors, anal gland problems, and a prolapsed rectum are often problems that are mistaken for dog hemorrhoids.
What is the most common reason for scooting in dogs?
Some of the less serious reasons include excess dirt or poop that the dog is trying to clean. It can also be due to fleas or ticks making the area itchy.
Finally, irritation caused by infection or inflammation can also cause dog scooting. The most common reasons for inflamed or infected anus are tapeworms, allergies, anal gland issues, or excess fecal matter.
As you can see, scooting is not something to worry about, but every dog owner should be familiar with the causes of dog scooting and how to treat them.
The good news is that there are very simple home remedies to try and help your dog before you opt for consulting your vet.