Why is my dog scooting?

Why is my dog scooting? - Barking Heads & Meowing Heads

Why is my dog scooting?

When you think of dogs in pop culture, you almost always see a scene in the movies where a dog is scooting, and it’s always funny, but in real life, if you spot your dog dragging its bum across the ground, it may be a sign of a deeper issue in your dog's health. Our vet, Dr Scott Miller, shares everything you need to know about why your dog is scooting. 

Is scooting bad for dogs? 

The action of scooting isn’t bad for dogs when it’s an isolated incident here and there, as dogs may scoot because they have an itch or some debris stuck on their bottom. But, if you start noticing your dog scooting on a regular basis over a few days, this may be a sign of a deeper issue with your pet's health, usually caused by your dog's gut or anal glands. Too much scooting may also irritate your pup's skin, making it sensitive and uncomfortable during examinations near their buttocks. 

When it comes to what causes scooting in our canine companion, there is no one set issue that results in the behaviour. Many different underlying issues can cause scooting, but here are the top 10 causes of scooting: 

  1. Blocked anal glands 
  2. Worms 
  3. Skin allergies
  4. Matted fur 
  5. Intestinal parasites 
  6. Food allergies from your dog's diet
  7. Urinary Tract Infection 
  8. Cognitive decline 
  9. Anal gland abscesses
  10. Furunculosis 

Can a dog's scooting be anxiety? 

For some dogs, scooting may be a sign of a neurological issue such as anxiety. However, in these cases, pet owners will see other signs, such as your pup chasing its own tail or excessively grooming. In most cases of scooting, dogs will be reacting to anal gland problems, intestinal parasites or matted fur around the anus.

Should I take my dog to the vet for scooting? 

Yes, you should take your pup to the vet if you notice them scooting frequently, as they will be trying to dislodge whatever is causing them discomfort or pain with the action, like how we would scratch a rash even though we know it is bad for us. Scooting is a symptom; your vet can help you find the cause. 

A visit to the vet will help you know what is causing your dog to scoot, and your vet will be able to steer you in the right direction to treat dog scooting. For example, if it’s caused by a stomach issue stemming from food allergies, your vet can recommend dog food that is good for sensitive tummies or add fibre supplements to their diet.  Or, if there is an anal gland block, your vet can show you how to spot the signs at home so you know when to take them to your vet to unblock the gland for you if they start scooting again. 

Once the root problem is figured out, your dog should stop scooting and will be a happier, healthier pup for it. Remember, one or two scoots are absolutely normal. It is only a problem worth dissecting if it becomes regular. 

Barking Heads Journal

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