Top Reason Why Dogs Scoot Their Bums on the Floor · The Wildest

Skip to main content

The Post-Poo Scoot: Weird Things Dogs Do, Explained

Dog trainer Emma Bowdrey helps explain this common canine behaviour

by Emma Bowdrey, ISCP
31 October 2023
Adorable dog sitting on a rug next to some boots scooting
Duet Postscriptum / Stocksy

Dogs do many adorable things, it’s true. They can also do some embarrassing (and seriously disgusting) things. But don’t let what are usually instinctive animal behaviours get to you. Dogs are dogs at the end of the day. Understanding why dogs do particular behaviours, like bum scooting, will make it easier to know what weird behaviour is actually pretty normal and what is not.

Why do dogs scoot their bums on the floor?

Commonly known as scooting, seeing a dog drag their bum across the ground can be funny when outside. But on the carpet, it’s a different matter. And if that carpet is at your in-law’s house? Good luck.

Dogs scoot in almost all cases because something is irritating their anus. The causes range from something as simple as an itch to more serious issues such as worms, wounds or tumours. It is worth taking note of how often your dog does this, as a trip to the vet may be necessary to address a medical issue.

Common causes of scooting

  • irritation

  • infection

  • parasites

  • tumours

Your dog has anal glands just inside their rectum. These glands secrete a liquid with unique scent characters that identify one dog from another and provide other information. When dogs greet each other, they are sniffing these glands. Unfortunately, it’s these glands that can often cause an issue.

Dogs do not excessively scoot ‘just because’. There’s usually something irritating their bum. Knowing what to look out for can help you take appropriate action to address a more serious problem.

Irritated bum

If your dog regularly collects small amounts of poo on their bum you should clean the area when returning from walks. It is important to keep their bottoms clean: it prevents bacteria from going back into the anal passage and causing infections, and it can also cause itchiness. Dogs that have been recently groomed can also feel discomfort or itchiness. Allergies might be another source to consider if your dog seems excessively itchy in other areas.

Infected anal sacs

One common cause of continuous scooting is a problem with your dog’s anal sacs. If you can smell a foul odour coming from this region or see bleeding, this generally indicates that the anal glands are impacted or infected and you should visit your vet. Some dogs need to have their anal sacs drained regularly. If these glands get blocked, the secretion is unable to be expressed. Once squeezed, the impact on your dog’s scooting is immediate.

Worms or parasites

When inspecting at home, if you see tiny white specs that resemble grains of rice it’s likely your dog has tapeworms. Tapeworms cause a lot of irritation and discomfort for your dog. However you might not be able to see other parasites. If your dog is dragging their bum along the ground more than once or twice a week, accompanied by licking, biting and generally seeming agitated, you should visit the vet.

Be sure to check your pup’s rear

If you suspect that there is something more to your dog’s scooting than an itch or an attempt to clean more thoroughly after a bout of diarrhoea, you can check your dog’s bum before going to the veterinary clinic. Make sure that you use gloves and lift your dog’s tail. The anus should be clean and free from any smells.

Emma Bowdrey, ISCP

Emma Bowdrey is an ISCP-trained Dog Trainer based in Prague, where she lives with her adopted greyhound, Swift. Emma has worked with dogs since gaining her qualification in Canine Behaviour & Psychology and now runs her own business - Four Long Legs. Emma uses positive reinforcement methods to make each hound a happy one.

Related articles