Dogs have many quirky behaviors, and that’s partially why we love them so much. But some of these behaviors, like scooting, can be inconvenient. So, what are the most effective home remedies to stop a dog from scooting? And why do they even do it in the first place?
For starters, if your dog is scooting, you need to make sure that his bum is clean. If it is, then it may be helpful to apply a warm compress or use anti-inflammatory medications since his anal glands may be inflamed.
Below, we’ll offer the best home remedies to fix your dog’s scooting problem.
Before reading this guide, “Home Remedies for Dog Scooting,” check out: The 6 Best Dog Scooting Treatments in 2023! and What to Do if Your Dog Is in Pain After Glands Are Expressed? (2023).
Reasons Why Your Dog Is Scooting
It can be difficult to understand why your dog is suddenly scooting. However, understanding his behavior can make it easier to fix the problem. Below, we’ll discuss the reasons why your dog may be scooting.
There’s a possibility that your dog is experiencing discomfort and scooting due to food allergies. In most cases, proteins in the food cause an allergic reaction.
This reaction causes the anal sacs and glands to become inflamed as the feces travel through the digestive tract. Your dog may also have certain food sensitivities. Frequent consumption of wheat, for instance, can cause an adverse reaction.
Dogs with these allergies are more likely to develop skin conditions like yeast or Malassezia dermatitis. When there is too much yeast in their skin, it will multiply out of control and cause their skin to become dry, itchy, and flaky.
Your dog may scoot its bottom across the floor or carpet at home because of the discomfort and itchiness. If you notice this behavior, you need to take a stool sample to the veterinarian so that they can figure out whether or not the scooting is caused by food.
A dog’s food allergy might cause their stool to become runny, which makes it difficult for the dog to properly empty their bowels. Inflamed and itchy glands all along the digestive tract are a classic sign of a dog’s allergy, but the anus is where you’re most likely to see the effects.
A dog may feel uneasy if dirt gets near its anal region. If the dog’s rear end is not thoroughly cleaned, there may also be some poop that has not been removed. This can occur if the dog has diarrhea or passes excrement that is liquid and likely to stick to the bottom. It can also get caught in the anal hairs.
In addition, if your dog is playing and accidentally sits on dirt or feces, they may become agitated, and scooting may be a way out of the situation for them. Long hair around the butt area, as seen in breeds like the long-haired Chihuahua, can attract dirt and excrement and is best kept trimmed.
Take the time to thoroughly clean the dog’s butt before you call the vet. A messy rear end isn’t reason enough to visit the vet.
Itching is a common symptom of a parasitic infection. If your dog has ticks or fleas on its rear end, it will constantly try to scratch it in an attempt to alleviate itching, which won’t go away until the ticks or fleas are removed and the affected region is treated.
Dogs often develop skin infections. The dog might scoot around if it has inflammation from bacterial or fungal diseases in the anal region. Antibiotics or topical treatments are great options for dealing with this issue. However, you need to consult a veterinarian to get the right medication.
Tapeworms and other intestinal parasites may also contribute to a dog’s scooting problem. Scooting could mean that your dog is suffering from intestinal parasites and needs medical attention right now.
These parasites can be contracted when the dog ingests a flea harboring a tapeworm larva. When the worms reach their adult stage in the stomach and escape, they cause discomfort and itching in the genital region.
If you suspect that parasites are the cause of your dog’s scooting, you should inspect the dog’s feces closely. They may also be present on the bedsheets. The parasites could look like tiny grains. If the scooting problem continues to exist, a trip to the vet may be in order.
Impacted or Clogged Anal Glands
The anal glands are a pair of tiny sacs located inside the anus of a dog. The sacs are loaded with fluids that emit a pungent odor and are used in the marking territory. Normally, anal glands drain every time a dog defecates.
However, anal glands have a known tendency to become blocked quite frequently, and this is especially common in overweight dogs or dogs with weak muscles in the bottom area. In addition, dogs who are born with smaller gland openings have a more difficult time emptying their anal sacs.
This issue can be easily fixed, but if left untreated, it can worsen and become a much bigger problem. When these glands are clogged, waste is trapped every time the dog defecates. These clogged glands may be the cause of your dog’s scooting behavior.
When a dog has constipation, it has trouble defecating. Unfortunately, this causes both pain and distress. Swallowing indigestible material, colon disease, inactivity, anxiety, pelvic injury, neurological disease, and dehydrating medications are just a few of the causes of constipation in dogs.
Strenuous attempts to defecate may cause itching and irritation in your dog. As a result, you may find your dog scooting to alleviate these feelings. Modifying the dog’s diet might be all that’s necessary to make bowel movements less difficult for him.
Home Remedies for Dog Scooting
Luckily, a trip to the vet is not always necessary. Various home remedies can help your dog stop scooting.
Clean Your Dog’s Bum
Your dog will start to feel itchy and uncomfortable if mud, dirt, or feces sit on its bum for more than an hour. Fleas and ticks in the dirt just make the situation worse.
If so, you only need to wash your dog’s rear end with some soap and warm water to get rid of the problem. Dog shampoo can be used to clean the area even more thoroughly while also keeping it moisturized. This will effectively stop the itching.
Doggy wipes can also be used as an option for cleaning up your dog’s bum. Make sure that the wipes you use are gentle enough for your dog’s skin and fur before you start using them.
Keep an eye out for parasites whenever you clean your dog’s behind. If you’re having trouble seeing your dog’s bottom, you might want to shave some of the surrounding fur. Apply ointments or use an anti-tick spray to carefully eliminate these parasites.
Never pull on them forcefully. Your dog’s discomfort on the back end will ultimately go away once all of them are removed, and they will stop scooting.
Use Anti-Inflammatory Medications
Anti-inflammatory remedies, such as an alcohol-free witch hazel extract, are sometimes recommended if your dog’s anal sacs or bottom are red and inflamed or if it has abscesses in its anal glands. The itching and discomfort on your dog’s rear end will dissipate.
If you want to avoid dryness, it’s important to choose an anti-inflammatory treatment that doesn’t include alcohol. The alcohol in these products can irritate your dog’s glands by removing the protective layer of oil from his skin.
To administer anti-inflammatory medications, wet a few cotton balls or cleansing pads, and then use them to gently cleanse the affected areas of your dog’s anal glands.
Apply Warm Compress
Apply warm compresses to the swollen glands in the anal region. A warm compress applied to your dog’s bottom may also help reduce swelling.
Prepare a warm compress solution by dissolving Epsom salt in hot water. After soaking a clean towel in hot water, apply it to the swollen anal glands and press on them for around four to five minutes. The process should be repeated three to six times, or until the anal glands stop producing fluid.
Keep a Record of Your Dog’s Weight
Poor and excessive diets can put your dog at risk of developing a variety of metabolic illnesses in the anal glands. The reverse is also true. Your dog’s metabolic issues may get worse due to problems with his or her anal glands.
As a result, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s weight and provide him with a healthy, varied diet. Don’t give them anything to eat that’s high in sugar or salt.
Stimulate the Glands
Though many dog owners might balk at the idea, learning how to manually express a dog’s anal glands is essential if you want him to quit scooting.
You’ll need the following items to express your dog’s anal glands at home:
- Epsom salt
- An absorbent puppy training mat
- A bathtub or sink
- Paper towels
First things first, put on your disposable gloves and get your dog to sit in the sink, bathtub, or training mat. You also have the option of using paper towels, though you’ll likely need quite a few.
Then, using your non-dominant hand, elevate your dog’s tail while squeezing its anal glands lightly with your dominant hand’s thumb and forefinger.
These glands might be as small as a pea or as large as a plum, depending on the size of your dog. They will likely shrink to the point where you can hardly see or feel them after the expression of the anal glands is complete. To prevent an itching bottom, wipe out any fluid using doggie wipes.
Consult a veterinarian or groomer for assistance with anal gland expression, if needed. In addition, if your dog’s scooting isn’t due to blocked anal glands, you shouldn’t express it because doing so might lead to inflammation and anal sacculitis.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Anal sacs drain more easily when a dog is well-hydrated, so it’s important to provide water at all times. If you feed your dog dry kibble regularly, you need to make sure he gets plenty of water to prevent constipation and scooting caused by malfunctioning anal glands.
To encourage your dog to drink more water, you could moisten their dry kibbles. This will aid in both hydration and digestion by softening food and reducing the need for chewing.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on how much water your dog is drinking throughout the day. Use a dog water fountain to make water more exciting. In addition, the filter in the fountain will guarantee the purity of their water supply.
Whether your dog is scooting because of blocked anal glands or constipation, probiotics in his food can help. Probiotics are beneficial for digestive and intestinal health. You may find a wide variety of probiotic snacks at your local pet store. However, probiotic-rich foods can only be offered in moderation.
Yogurt, sour cream, sauerkraut, and Yakult are only some of the human foods that are considered to have probiotics. However, if your dog has lactose intolerance, you should steer clear of yogurt.
Adding probiotic pills to dog food is also a good idea. Get your vet’s opinion on what supplements are best for your dog.
One simple way to stop your dog from scooting is to provide him with a high-fiber diet. Constipation is painful for a dog’s bottom, but high-fiber food can help avoid that.
High-fiber diets help dogs avoid anal gland infections by reducing the likelihood of obstructed anal glands. It is important to consult your veterinarian about fiber supplements that can be safely given to your dog.
Dogs can benefit from fiber-rich foods like Brussels sprouts, chia seeds, fiber broth, flax seeds, canned pumpkin, potatoes, and gravy, even if you choose not to give your dog a fiber supplement.
Feed Your Dog Fish Oil
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil give it anti-inflammatory qualities. If your dog is scooting because of swollen salivary glands, try giving them some fish oil. You can provide fish oil to your dog in three different ways: as a chewable supplement, in their food, or as a topical application on their behind.
If you want your dog to take in the extra vitamins and nutrients present in the fish oil, chewable pills are the way to go. Many dog owners, however, choose to mask the oil’s fishy aftertaste and odor by adding it to their pet’s food.
You can also apply fish oil to your dog’s anal glands using cotton balls if he or she doesn’t like the taste. Repeat this process multiple times each day.
Supplements targeting the anal gland are rare, but digestive aids can serve the same goal. After all, maintaining a healthy digestive system and stomach can help prevent an anal blockage.
Select supplements with foods like beet pulp, flaxseed, dandelion root, psyllium husk, and pumpkin, all of which support healthy gland and digestive system function.
Exercise Your Dog
When dogs get regular physical activity, it has a profound effect on the wellness of their entire bodies. They also get a stronger immune system, making it easier for them to fight off diseases and infections that affect the anal glands.
Frequently Asked Questions
To help your dog stop scooting, try giving them high-fiber food such as spinach, broccoli, or kale.
Addressing food allergies and intolerances, providing more daily fiber, and giving your dog probiotics and prebiotics can help keep its anal glands clean.
Dogs may lick themselves after expressing their anal gland during a potty break.
Conclusion for “Home Remedies for Dog Scooting”
So now that you know various home remedies to stop a dog from scooting, try them out to find out which one works best for your dog. If the problem persists, talk to your veterinarian.
If you find this guide, “Home Remedies for Dog Scooting” helpful, check out:
- How To Deworm a Puppy Naturally (2023)
- Dog Stomach Bloat and Home Remedies! (2023)
- Home Remedies for a Dog’s Bleeding Anus: What to Do and When to See the Vet! (2023)
Learn more by watching “Four Natural Remedies for Dog Scooting” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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