Why do dogs drag their butt?

+94 votes
asked Jul 5, 2015 in Pets & Animals by EssieCreight (270 points)
Ok, so when I was a little kid my mum used to say to me: “don’t scoot along the floor like that, you look like a stray dog with worms”. This was dismissed as yet another weird expression of my mother’s (she has many). Fast forward twenty odd years and I am living on my own and decide to get a dog; a “companion” animal to share my life with. I settle on a “Pugalier” (Pug x Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) and adorable little Taj comes home with me. Whilst we’ve navigated all of the treacherous waters of puppyhood more-or-less successfully (some corners of my couch will never quite be the same after he chewed on them), there is something Taj has recently started doing that has reminded me of my mother’s childhood admonition. Because countless times I have walked into my living area to find Taj “bum-dragging” across my prized shag pile carpet. Needless to say, this is gross and, whilst I understand the appeal of the shag pile for itchy nether regions, not something I want to tolerate or encourage. So. Experienced dog people out there: why do dogs drag their butt across the floor (particularly carpet!)?

4 Answers

+18 votes
answered Sep 16, 2015 by MargaretPort (380 points)
Eeeewwww!! So gross! I’d listen to your mother’s advice – worm your dog! You can get worming tablets from the vet, pet shops and even many major supermarkets now. Try a broad spectrum to cover all bases and then make sure you stick to a regular program of worming to prevent future infestations. Oh, one more thing…get you carpet shampooed!
+2 votes
answered Jul 26, 2015 by PhyllisHilli (230 points)
Something else that hasn’t been mentioned yet is anal glands (how often do you get to type a sentence like that!) You said you have a boy dog. My sister has a male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cross breed and he too was suffering from a case of the “scoots”. The vets’ examination revealed “anal sac impaction”, which happens when the anal glands don’t empty on their own. According to her vet, the dog had an anal gland on either side of the anus at “5 o’clock and 7 o’clock” (two times that I have never been fully able to appreciate again!). They use these glands to spread scent (amongst other things) and can be uncomfortable when they get blocked. Now for the fun part: the treatment is to have the anal glands “squeezed”. Apparently this can be done at home, by a discerning owner, but I’ve been told its stinks like nothing else on earth and my sister swore she’d rather pay for a vet to take care of this job rather than ever attempt it herself.
+1 vote
answered Jul 7, 2015 by AnneBarnum76 (200 points)
I’d try visiting your vet and asking them directly why do dogs drag their butt. This is mainly because in my experience (dog owner of over 30 years), this can be caused by a variety of reasons and your vet is the person best qualified to advise on what is the most likely cause. When a dog drags their butt across the ground (I think most vets prefer the clinical term of “scooting”) it is generally because of an irritation or some kind. Worms are an obvious possibility; tape worms in particular are often picked up by dogs from contact with fleas (so to control worms, you also need to try and control fleas – both possible with products from your local vets. Another common cause is what my elderly Scottish vet refers to as “fecal contamination”. This occurs after a dog has had the runs and some of it gets caught up in the hair under the dogs’ tail (you mentioned your dog was half Cavalier – does it have long or short hair?). This can be resolved by keeping your dog well washed and trimmed in that particular region. My final suggestion would be a case of rectal prolapse (where a portion of the large intestine pokes out of a dogs’ backside), but considering your dogs’ young age this seems less likely. Still, if you observe anything poking out of your dogs’ rear end then definitely take an emergency trip to the vet.
+1 vote
answered Sep 9, 2015 by Elaine479930 (170 points)

Maybe he just really, really likes your shag pile carpet! You never know; a hairy carpet like that might lead a dog to think it’s a living creature. Maybe your dog is demonstrating its manly superiority…or displaying romantic interest! If he starts peeing on the carpet I’d suggest the former, whilst if it’s the latter…well, I’m sure you’ll know soon enough!!


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