The sight of your dog dragging his butt all across the floor probably made you laugh at first. However, dog scooting might be a sign that there is something wrong with your dog’s backside. Why does this happen? Should you go to a vet right away or can you let it happen for a while? Below we’ll discuss the common reasons why your dog might be dragging his butt and when to worry.

Why Does My Dog Drag His Butt?

There are several reasons why dogs drag their butts. Usually, this is the result of your dog feeling itching or discomfort ‘down there’. Scooting is the only way for your dog to relieve himself from that nasty feeling. But why does this happen?

Inflamed Anal Glands

There are two internal anal sacs on both sides of a dog’s anus. These glands contain a smelly liquid that is expelled when your dog poops. This is how your dog marks its territory. Sometimes, these glands get inflamed, which will prevent the liquid from being excreted. This causes it to build up inside these sacs, becoming a thick paste. Clogged anal sacs lead to a very uncomfortable feeling and they can infect if left untreated. 

The easiest way to notice if your dog has inflamed anal glands is to look for a really smelly mist around your dog’s poop. If this is followed by your dog dragging his butt several times a day, go see your vet right away. You can also lift your dog’s tail to see if there is any bleeding, swelling, bruising or pus. Keep in mind that full anal sacs can look similar to more serious problems, such as a tumor. Any change on your dog’s behind has to be reported to a vet immediately!

Inflamed anal glands can get worse in just a few hours. If you don’t treat it on time, your dog may even require a surgery. If noticed early, you can probably get away with just antibiotics. 


You know how your nose itches when you are allergic to something? Similar things happen to your dog’s butt when your dog has a skin allergy. One of the most common culprits is seasonal allergies, followed by reaction to flea bites and food sensitivities. If your dog is constantly dragging his butt but there are no changes on its rear end, this might be the cause. Your vet will give your dog adequate medication to help his skin condition. Also, you can try giving him food rich with omega-3 fatty acids, as it will improve your dog’s skin.

Skin infection

Similar to allergies, bacterial and fungal skin infections can cause discomfort on your dog’s butt. This is more common with females, who may develop a perivulvar yeast infection (an infection on their ‘lady parts’). This is similar to problems with anal glands and can even cause inflammation. Make sure that your vet checks both the anal glands and your dog’s ‘privates’ if this happens. 

Also, your dog can develop urinary tract infection, as well as bladder infections. This can also cause your dog to drag his butt often. UTIs cause discomfort and itching.

Back Pain

Some canines drag their butt if they have referred pain coming from their hips or lower back. This is usually followed by butt-licking. If your dog does this and yet his anal glands appear normal, pain might be the cause. Especially if you have a larger dog, prone to arthritis and bone problems.

Perianal fistula

Perianal fistula is a rather rare condition that can make your dog drag his butt. It’s common in German Shepherds, but can happen in any breed. A perianal fistula creates draining tracts that usually don’t respond to usual treatments. It’s important to seek help from your vet, especially if you have a German Shepherd that is scooting or licking his behind!

Behavior Problems

If your dog is healthy but is still dragging his butt, he might have developed some behavioral or neurological issues. These can make your dog groom or scoot excessively. Sometimes, this can be caused by neurological problem that causes tingling. 

Butt-dragging can also happen to obese dogs, who stop doing this once they lose weight. Also, if your dog has had some surgeries, especially on his spine, this can cause nerve damage.

Bottom Line

We have listed some of the more common reasons why your dog might be dragging his butt. If this happens once, you don’t have any reason to worry. However, if your dog is dragging several times a day, or if this happens for more than 48 hours, go see your vet! Dog scooting can be a result of several serious conditions.