Every dog does things that are cringe-worthy. Humping, licking those places, sniffing crotches, gagging (causing the mad dash to get outside), and yes… scooting our butts across the carpet or grass. Whether we choose to scoot in the middle of your dinner party or while you’re enjoying a cup of coffee- it’s something you probably wish would stop. 

Scooting is our way of trying to alleviate something wrong “back there”. That might mean an itch, irritation, pain, or problem. Many reasons could be responsible for scooting, from the mildly uncomfortable to the medically concerning. If scooting is happening a lot, you should pay a visit to your vet.

Warning: icky butt and poop content ahead…

Many things cause an itchy rear end in dogs, but impacted or infected anal glands are among the most common culprits. Dogs have two small anal sacs on either side of their rear end that contain a foul, fishy-smelling liquid they release when we poop. The liquid leaves a sort of “signature” for other dogs to smell.


Normally, your dog’s bowel movement triggers the anal sacs to empty. But if they’re not working properly, the fluid can build up. The glands in the sacs have a tendency to get inflamed, solidifying the liquid and hindering its release. When the sacs are continuously full or not emptying properly, it can be painful and can even become infected.

Food allergies or intolerances may be to blame for some dogs’ anal sac issues. If soft or watery bowel movements aren’t providing the pressure needed to empty the sacs properly, diet may be the cause. 

If you suspect anal sac issues, see your veterinarian (Second Chance Veterinary Services can help with this). If the anal glands are very full, the vet will express them. When they are infected, dogs get a round of antibiotics and sometimes pain medication.

Other reasons for butt scooting that a vet can diagnose and help with: intestinal parasites (especially tapeworms), injuries or tumors in or around the anus, rectal prolapse and allergies. In addition to your dog scooting, you might also notice him licking his backend excessively.

The bottom line is if your dog scoots once or twice, it may just be an itch or dirty bottom after a trip outside. But if you notice more frequent scooting, constant licking and biting of the rear area, or other signs of swelling or abnormality, take your pup to the vet right away for an exam to get to the root of the scooting.


Bear is such a lover and enjoys being around people. He is about 3 years old and would still benefit from some extra training. He loves water and thrives with encouraging words. Playing fetch is a favorite activity of his and he has lots of energy to go on hikes! He also has his commercial drivers license.

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been serving San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for 28 years. Call 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Emergency Response, Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, or other services. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.