My dog drags his bottom

One question that pops up regularly on our dog forums is one about dogs dragging their bums. Be it outdoors on grass, or worse indoors on your finest carpet, some dogs will try to rub themselves on the ground. Basically when this happens it means that there is something wrong with their anal glands. It can be unconformable for your dogs, and without having any other way to relieve themselves and scratch themselves, they will start to drag their bottoms along the ground as a way of easing this pain. In fact in most cases this can do more damage than good for your dog.

Dog Anatomy

Here is a quick overview of some doggie anatomy, dogs anal sacks are just inside the dogs rectum and it’s main purpose is for scenting. They use the glands which produce a unique odour to scent their area. These glands can get blocked and cause discomfort to your pet. Because the glands are too full a pressure will build up and case discomfort. One way they indistinctly try to empty their glands is to do so by dragging their bottoms around the place. If left alone the rectal area can also start to smell rather awful, and can even result in further complications. Extreme cases include bleeding and infection of the effect area which is not nice for your dog.

If your dog is dragging his bum for an extended period of time then you should certainly bring him to the vet and get it checked up. Most vets will check the glands during a typical visit, and will empty them there. If this is a regular occurrence you can ask your vet to show you how to empty the anal glands yourself.

Also some dog grooming services may offer this service, either during a typical grooming / bathing session, or as an added extra.

Emptying Dogs Glads

Empting dogs anal glands is quick and easy, and offers instant relief to your dog. You may want your vet to show you how to do it before attempting it yourself. The secretions can smell quite strong so be prepared (and wear gloves). Your dog’s anal sacks are located at 5 & 7 o’clock on your dogs bum. And what you do is start from the outside of the bum with your fingers and move towards the anus.

Note : In some cases worms can also cause an itching sensation and dogs try to relieve this by also dragging themselves.

4 thoughts on “My dog drags his bottom

  1. Interesting read, thanks for the information, but I think I will leave it to the professional and let my vet do those things. No amount of money would pay me to put my hands on my dogs bum, especially when there is a danger of some secretions coming out !

    Still it’s a good article, Thanks.

  2. Hi Paul,
    This is an interesting subject matter and while you described the reaons and possible solutions, I think it is very important that dogs owners understand the cause of anal glands being irritating to the dog.

    You mention worms which is prefectly correct but the anal gland should always be full but not be a cause of irritaion – the anal glands represent the dogs means of marking their territory.

    The cause of anal gland irritation is in my opinion more likely than not to be rooted in the diet. According to Traditional Chinese approaches to nutrition and health, foods which create very warm and damp conditions in the body are likely to cause anal gland irritation. Also, the anal glands are likly to collect waste material in the body resulting from improper diet.

    Foods which create warm conditions are generally high levels of protein whereas food which creat damp conditions are generally high levels of fat in the diet. Waste materials usually arise from highly refined ingredients is most of the highly commercialised pet foods.

    To avoid the problems of anl glad irritation change the dogs diet to a low protein, low fat, high quality diet and avoid the potential for these irritations turning more serious and becoming infected.

    Hope this helps

  3. I have a cavalier she has had her anul glands done but still insists on wiping her dirty bum all over my cream carpet.URGH !!
    Yetserday on the beach she was jumped on by 3 different male dogs so now i can only presume that she must have an infected anul gland perhaps a bit bloody hence getting the boy dogs excited..she was spayed as a young dog and is now 8 so I know she isnt in season.
    we are off to the vets tommorow to have the problem looked at, dont things always happen at a weekend…

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