Dog scooting on the carpet

Why is my dog scooting their tush across the floor?

Pup parenthood is all fun and games of fetch until your pup starts scooting their tush around and you have to start thinking about things like clogged anal sacs.

Buckle up, pup parents, because this is going to be helpful, but quite unglamorous.

When your dog is scooting across the floor repeatedly and defiantly ignoring you when you beg them to stop, don’t take it too personally — the scooting is because they’re uber uncomfortable and looking for some relief. Dogs drag their tush on the ground in response to some kind of irritation that isn’t resolving itself otherwise.

While there are a few reasons your pup might be scoot boogieing across the carpet, the main culprit is usually one of two, Anal Sacs or Fecal Contamination. Now let's dive into the particularly unglamorous details and differences between the two.

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Anal Sacs

There’s a reason your dog sniffs the behind of every passing canine; the smelly, fatty substance secreted by dogs’ anal sacs are used as markers and communicators for specific dogs. These sacs are located internally on both sides of the anus.

When anal sacs become clogged, dogs start to scoot in an attempt to clear the affected area. If the glands become impacted, they can cause an anal gland infection, painful abscesses, or even a completely ruptured gland that requires surgery to remove. Smaller dogs are more commonly affected by these issues than larger ones.

However, scooting isn’t the only sign of anal sac problems. If your dog is chewing or licking the area constantly, has swelling around the anus, or has trouble defecating, they’re likely dealing with some serious discomfort. If your pup is showing these symptoms — it's time to schedule that vet appointment.

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Depending on what’s causing the original issue, there are a few treatment options worth trying out. The most common answer — albeit the least appealing to the average dog owner — is “expressing” the sacs. This involves going interior and physically squeezing the glands to remove their backed-up contents. (We warned you... Not very glamorous.) Though this should typically be done by a professional or veterinarian, if you choose to do it yourself, be sure to clean the area with warm soapy water afterwards to ward off the strong fishy smell that tends to hang around after. Keep in mind that expressing your dog's anal glands is uncomfortable for your pup, so you should prepare yourself for any type of reaction to their discomfort.

An additional solution should be taking a look at your dog’s diet since this is a common cause of digestive issues. Soft droppings are a major cause of impacted anal glands, and they’re usually the result of a lack of fiber in the diet. It’s worth examining your current dog food brand and see if it’s time for a sturdier switch-up.

Fecal Contamination

There is another reason your dog might be dragging itself across the hardwoods, but it’s usually preceded by the warning sign of some rather nasty diarrhea.

Losing so much water out the back end can leave your pup feeling dehydrated, weak, and not exactly the cleanest at the rear. When fecal matter gets caught up in matted fur, it can cause enough discomfort for your pooch to start scooting.

As long as the area doesn’t become infected, it’s a pretty easy cleanup though: trim away the dirtied fur (while being super careful not to nick the skin) and clean the area with warm water. No pet parent wants to wipe their pups behind, but sometimes duty calls (pun intended.)

If the diarrhea goes on for longer than a day, or your pup doesn’t seem to be getting any relief from their newly clean behind, it’s a good idea to talk to your vet. Allergies and parasites can also cause anal discomfort, so it’s best to leave the deeper digging to the professionals.


When you catch that strange movement out of the corner of your eye that happens to be your dog scooting across the floor, it's important to check up on your pup's digestive health. Ignoring the issue can lead to some expensive treatments or procedures with your vet.

Digestive issues can often be easily fixed by assessing your pup's diet, so don't stress about the affordability of your pup's digestive struggles. Stick with Finn for more information on your pup's wellness journey!



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