Scooting across the surface and an itchy butt is signs that your dog may be suffering from anal sac distress.
Most of us have come across that video of a dog scooting across the rug, and let’s face it, a dog scooting across the floor is pretty funny looking. But what you may not know is that the dog could be suffering from some anal discomfort, and the scooting is to relieve that discomfort.
The good news is that while sometimes you do need to take your dog to the vet for anal sac problems, most of the time you can use these 7 simple home remedies for dog scooting and get good results that relieve your dog’s discomfort.
What Does Dog Scooting Mean?
Sometimes the scooting can be caused by parasites, or even fleas, especially when it happens for a short period and sometimes it can be a poo stuck to their butt that they are trying to wipe off.
It becomes worrisome when the problem continues for an extended period, after taking such measures as using a sufficient pet vacuum to keep the place clean and free of fleas.
Other common symptoms of anal sac distress include sitting uncomfortably and licking or biting the anal sacs. The dog may also experience constipation, and you may notice some bad smell coming from behind.
What Are Dog Anal Glands?
The anal glands are tiny sacs located on the dog’s rear end at either side of the opening. Its primary purpose is to secret a fishy-smelling and oily substance during defecation. Wild animals use these anal glands when in threatening situations. However, domestic dogs don’t need it anymore, and they can sometimes fail to function correctly.
If the anal glands remain full for an extended period, they can cause extreme discomfort. And in severe cases, an abscess can form and even rapture if not emptied soon.
Important: The home remedies listed here work in most cases, but if your dog is suffering from anal gland problems and continues scooting over a prolonged period of time or seems like she is in pain even after you’ve expressed her glands please consult your veterinarian.
Dog Scooting Treatment
Among the solution includes the removal of the anal glands through a surgical procedure. However, you need to think hard before making this decision, as it can interrupt the nerve function in that part of the body. The method can cause incontinence when pooping.
Manual emptying is another option, but you should not try it by yourself. Let a professional veterinary do it for you. Improper emptying can cause further injury, in addition to making your living room stinky.
The following natural remedies can help empty the anal sacs and relieve any distress or discomfort the dog may be feeling.
Clean Up Their Bottom
Sometimes dog’s scoot because their bottom is dirty. The first step in helping to stop dog scooting is to make sure their bottom is clean.
Wipe off any poo and check for flea problems. Once you rule these things out, it’s time to make sure their anal glands are healthy.
Using Your Fingers – How to Express Dog’s Glands Externally
Sometimes, the fluid inside the anal sacs can become thick, leading to a blockage. This is called an impaction, and you can ease it by yourself without the need to go to a vet.
You need disposable gloves, and tissue to collect the fluid that comes out. Place the fingers outside the sacs at 4:00 and 8:00 positions. Squeeze the two pouches concurrently, and ensure that they are empty. Clean the skin with an antibacterial agent after emptying the sacs.
To prevent inflammation, some vets recommend homeopathic medication inside the anus. The scooting should stop within a day if it were problematic anal sacs. If it doesn’t, then it could be other problems such as ringworms, fleas, or allergies.
If the impaction occurs more frequently, your vet may recommend more fiber in the diet. Fiber increases the size of the poop that applies some pressure on the anal sacs and provides some relief.
Bloody or yellow pus coming from the sacs is a sign of an infection that mostly occurs when the disease is left untreated for a long time. This condition can cause anger and pain, and it can affect the quality of life of the dog. A professional veterinary will wash the anal sacs and give some antibiotics.
Increase Moisture In Your Dog’s Diet to Fix Scooting
If a dog is constipated on a regular basis, this can increase problems with the anal glands. A solution to constipation is often to increase the amount of water a dog drinks or consumes through their food.
Some dogs may find the water bowl uninteresting and will do everything to avoid it. In such a case, increase the amount of water in the food . Switching from dry food to canned food can help.
Alternatively, you can invest in a drinking fountain.
Instinctively, animals find moving water more palatable than stagnant puddles. As such, the drinking fountain may finally encourage the dog to drink enough water.
Feed Your Dog More Fiber
Dietary supplements and foods that are high in fiber can be quite useful in helping the dog empty the anal glands and ease scooting behavior. A teaspoonful of flax and nutritional supplements can have a positive effect on the release of the anal glands.
Dried sweet potato and baby carrots are other suggestions to add to the dog’s diet, and help with the condition. Dogs can respond differently to the fiber. Increase it gradually while observing how they react to the change in diet.
Help Your Dog Lose Weight
Packing up extra pounds can cause several problems for the pooch. Chubby dogs are more likely to struggle, but that does not mean malnutrition or skinny dogs cannot have the same challenges. If your dog is getting bigger and bigger, it may be the time that you switch foods and take them on a diet to relieve the pressure that the extra pounds are having on anal sacs.
Check the ingredients in every dog food pack before purchase. Identify any carbohydrate fillers, and animal by-products, and make a decision based on that. Ideally, you should go for whole foods.
Probiotics Can Help with Dog Scooting
Probiotic supplements and treats (found on Amazon) or probiotics-fortified canine foods can encourage efficacious emptying of the anal sacs. Choose respected brands and follow the recommended dosage.
Use a Warm Compress
You can encourage natural drainage by applying a warm compress on the area under the tail. Soak a piece of cloth in a solution of warm water and a tablespoon of Epsom salt. Maintain some light pressure on the area for about 5 minutes, and repeat the process twice a day. You may need to use some gloves every time you are doing it.
Make Sure Your Dog Gets Enough Exercise
Do you remember the nursery school days when the teacher encouraged regular exercises to maintain a healthy poop? Medical professionals encourage regular exercises as a critical part of a healthy stool. It is the same case with our pets. Take them out for walks, and it will help with the elimination of by-products, and most importantly, the emptying of anal sacs.
Apart from the exercise, a healthy diet is necessary. Obese and small dogs are at the highest risk, and so it is always essential to watch the diet and weight of your pet. And if the problems are frequent, visit the vet.
The Bottom Line on Home Remedies for Dog Scooting
Some dog’s are more prone to scooting and anal gland problems then others, but learning how to express the anal sacs yourself and keeping your dog healthy can go a long way toward fixing dog scooting.
It’s also important to note that sometimes dog scooting is just to clean themselves off, so the first step should always be to check their bottom and make sure it’s clean.
Also check out DIY dog feedings stations here.
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