How To Stop a Dog From Scooting on the Carpet

Bulldog on white background sitting and looking at the camera

Help! My dog is scooting across the carpet! Yes, I’ve read that many times before. If you go to You Tube, you can find a lot of videos of dogs dragging their butts on the carpet and it’s always funny, until it happens to your little best friend. So, you may want to know how to stop your dogs from redecorating your carpet? Ah, knowledge is key. But first, let’s talk about why it happens.

Why do Dogs Scoot Their Bottoms?

There are several reasons for Fido rubbing butt on carpet. Each needing different attention.

  1. Pseudocoprostasis
  2. Anal gland problems
  3. Tapeworms

Check Your Dog’s Bottom

bulldog, standing with butt facing the camera on white background

Yep, the first thing you need to do, is to check your dog’s bottom. Lift up the tail and take a look.

  1. Does it look normal? (I’m assuming you have seen your dog’s but before)
  2. Do you see redness around the anus?
  3. Do you any dried feces on the hair around the anus?
  4. Do you see any protruding lumps at the 8 and 4 position around the anus?
  5. Is there hair matted in front of the anus blocking your view of it?
  6. Do you see cut marks that could come from biting?
  7. Do you see anything like rice or bugs around the anal region?

What did you learn from your inspection besides your dog giving you funny looks after he finally got away?

Pseudocoprostasis in Dogs

the bottom half of a Corgi laying on a wooden floor

Pseudocoprostasis happens with shaggy or very long hair dogs. The problem is due to matted fur obstructing the dog from relieving himself. The symptoms are as follows;

  1. Scooting across the floor
  2. A large batch of matted fur covering anus
  3. Lack of appetite
  4. Lethargy
  5. Vomiting
  6. Extremely foul smell

Relieving Pseudocoprostasis

shaggy dog being examined by vet

Naturally, if you are not a professional, you should take the dog in to see the veterinarian. If you have a problem with that, and have to take matters or, I should say, mat… into your own hands, then get some gloves on and a good pair of scissors. Gently snip away the matted fur.

  • Do NOT pull or yank at the fur!

After you have removed the clump, give the dog a bath using a gentle or mild shampoo. Be sure to carefully, and gently wash the skin around the area. After you are done, check to see if there is a rash or any damage to the skin.

Now, many people would suggest you clean the area an antibiotic ointment of some kind. But I would recommend taking the dog to the veterinarian and letting them clean the area. If the skin is too sensitive, your dog might accidentally bite you, trying to protect himself, so proceed with caution around the area.

If your dog is scooting or showing signs of anal discomfort, please contact your veterinarian for recommendations.

Anal Gland Problems With Dogs

Vet examining dogs butt

Unlike you, your dog has anal glands about the size of a pea in smaller dogs, located to the left and right side, just below the anus. When your dog goes to defecate, these glands secrete fluid. There are three purposes for these secretions;

  1. Used for marking territory
  2. Used to tell other dogs their age, gender and health
  3. Lubrication for passing hard stools

According to PetMED, unfortunately these glands, especially in small breeds, can suffer from infections, impactions and poor gastrointestinal health. When that happens, their bums can become very itchy and uncomfortable. This is when they try to relieve the problem by scratching butt on carpet.

Signs of Dog Anal Gland Problems

dog laying on living room carpet

Anal gland problems are very common, as I said earlier, especially among smaller breeds. But what are the signs of dog anal gland problems? Please see the list below.

  1. Scooting butt across the floor
  2. Excessive licking of anal area
  3. Biting the anal area
  4. Whining while taking poop
  5. Straining to take a poop (constipation)
  6. Blood or pus in stool
  7. A lump under the skin near the anus
  8. Redness near the anus
  9. Anal fluid leakage
  10. Extremely foul odor (imagine rotten fish)

Now that we know what the problem is, we need to relieve the it as quickly as possible. If the anal gland ruptures, you will smell something you have never smelled before, and then will need to take your dog to the vet to have it surgically repaired.

Dog Anal Gland Relief

human hands expressing dog's anal glands

To get your dog to stop rubbing bum on carpet or ground, you need to relieve the stress from the anal gland. Are you ready? As I stated before, the anal glands are located right below and on both sides of the anus. If your dog’s like it is in pain while doing the following procedure, immediately stop and take him to the veterinarian.

Materials needed:

  1. Warm water
  2. Latex Gloves
  3. Tissue
  4. Antibacterial ointment

Instructions:

  1. Lift dog’s tail.
  2. Take some warm water and clean away any old feces or fur/hair out of the way.
  3. Take your forefinger and thumb and touch the dog’s anal region around the 8 and 4 position of a clock. (you should feel two lumps on both sides)
  4. Simultaneously and gently press in and upwards on the lumps and squeeze the glands together. (There should be some secretion, which should smell like rotten fish.)
  5. Pull your fingers away and dab away the fluid, gently.
  6. Repeat steps 2 ~ 4 again until the fluid has been extracted.
  7. Apply an antibacterial ointment to the area.
  8. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. You will need to know why this has happened to prevent further occurrences.

Your Dog and Tapeworms

tapeworms on black background

Your dog may have tapeworms. While inspecting dog’s anal area, check for any tiny, wiggling rice grains around the anal area. That is not rice, those little suckers are tapeworms.

While tapeworms in adult dogs are not deadly, they can cause problems like weight loss in most dogs. However it can be deadly for puppies, so action needs to be taken very soon.

Treating Dogs With Tapeworms

Okay, if you think your dog has tapeworms, the first thing you need to do is get a stool sample and take it to your veterinarian. According to the American Kennel Club, this will help him/her to determine if the tapeworms are in the anal sac or in the feces.

After determining the location of tapeworms, your veterinarian will recommend praziquantel, which can be obtained with or without a prescription. There are many brands out there. The medication can be taken orally, topically or through injection. After taking the drug, the tapeworm will be broken apart and digested so even though they can grow from four to twenty-eight inches, you will most likely never see it.

Dewormer by Bayer

The Bottom Line

Yes, it is funny when they do it, but understand, it is not fun for them. Therefore, it all starts with checking your dog’s bottom and going from there if you want to stop your dog from scooting across your carpet on his butt. You have to take action sooner than later if it is anal sac problem. Ignoring it could be very dangerous for your dog.

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Hi! My name is Heather Hallman. I’m the mother of two beautiful girls and a MAJOR passionate pet parent. I can hardly wait to bring you the BEST resources and information that I've found for our fur-babies.