Why Do Female Dogs Drag Their Bottoms on The Ground?


It’s not exactly strange to see a dog scooting their butt, especially if they have a history of anal gland problems. But what about female dogs––do girl dogs have anal glands? Can they cause irritation, or is it something else, unique to female dogs, causing your girl dog to scoot?

Understanding the Bottom-Dragging Behavior in Female Dogs

When a female dog starts scooting her bottom on the ground, it catches your attention! So what does bottom-dragging behavior–or scooting–look like?

After sitting down, your dog will try to pull themselves forward using their front legs––the bottom will drag along the ground, and the tail will stick up. Scooting can appear awkward or uncomfortable for your dog, and she may seem restless or anxious while she’s doing it (almost as if she’s trying to scratch a particular painful itch ‘down there’). You may also notice her licking or biting at her hindquarters in an attempt to relieve any discomfort or itching

Female dog scooting is a clear indicator that something’s bothering your furry friend. It's important to pay attention to how often these behaviors happen and address them promptly with your veterinarian.

Why Female Dogs Might Drag Their Butts On The Ground

Female dogs drag their rear-end on the ground for the same reason male dogs do. While being in heat may cause discomfort for your female dog in the vulva, it usually isn’t a cause of scooting. So why do female dogs drag their bottoms on the ground? It’s likely caused by one of the following conditions:

Anal Gland Issues

Do girl dogs have anal glands? Yes, they do––and anal gland issues are one of the primary reasons why female dogs engage in female dog scooting. Dogs have anal glands, which are small sacs located near the anus that secrete a fluid with a distinct odor. When these glands become impacted or infected, it can lead to discomfort and the urge to relieve it by dragging their bottoms on the ground.

Parasitic infections (e.g., worms)

Another common culprit behind female dog dragging bum on carpet is parasitic infections such as worms. These parasites can cause itching and irritation around the anal area, prompting the dog to scoot across the floor in an attempt to alleviate the discomfort.

Skin irritation or allergies

Skin irritation or allergies can also lead to bottom-dragging behavior in female dogs. Allergens in the environment or certain foods can cause itching and irritation, prompting the dog to seek relief by scratching or dragging their bottoms. This can eventually cause the skin to thicken, leading to yeast infections. 

Hygiene and grooming-related issues

Sometimes, hygiene and grooming-related issues can contribute to a female dog's bottom-dragging behavior. Accumulation of fecal matter around the anus or urine staining around the vulva can cause discomfort and itching, leading the dog to drag her bottom on the ground to clean herself.

Diagnosing the Cause in Female Dogs

If you notice your female dog engaging in bottom-dragging behavior, it's time to work towards identifying the cause. A visit to the veterinarian can help identify any medical issues such as anal gland problems, parasitic infections, or allergies.

Home Treatment Options

Depending on the cause of your female dog’s bottom-dragging behavior, there are several home treatment options you can try to alleviate their discomfort. Regularly cleaning the anal area, ensuring proper hygiene, and addressing any potential allergens in your dog's environment can help reduce the urge to scoot.

If full anal glands are to blame, introducing a fiber supplement for dogs can help regulate bowel movements and, by extension, more efficient anal gland expression. If it continues after introducing the fiber supplement or your dog is in pain, you’ll need to seek medical attention for treatment.

How this Can Differ From Male Dogs

While both male and female dogs may exhibit bottom-dragging behaviors, there are some differences to consider. An intact (not fixed) female dog in heat might experience itching due to hormonal changes during their heat cycle. Additionally, male dogs have larger anal glands, making them less susceptible to impaction or infection.

When To Seek Professional Help

If your female dog's bottom-dragging behavior persists or if you notice any other concerning symptoms such as bleeding, swelling, or discharge, it's crucial to seek professional help from your veterinarian. They can perform a thorough examination and recommend appropriate treatment to address the underlying cause.

So why do female dogs drag their bottoms on the ground? The answer is that scooting can be attributed to various factors, including anal gland issues, parasitic infections, skin irritation, or hygiene-related issues. By understanding the underlying cause and seeking appropriate treatment, you can help your furry friend find relief and enjoy a happier, healthier life.

Still looking for answers about your dog’s rear-end health?

How to Help a Scooting Dog with an Itchy Butt

Quick Facts About Anal Glands in Dogs and Cats

Why Do Dogs Scoot Their Butts?


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