Why is my dog scooting on the floor??

Why does he look so sad? FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you seen the commercial on TV where the little boy proudly shows his mom the neat trick ‘Toby’ has learned with mom looking horrified as the dog scoots his rear end on her nice, clean carpet?   If you didn’t understand why she was so upset, read on.

by Sarah Stroud, January 7, 2010

Richmond Pet Care Examiner

You are a dog owner, and you have noticed that your beloved pet is scooting his hind end on the floor. You are concerned, could this be a sign of worms?  That is usually the pet owner’s first thought.  There is usually not a concern there.  The root of the problem is what is called anal glands.

Anal glands are located near the rectum. In larger breeds this is usually not an issue.  Smaller breeds do have a problem in this area.  These glands, which are casually called skunk glands are usually expressed or drained during defecation.  The main purpose for these glands are a way to identify themselves between dogs.  You may notice that if your dog comes into contact with another dog they will raise their tail and they will sniff one another.  At that time they express a little to show dominance or protect territory. That again is why they are sometimes referred to as skunk glands,  skunks have that same defense ability.

Read the rest of Sarah’s article.

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One Comment

  1. Irene Hartsuyker says:

    Firstly I want to say thank you for all the great videos and articles you send. I receive your emails and have a much better understanding of dogs needs and their world. I probably should have subscribed years ago!!
    I realise this is an old article but hopefully you will still receive my email. I haven’t been able to read the full article as the link seems to go to a ticket site??
    I have a 91/2 year old beagle who had a problem with his anal glands about 4 years ago, as described in “Why is my dog scooting on the floor??” article. I have mainly fed our dog a high quality dry dog food with perhaps a weekly bone and occasional raw chicken wings. The vet we were going to, at that time, suggested adding more fibre in his diet (using Metamucil) and I would take him regularly to have his anal glands expressed. When the situation didn’t improve, I decided to get a second opinion.
    The second vet that I went to had a completely different approach and recommended removal of the anal glands. He expected that would solve the problem.
    Initially the scooting did stop but what we realised was that it had become a habit (a bad habit??!!). The vet did mention that beagles can become fixated on something and that can be very difficult to change. The times that he started to scoot again, was when he was alone, when we were all at work or school and he was bored at home – alone. He gets regular exercise – I walk him for an hour each morning but he can be home by himself from say 8 in the morning to 5 at night during the week. We have left toys with treats inside to amuse him.
    I have been back to the vet that did the surgery and his response was to give him a cortisone injection and sedatives that he asked me to continue. His thinking was to break the habit over a week and then hopefully he wouldn’t do it again. However it has not totally alleviated the problem. Last year I was away for 3 weeks and the family members left at home did not walk him as often and I think he really missed me! Once I was home and with increased exercise, the problem settled down but has not been eliminated. He seems to scoot a lot more when I am away.
    When I see him scoot I put up my hand and say Stop! in a firm voice. He does stop and runs to his mat. However, I know he still does it outside when I’m not here.
    Can you give me some behaviour training to help him stop the scooting?
    I have looked into food allergies but I honestly believe it is a behaviour issue now.
    Apologies this is such a long email!!


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