Why Do Dogs Scoot on the Floor?

Don't ignore your pooch's scooting behavior.
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If you're noticing your doggie has recently started conspicuously scooting her "derriere" across the floors of your home, don't assume that she's just employing a bizarre new way of getting from point A to point B. In fact, scooting behavior in dogs is often a sign of anal sac impaction.

Anal Sac Issues

Although anal sac issues are possible in both dogs and cats, they are especially prevalent within the canine species, notes the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. If your doggie's anal glands are impacted, it means, essentially, that they haven't emptied out along with his bowel movements, which is what is supposed to occur. The sacs are situated just below your pooch's rectum, and the lining emits a pungent substance that comes out, naturally, as he goes No. 2.


If you spot your doggie scooting his rear end across the carpet in your living room, don't be quick to get annoyed. This dragging behavior may indeed be a sign of anal sac impaction. If the pressure of the full glands gets to be just too much for your poor pup, he may turn to dragging as a means of reducing some of it. As soon as you notice any scooting in your doggie, it's time for a veterinary appointment -- and an anal gland expression procedure courtesy of the doc, too.

Other Symptoms

Scooting on the floor isn't necessarily the only symptom of anal gland problems in dogs. The Merck Veterinary Manual indicates a variety of other possible signs of anal gland distress, including apparent pain during the passing of bowel movements, tail chasing and frequent chewing or licking of the anal region. Conspicuous -- and very displeasing -- rectal odors may also be a frustrating problem. If you notice any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to notify the vet immediately.


Never ignore your dog's scooting and anal sac impaction issues. This problem won't go away on its own, after all. If you attempt to wish the problem away, the Humane Society of Charlotte notes that you may risk even bigger health problems in your pet, including rupturing, abscess and infection -- not good at all.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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