Is Dog Scooting A Sign That Your Dog is Constipated?

There are many reasons that dogs scoot, rubbing their bottoms across the floor, one being that the dog is constipated. Usually this action is caused by an itching or irritation in the anal area, which can be caused by constipation as well as other culprits.


Though not the most common reason for the scooting behavior, dogs that are constipated or have recently been constipated may exhibit scooting behavior in an attempt to relieve some of the irritation. Dogs that are constipated often have a difficult time relieving themselves, causing additional strain and stool that is difficult to pass, both of which can cause irritation.

Dogs may also exhibit the scooting behavior if they have eaten bones, which can cause constipation, or the passage of bone fragments that can cause irritation.

Your dog will be generally uncomfortable when suffering from constipation, so there may be other behavioral signs, such as pacing, whining, difficulty walking or getting comfortable, and lack of appetite. Your dog may even try to have a bowel movement with no results.

Constipation can often be prevented with adequate water and exercise as well as a high-quality food that has few or no grains. To relieve constipation, add a spoonful of pumpkin to your dog's food until symptoms subside. Adding wet food may also help because it adds fluids to your dog's diet, which can reduce constipation. Fiber supplements and a spoonful of olive oil may also help.

Blocked Anal Sac

The most common reason for the scooting behavior is a blocked anal sac. Dogs have two anal sacs, one located on each side of the anus, that store a fluid that must be released during bowel movements. This fluid serves as a scent marker, which dogs use to mark their territory since it is unique to each dog.

Sometimes, these sacs get blocked, which prevents the release of fluid, causing the sacs to fill up. This can be painful for your dog, who might also lick his anus excessively to relieve pain. Blocked anal sacs are very easy to fix. Most groomers and vet techs can squeeze the sac to relieve the pressure in just a few seconds for minimal cost.

Additional Reasons for Scooting

Many dogs scoot if they have been infected by a type of intestinal worm, such as tapeworm. As the dogs pass the worms or their eggs, their anus may become very irritated or inflamed, causing the scooting behavior. Usually, if this is the cause, you will see parasites or what appear to be small grains of rice in your dog's stool.

In addition, dogs may scoot for a variety of reasons that aren't a concern at all, such as cleaning themselves after a bowel movement. If the scooting happens only occasionally and isn't accompanied by parasites, you shouldn't be concerned by this behavior.