Watching your dog scoot his or her butt across the carpet might be concerning, not just because now you have to clean up the carpet, but you have to wonder if they are uncomfortable. Indeed, usually, a dog drags their butt across the floor because they are itchy or have some kind of pain. There are a few different causes of your pooch’s discomfort. We’ll outline them below.

Anal Gland Problems

The most common cause of dog bum-dragging is anal gland problems. All dogs have two small organs on either side of their colon just before their anus. These organs create a liquid that adds scent to the dog’s poop. It is supposed to help them mark their territory and leave behind messages for other dogs.

However, sometimes the anal glands do not empty out properly. The fluid builds up and can become infected. Whether they are infected or not full (or impacted) anal glands can be very uncomfortable. Many dogs try to drag their butts on the ground to relieve the pressure.

Your vet can empty out your dog’s anal glands, give you antibiotics for possible infections, and help you prevent this problem in the future. In rare cases where anal gland problems keep reoccurring, they can be surgically removed.


Pressure in your dog’s butt may also be caused by a tumor. It’s very rare, but a tumor may cause your dog to start to rub his or her butt on the floor. Tumors may have few or no symptoms, especially early on, so it is important to work with your vet to get to the bottom of your dog’s bottom issues.


Most adult dogs have some internal parasites without symptoms. However, if the infection does get out of control and start causing symptoms, an itchy butt is a common result. Dogs with itching commonly try to relieve their pain by rubbing their but on the ground. You may also notice them licking their butt. Plus, there are other symptoms of parasites, such as weight loss, that you may notice.


An itchy butt may also be caused by allergies. If you have just introduced your dog to a new food and they have begun dragging their butt, they may be allergic to that food. Before you make a sudden change in food, though, you should work with your vet to narrow down the cause and make sure you’re eliminating the right ingredient from your dog’s diet.

Injuries and Prolapse

It may sound counter-intuitive, but sometimes pain can motivate dogs to drag their butt on the floor. If your dog has a cut, a bruise or other injury, they may try pain-relieving strategies like dragging and licking. Anal prolapse is a potentially serious butt injury where some of the dog’s intestines are outside of its anus. This can be very uncomfortable and also dangerous for your dog.

In the end, it is best to refer to your vet to address your dog’s discomfort. They can help you determine the cause and fix it.