Reasons Why Your Dog Licks Its Butt

When I took my new dog, Boris, to the vet for an initial checkup, I mentioned how much he likes to lick his butt. The doctor said she’d never heard an owner phrase it quite that way before. But let’s be honest: dogs love licking their butts!


One of the most common reasons why dogs lick themselves is boredom. Dogs are social animals that need interaction with people and other dogs in order to be happy.

If your dog is licking its butt, it could be a sign that it’s bored or looking for attention from you. You can prevent this behavior by making sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise, mental stimulation and affection from you throughout the day.

If you don’t have time to play with your pup every day but still want to give it some toys to chew on when you’re not around, consider getting an interactive toy that has food inside. Your dog will get excited about getting treats whenever he plays with it!


  • Parasites are those sneaky little critters that live on the skin and in the intestines of dogs, cats, and people. It doesn’t take long to realize that your dog has a parasite—they’re everywhere! They can cause itching and licking, which leads your dog to scratch itself raw until it looks like it’s been attacked by an angry mob of cats. But don’t worry—parasites can be treated with medication!
  • Can be transmitted to humans
  • Can be transmitted to other animals
  • Can be transmitted to other pets

The word “transmitted” means that parasites can get passed from one host (person/animal) to another. This happens when a person touches their mouth after touching an infected animal or surface and then touches their own mouth (or vice versa).

Canine OCD

Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a relatively common problem in dogs, and it’s usually caused by stress. Stress can be brought on by any number of things: not getting enough exercise, not being given ample mental stimulation or physical activity, living in an environment that doesn’t offer sufficient social stimulation…and so on. All of these factors lead your dog to become obsessed with licking its butt as a way to deal with anxiety. If you’re trying to get your dog over its OCD problem, there are several steps you can take:

  • Start exercising your pet more often—more exercise will help release endorphins and take care of some of the pent-up energy that may be causing them stress
  • Give them plenty of opportunities for mental stimulation—if they’re bored or understimulated, their minds will likely turn towards obsessive behaviors like licking their butts

Allergies or medical issues

Unfortunately, there are a few medical conditions that may cause your dog to lick its butt.

If you notice any of these signs, call your veterinarian immediately:

  • Allergies to food or something in the home environment
  • Parasite infestation (worms)
  • Skin infections like mange or bacterial dermatitis
  • Tumors in the rectal area (cancer)

If your dog licks its butt, it could be because of a medical problem.

If your dog is licking its butt, it could be due to a medical problem.

  • Take your pet to the vet as soon as possible if you notice that he or she is constantly licking their rear end. The vet will be able to determine whether there are parasites in the area that need treatment or if there’s some other underlying problem that needs addressing immediately.
  • Licking can also mean allergies: If your dog has allergies, he or she may be licking constantly because of the discomfort caused by itching around his anus and tail area. In this case, an allergy test would be recommended in order to pinpoint what exactly he’s allergic to so you can avoid it from then on and get him relief from his pain and discomfort as quickly as possible!


If your dog engages in excessive butt-licking, take it to a vet. It is good for your dog to have its rear end inspected regularly. This will help you keep track of changes around the area and catch a problem before it becomes too difficult or expensive to treat.