Why Your Dog Is Scooting Across the Floor

If your dog is scooting across the floor, it’s likely because he’s having a problem with his anal glands. The anal glands are located on either side of the anus, right below the tail. They’re normally emptied when a dog has a bowel movement by pressure from the stool passing over them. This can be difficult for small dogs and dogs with loose stools, so you might need to help out.

Scooting can indicate a problem, including irritated anal glands or allergies.

Whether your dog is scooting across the floor or dragging his/her tail across the carpet, there might be a problem. Let’s dive in and talk about what this behavior means!

  • Scoot-scooting across the floor can be a sign of discomfort, including anal gland issues and allergies. If your pup is scooting or dragging their tail around often, it could mean that they have an issue with their anal glands (commonly known as “dirty butt syndrome”). They may also have an allergy to something in their environment or food that causes inflammation of the skin around their anus (also known as dermatitis).
  • Scoot-scopping across the floor could also indicate another health problem. If your dog is constantly scooting on linoleum floors all day long, then it’s possible that he or she has been chewing at things like baseboards and window sills while you’re away at work because they’re bored while you’re gone. This behavior can lead to irritation or inflammation of surrounding tissue which could lead to other problems down the road if left untreated!

Anal gland problems

If your dog is scooting across the floor, he may have an anal gland problem. Anal glands are located on either side of your dog’s anus and produce a waxy substance that helps lubricate the area. When these glands become impacted, they can become infected, causing further irritation and discomfort for your furry friend. If you notice that your dog begins to scoot or drag his bottom across furniture or carpeting after relieving himself outdoors—or if he seems uncomfortable when trying to poop—then it’s possible that he has impacted anal glands. If you think this might be the case, consult with a veterinarian who can express them for you so they don’t get infected!


  • Allergies. If your dog is scratching and scooting, the problem might be an allergic reaction to something he’s been exposed to. It could be a food or environmental allergen, so it’s important to keep track of what new foods you introduce into your dog’s diet, as well as any changes in environment or routine that could affect him (like moving).
  • Anal glands becoming impacted. The anal glands are located between each side of the anus on either side of the rectum. They produce a liquid that comes out when dogs poop (and sometimes when they strain during elimination). This can cause discomfort for your dog if they become impacted or infected, which will result in them scooting across the floor because they want relief from the pain caused by these issues.
  • Anal glands becoming enlarged due to infection or tumors (cancer). These are more common reasons why some dogs scoot across floors than others—and this problem may require surgery if left untreated!

Irritation or inflammation

The most common cause of scooting, according to the American Kennel Club, is inflammation of the anal glands. This can be caused by an allergic reaction or by an infection such as yeast or parasites.

If your dog is scratching her rear end and licking it excessively, she may have allergies. She might also have a skin condition called seborrhea that causes hair loss. The itching she feels when these conditions flare up will drive her to scratch and lick even more—and if you don’t address it quickly and effectively, this behavior can become a habit for your dog.

Another possibility is an infection: If your pup’s anal glands are infected with bacteria such as staphylococcus (or “staph”), they’ll swell up inside the body where they’re housed—and that swelling can lead to irritation and soreness around the anus area that prompts your pup to scoot across the floor while trying to relieve some pain when sitting down on her rear end!

Wipe the anal area with a wet towel to remove irritation from impacted anal glands.

Anal gland problems can be extremely uncomfortable for your dog. If you notice that he’s constantly licking his hindquarters or scooting across the floor, it may be a sign that he needs to have his anal glands expressed by a veterinarian.

You can express them yourself, but if your dog has an infection or other skin condition, you should have a vet do it rather than risk further irritation or complications.

To clean the area around your dog’s anus, first use some cotton balls soaked in warm water and then wipe the area with an antibacterial wipe from behind forward toward his tailbone (the reverse of how you would normally clean him). This will help loosen any debris caught up in there!


It’s never a good idea to ignore a health problem in your dog, but there are some cases where scooting across the floor is nothing to worry about. However, if you notice that your dog seems to be in pain or discomfort and isn’t interested in his usual activities, it’s important to get him checked by a vet. If the symptoms persist for more than two days after veterinary care has been given then this may indicate an underlying issue that needs further investigation.