Pedigree imagery
Affordable Dog Food & Dog Treats | PEDIGREE Affordable Dog Food & Dog Treats | PEDIGREE


Enter a keyword below to search for articles and products.

Why Does My Dog Scoot His Rear End?

black and white dog wearing yellow rain coat outside

When a dog scoots (drags) his rear end on the carpet, it can look bizarre—and even comical. And if it’s done in front of visitors, it can also be embarrassing. If you’ve ever witnessed this behavior, you may have wondered what is driving your dog to do this. In almost all cases your dog is trying to get relief from irritation in his anal region.

There are, in fact, several possible reasons for the irritation:

Full, swollen, or impacted anal glands. Your dog’s anal glands are located on the sides of his rectum. If everything is normal with your dog, his anal glands will empty when he defecates. This is one way dogs mark their territory. However, if the glands become clogged due to an infection or another medical problem, your dog may not be able to express (empty) his glands. As a result, he will experience discomfort in the anal area. To relieve this irritation, he may drag his rear end on a rough surface, such as a carpet.

Tapeworm infection. When a dog is infected by tapeworms, his anal area could become irritated or itchy when small sections of the parasite exit his rectum.

Skin allergies. When a dog has allergies, any area of skin can become itchy, including the skin around his rectum and under his tail.

Dried fecal matter around the anus. Another reason for irritation around the anus has a very simple explanation: dried particles of stool that are stuck to the area. If this is the case, your dog’s scooting might relieve the irritation—but it could result in stained carpets.

Treatment for the conditions that cause scooting

Normally, your dog’s anal glands will automatically empty (express) themselves when he moves his bowels. However, when the glands become clogged or swollen, professional help may be needed. If your dog occasionally scoots his rear end and you take him to a groomer on a regular basis, the groomer may be able to express your dog’s anal glands. But if you’ve noticed that your dog is prone to this condition, it’s best to take him to the vet for an examination. If left untreated, clogged anal glands can rupture—and you want to make sure your dog receives proper medical attention BEFORE that happens.

Tapeworms and skin allergies require treatment by your veterinarian. So if you notice you dog scooting, it's best to have him examined so that the cause of the problem can be identified, and appropriate treatment instituted.

  • When Should You Switch Your Senior Dog to Soft Food?

    smiling lab sitting in front of brick wall

    As your dog ages, you’ll likely notice changes in your best pal’s energy levels, routine and even muzzle. Older pets may require adjustments to help them get around, exercise and live their best life as a senior. One important aspect of caring for a dog entering their golden years is diet.

    When it comes to diet, every dog has unique, individual needs, regardless of age. So, there's no one easy answer to the question of soft food versus hard food. Both types of food can provide your dog with the nutrition they need — as long as you feed your dog a high-quality dog food that’s nutritionally balanced and complete.

    two dogs eating from two bowls

    Signs Your Senior Dog May Benefit from Wet Food

    If your dog has very specific health concerns, such as aging joints or weight issues, consult with your vet for more information about what type of food best addresses your dog's needs. That being said, there are a few reasons why you may consider switching your senior dog to soft food.

    fluffy brown dog yawning showing teeth

    Teeth Sensitivity

    As your dog gets older, their teeth may become more sensitive, which can make chewing kibble more difficult and even uncomfortable. Switching to a soft food can help to alleviate your pet’s oral discomfort when eating.

    However, if your dog is experiencing serious pain at mealtime from a condition like tooth decay or gingivitis, switching to soft food won't remedy the problem. Make sure you talk to your vet about oral care and dental treatment.

    Digestion Aid

    Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva, so if your dog has a tendency to scarf down meals, they may not be adequately chewing the food or adding enough saliva to it. Soft food can aid with digestion because it's more easily chewed.

    Hydration Help

    It’s no surprise that wet food has a higher moisture content when compared to dry kibble. If your senior pup is prone to urinary-tract issues or simply needs a little help staying hydrated, canned dog food may be a good choice.

    girl kissing older dog on the head

    Slower Metabolism

    Aging dogs tend to have a slower metabolic rate compared to their younger years, which puts them at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. Many nutritionally balanced wet dog foods offer high protein content with fewer carbs than dry food, which can benefit older dogs with slower metabolism. Always talk to your vet if you have concerns about your pup’s weight.

    Picky Eaters

    While wet food may be less than appetizing to humans, the opposite is true for dogs! If your aging best friend has started turning their snout up to dry food, wet food tends to be more appealing to picky eaters. Mixing wet food and kibble offers your pup a variety of flavors and textures; try adding wet food as a topper on dry food for a real treat!

    Whether you choose dry food, soft food  or a mix of both, ask your vet before making any transition. And when it's time to switch your dog's food, remember to do it slowly — even if it's the same brand and flavor — to help prevent stomach upset and allow your dog time to adjust.

Sign Up for The Feed™ Newsletter

Want to hear more about us? Sign up for The Feed™ newsletter and we'll fetch you the latest news, tips and tricks tailored to your pet and special offers on your favorite products.