Why Do Dogs Lick Their Butt?

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Butt?

Dogs lick their buttocks because they like grooming themselves.

This is, as you may have heard, a standard part of a dog’s grooming process. However, if your dog’s licking becomes excessive, it may indicate a health problem.

Continue reading to learn why your dog is licking their backside and how you may make them feel better.

What Are the Causes?

Anal Glands in Dogs Can Promote Licking

This is among the most prevalent causes of your dog licking its buttocks. If you look at the genital area as a clock, these glands are at the 4 and 8 o’clock positions.

When most dogs go to the bathroom, these glands will release on their own. These glands can occasionally fail to drain, enabling them to become clogged or inflamed. Your dog will show you by scooting or aggressively licking the spot.

Whenever the glands become irritable, it is recommended to consult with your veterinarian to see if they have to be manually expressed. Antibiotics may be required if inflamed anal glands get infected. However, manual expression can often provide relief.

If the anal glands are confirmed to be a persistent problem, some supplements make it simpler for them to express spontaneously on their own. These supplements include a fiber source, such as pumpkins, that can assist in bulk-up stools and allow the anal glands to drain while pooping. Medications like Glandex and No-Scoot can be beneficial.

Allergy in Your Dog’s Bum Skin

Whenever a dog feels itchy, they often lick the affected areas in addition to itching. Allergies can be triggered by things in your dog’s environment that he or she is allergic to, such as grass, dust, or mold.

When exposed to these irritants, the skin might become red, rough, and irritated. So a dog licking its buttocks could be suffering from an allergy.

Bugs on the Back of Your Dog

These nasties may also play a part in your canine licking its buttocks. Whenever fleas bite, certain dogs can develop an allergic reaction to their saliva, causing severe itching.

Fleas can be spotted anywhere on your dog’s body, but they prefer the back end, particularly around the tail. When your dog is licking itself aggressively, check its coat for bugs. A flea comb might help you find them.

Parasites of the Intestines

Because parasites live in the colon, they might irritate your dog to the point of licking. Exposure to polluted excrement or dirt can expose your dog to intestinal worms. Fleas can also play a role because if they are ingested, they can transmit a parasite called tapeworm.

Parasites are the least prevalent trigger of licking in the back, but they should be explored if all other possibilities have been exhausted.

Whipworms, hookworms, and roundworms are all prevalent parasites.

Infections of the Skin

It’s simple to infect the area around your dog’s backside. Ruptured skin on their behind is highly susceptible to bacterial or fungal illness since it is frequently exposed to feces. Because of their tail pockets, some breeds, such as bulldogs, are particularly prone to skin diseases.

Skin infections and yeast infections are the two most frequent forms of skin infections. Hair loss, crusty or irritated skin, and a foul odor are all possible symptoms of both.

Sadly, constant licking can exacerbate the condition by producing a moist environment in which bacteria and fungi can grow. This causes a hot patch, which must be dried before it can recover.


When you are worried or bored, you may bite your nails, lock your hair, or focus on some other activity. For the same reason, dogs can lick themselves excessively.

Although it’s rare for a nervous dog to focus completely on licking its butt, it does happen. Evaluate whether your dog gets adequate exercise or if they appear to be suffering from separation anxiety.

How To Stop Your Dog From Licking Its Buttocks?

If your dog is licking their buttocks repeatedly, the very first step you need to do is schedule a visit with your veterinarian. Meanwhile, it’s a great way to keep your dog from licking its hindquarters because this will only make the situation worse.

Persistent licking or scooting on the affected region, similar to rubbing a bug bite or plucking at a scab, may potentially make matters worse and delay treatment. Make every effort to divert them with toys or loving attention in these instances.

You could get your dog equipped with an Elizabethan or e-collar if they are licking for a medical purpose and will need to cease to heal (also known as a dog cone).

In the marketplace, various distinct e-collar types prevent them from accessing their nether areas while they heal.

E-collar That Is Rigid

With rigid (and transparent) plastic sides, it’s designed like a lampshade. So because the base of the cone is large and inflexible, my dogs tend to collide with items when wearing these e-collars. This is the most affordable design, and it is frequently offered by veterinarians.

E-collar With a Lot of Flexibility

Although this variant is designed like a lampshade, it has a softer side. My dogs prefer this pattern. It is nice and cozy to sleep on.

E-collar in the Shape of a Donut

These are made of inflatable materials. This style was comfier for my dogs than the rigid one.

Bottom Line

The grooming approach in which a dog licks its rear end is recognizable to all dog owners, and while this behavior is uncomfortable to see, it is often a typical component of a dog’s self-cleaning.

However, this behavior could indicate that your dog is suffering from a more significant underlying health problem. Trying to bite or scratch the region, or pulling it around the floor, are signs of a more serious condition. If these behaviors are followed by vomiting or diarrhea, your dog may have a parasite or flea problem.

 If your pet has a more serious health problem, your veterinarian will be able to appropriately address it or prescribe any drugs he or she may require.

However, in case your dog is just grooming, washing, and bathing your pet more often may help minimize the recurrence of the licking, and products like pet wipes can be used or made waiting for after your canine has gone to the potty.

Maintaining a pet cleaning routine and being aware of when your dog engages in undesirable grooming behaviors will allow you to keep your dog hygienic and avoid these behaviors in the long run.

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