Why Does My Dog Keep Licking His Butt? What Are The Treatments For This Behavior?

Do you ever wonder why your dog scratches its butt on the floor? Or perhaps it licks its behind until it bleeds?

On the carpet, sofa, and perhaps on your bedding, do you find some brown and smelly smears? I know it’s yucky, but that’s a medical explanation.

In this article, I’m going to discuss with you the reasons why your dog shows a dog lick butt behavior and then the things you can do to stop your dog from doing this.

Why Does My Dog Keep Licking His Butt?

One thing is for sure-your dog’s behind is itchy. But why is it itchy? Let’s discuss one by one the possible culprit of this canine behavior.

  • Anal Sac Issue:

Anal sacs in dogs can be called scent glands. These two bags can be described as bags on either side of the anus. The lining of the anal sacs consists of sweat glands producing a really bad smelling liquid.

A small amount of this smelly liquid is released each time your dog poops. This smelly liquid is used to mark its territory against predators. That’s also why some dogs are curious to smell the poop of another dog.

Now, when your dog doesn’t release that smelly liquid whenever it poops, the anal sac problem has occurred. If this happens, the anal sacs will swell, which could cause abscess and bacterial infections to develop. This is one of the reasons your dog shows the behavior of a dog licking butt.

The small dog breeds are more prone to suffer from anal sac disorder.

  • Perianal Fistulas:

These are thin lesions that are found in your dog’s anus area. If the lesions are left untreated, the lesions may become widespread. The usual cause is that the hair follicles around the anal area gets contaminated with faecal matters. 

The breed that is common to suffer from this is the German Shepherd.

  • Perianal Hernia:

The rectum is held by the pelvic region underneath and the abdomen’s contents are kept in a normal way. But when the pelvic region’s structure is weakened, it makes the organs trapped inside that causes a perianal hernia. 

This is a life-threatening condition as it makes it extremely painful to urinate and defecate. It may affect the bladder as well as the intestines. Collie, Sheepdog, Pekingese, Terrier, Corgi, Boxer, Dachshund, and Kelpie are dog breeds that are prone to suffer from this.

  • Anal Tumors:

The tumors that grow in the perianal glands are in most cases, due to aging. The anal tumors could either be malignant or benign.

Dog breeds that are prone to this condition are Beagle, Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, and Samoyed.

  • Rectal Itching:

This is a condition in which numerous reasons are suspected that may worsen over time and cause some serious complications. The causes may be due to the problem of an anal tumor or an anal sac. It might be due to allergies as well.

The breeds that are prone to rectal itching are German Shepherd, Labrador, Poodle, Boxer, Weimaraner, and Dachshund.

  • Intestinal Parasites:

If your dog licks its ass, intestinal parasites may be one of the possible reasons. These are hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms. These parasites live in the intestines of your dog, resulting in itching of its butt.

If the parasite infestation is in its advanced stage, you may even see some of these parasites in your dog’s faeces.

  • Allergies:

If your dog has eaten something, assume poultry meat, to which it may be allergic, then it may develop skin allergies. Not all dogs are alright with poultry products. Dog breeds such as a Golden Retriever and a Pug are known to suffer from some forms of food allergies. It could be beef, poultry, egg, just to name a few. Food allergy may be the cause of your dog’s continuing to licking of its back.

Aside from food, seasonal allergies could also be another reason. Some dogs are allergic to change in weather. Normally, seasonal allergies set in around spring when there are plenty of pollens in the environment. Autumn and fall are also the seasons for allergies due to damp weather conditions.

  • External Parasites:

If your dog gets infested with ticks, fleas and mites, it’s not uncommon to see him lick its butt. These external parasites make your dog itchy all over its body.  The reason it licks her butt is to find itchiness relief.

  • Skin Infections:

Your dog may also have some bacterial or fungal infection of the skin. It’s going to lick its skin including the butt area because it’s trying its best to find itchiness comfort. Unfortunately, the behavior of this dog leaching butt will only exacerbate the condition and only lead to further leaching and scratching.

There are numerous reasons why your dog is having some skin infections. It could be due to a low immune system, inherent skin abnormality, allergies, among others.

If you see your four-legged baby scratches and lick its back, then it’s likely to suffer from one of the conditions I’ve listed above. Now let’s talk about what you can do to stop your four-legged baby’s butt-liking behavior.

What Are The Treatments for The Behavior of Dog Licking Butt?

  • If due to anal sac:

In fact, the problem with anal sac is not unusual in dogs. The anal sacs can be impacted due to inflammation. As a result, the fluid inside the anal sacs thicken and this makes it difficult for your four-legged baby to defecate. This thickened fluid is a healthy environment for bacteria and pus to grow.

Anal sac infection will cause your pet to suffer greatly and this is why immediate veterinary intervention is necessary.

One way to treat an infection with anal sacs is to empty the fluid out of the sac. Your dog will have to be sedated because this can be a very painful procedure. The Vet is going to prescribe antibiotics and a pain reliever after the procedure.

Unfortunately,  the anal sac issue can recur especially if your dog is obese. Why? Because overweight dogs do not have the capacity to empty their anal sac well.

Another way to avoid the problem with the anal sac is to have your dog visit a groomer at least twice a month. The complete package usually includes the draining of the anal sac.

  • If due to perineal fistulas:

Unfortunately, treatment for this condition may last a lifetime. Vet Doctors give factors like diet, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. In advanced cases, surgery may be necessary.

  • If due to perianal hernia:

The treatment depends on the hernia’s severity. An operation may be the only option available for your dog in some cases. Treatment may involve one of the following for minor cases of hernia; the use of stool softeners, a high fiber diet, enema, and decompression of the bladder.

  • If due to anal tumor:

If the tumor is found to be malignant, then surgery and chemotherapy are the options. There are also some meds to be given for blood calcium, kidney function, and for pain management.

  • If due to rectal itching:

Treatments such as the use of medicated shampoos, stool softeners, antibiotics and anal cleaning may be prescribed once the cause is determined. You can use wipes like Glandex Anal Gland Hygiene Wipes.

  • If due to internal parasites:

As a dog lover myself, I make it a point to deworm my dog every three months. Regardless if you dog stays indoor or outdoor, you must deworm your dog on a schedule.

If your dog is infested with parasites, it will have anaemia and weight loss. You will also begin to notice a loss of appetite, a lethargy, and you may even see some blood specks on its faeces. Therefore, do not take its deworming schedule for granted because it affects its overall health.

There are deworming medications that you can get online. Good examples are Triple Wormer Broad Spectrum De-wormer and Wormeze Liquid Wormer. Make sure that you read the label very well and to get the weight of your dog before administering the deworming meds.

  • If due to allergies:

If food allergies s the cause, change its diet. However, it doesn’t mean that if your four-legged baby is allergic to chicken, you can’t feed it with poultry. You can try duck or turkey, but watch and see if there are signs of allergies to the skin.

If the reason for the behavior of dog licking butt is seasonal allergies, then here are some ways that you could do in order to treat it and stop your dog from licking its butt:

  • If you will take your dog out for a walk, avoid doing it early morning or late in the afternoon. These are the hours when the level of pollen is high. Then clean your pet with hypoallergenic dog wash when you go back to avoid pollen from its body.
  • Replace your air conditioning unit filers regularly to reduce the indoor pollution problem. You can use a dehumidifier to stop the formation of molds and mildew during the cold months.
  • If due to external parasites;

There are many things that you can do to stop your dog from getting infected by external parasites.  One is you can use a shampoo that kills ticks and fleas. Check out Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing shampoo or Sentry Flea and Tick Shampoo.

You can make your four-legged baby wear a flea collar for dogs for longer protection against external parasites. What’s nice about it is that you can choose between the natural ingredients that are made of botanical or those that have stronger but safe ingredients. If you do not know what product to get, try Seresto Flea and Tick Collar or the HerbalVet Dog Flea Collar.

  • If due to skin infections:

The reasons for skin infections are varied, as I mentioned earlier. You can take your dog to the Vet as a fur parent so that the doctor can get a sample of the skin and look at it under a microscope. Once the Vet discovers the culprit, the appropriate treatment will be applied.

Your dog could be prescribed with antibiotics or antihistamines. Or, your four-legged baby may be injected with medicines to stop the swelling.

You can also purchase some products that can safely heal the wounds of your dog around its butt such as Anicura Natural Dog Ointment for itchy skin.


Dog licking butt may be normal, but not in all cases. Occasionally, it’s the way your dog expresses that something is wrong with their health. The behavioral manifestations are scooting and dragging butts aside from licking its butt.

As a fur parent, if you notice that your dog is licking its butt often, it is time to visit the Vet to check if there is something to be worried about your dog’s behind.

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