Why is my dog licking his butt?

It might be the fact that you happen to be a proud dog owner, but some of his behaviors do not appear to be pleasant to you these days. One of those behaviors might be licking his own butts. Even though it might appear to be strange, there is nothing weird about it. Your pet might lick his butt for various reasons such as anal gland issues, allergies, as well as parasites. In this blog, we will look at some of the most obvious reasons for your pooch showing this type of behavior, and we will try to find a solution to this issue as well.

Why is my pet licking his butt?

Even though butt licking might seem to be quite repulsive to you as well as any other dog owner, you must bear in mind that it is a part of their inherent nature. We know that dogs like to perform some sort of grooming, and butt licking might be a part of this grooming process.

Nevertheless, if you find that your pup is licking his butt quite often, then there must be enough reasons to be concerned. In that case, the most typical offenders happen to be the following:

  • Skin allergies
  • Anal gland issues
  • Parasites

Most typical reasons why canines lick their butts

Anal glands

Dogs tend to lick their butts in most cases because of their anal gland issues that can be caused by infected anal glands. Besides licking, the pooches might likewise scoot their bums across the floor. This might be done by them for providing them with some relief from the irritation caused by scrabbling against the rug.

On most occasions, pooches will be expressing their own anal glands each time they visit the toilet, although the material can become thick at times. In that case, it will not be possible for the dog to perform it themselves. Here, your only solution will be to take him to the vet who will help to express the anal glands.

You might even do this on your own once the anal glands become full; only, bear in mind that the smell can be quite horrible. Make sure to take the help of an experienced vet to check the glands in case the dogs are scooting or licking. This is to prevent their anal glands from becoming infected in the long run.


Dogs can also exhibit the behavior of licking their own butts because of allergy problems. In fact, they might be licking other parts of their bodies as well such as the limbs, torso, feet, and so forth.

It is possible for the entire body of the canine to become itchy because of a food allergy. In such cases, the doggy might react adversely to certain food items such as eggs, chicken, wheat, soy, or beef. Take the help of the vet to find out the exact food that is causing this issue. Following this, take the required steps for preventing your pet from consuming those food items.

One more possible cause for this type of butt licking behavior might be environmental allergies. Your pet might feel itchy because of pollen during the summer months or spring, or the presence of mold around your house. Here, we like to mention that the rear ends of the canines might become itchy as well. Take the guidance of the vet if you find these types of symptoms in your pup.

Skin infections

The region around the butt of the dog can become infected very easily. On most occasions, it comes in contact with feces, and therefore it can be vulnerable to fungal or bacterial infection. The presence of tail pockets might cause skin infections in certain breeds such as bulldogs.

Yeast infections and staph infections happen to be the most typical skin infections that can affect pooches. In such cases, the animals might suffer from loss of hair, a foul odor, and inflamed skin.

However, this infection can be intensified by persistent licking that can result in the development of a moist area where bacteria and fungi will love to live. This forms a hot spot in the long run that has to be dried out for healing.


Another health condition that might make your pet lick his butt might be an infection caused by internal parasites. Some common intestinal parasites happen to be hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms. Besides licking, the doggy might also suffer from symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

Tapeworms, although not that common, can cause irritation in and around the anal region. Have you noticed your pooch licking his anal opening excessively and also scooting quite often? Are there any small white specks in the fecal matter of the creature? This can be caused by tapeworms in all probabilities. Your vet will be the best person to help you in this case.

Here, we like to mention that mites, fleas, and other external parasites can likewise cause irritation in the anal region of the pooch along with the rest of his body. The pooch might suffer from serious health conditions if these symptoms are not fixed immediately. For this reason, don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian at the earliest once you observe these symptoms.


We tend to bite our nails or twist our hair once we suffer from monotony or nervousness. It is also possible for canines to lick their own butts for the same reasons. In that case, make sure to provide adequate playtime to your adorable pet and take care that they don’t suffer from separation anxiety.

How to treat these potential issues

The first thing that you ought to do will be to book an appointment with your vet in case you find that your pet is depicting this type of behavior. There is no denying the fact that you will need medications for treating the rectal irritation of your pooch. Moreover, make it a point to check the anal glands to make certain that they are not full.

In case the main problem of the pooch lies with his anal glands, then the vet might suggest an antibiotic for providing the desired results. The fluid that fills up the glands in normal circumstances comes with a distinct color and it will not be that painful to express the anal glands in the office of the vet.

If you find that the pooch is reacting painfully, or the anal gland contents are discolored and thick, then this might be because of the infection of the anal gland. If it is imperative to express the anal glands of the dog quite often, then it will be a good idea to include some food items in their diet such as canned pumpkin for bulking up their stools. You will also come across certain supplements on the market that can help to treat this condition effectively.

It will be possible to detect the presence of intestinal parasites using a stool check. Microscopic eggs will be deposited by certain parasitic worms within the stool of the pet that can be found with the help of the vet. On the other hand, it will be feasible to see tapeworms and other intestinal parasites deposit egg packets with our naked eye only.

These might appear to be similar to small rice grains in and around the rectum or in the stool. It will be possible for your vet to treat your dog with the help of a dewormer in case he is infected with intestinal parasites. Also, make sure to check the stools of your pet at least once every year for preventing any conditions caused by these parasites.

On the other hand, you might find it somewhat tough to handle skin allergies. Dogs might suffer from food allergies, environmental allergies, or even both. While food allergies can affect the creature throughout the year, environmental allergies might happen during a particular time of the year. In case your pup is suffering from an active flare-up along with skin inflammation, irritation, as well as infection, then let your vet prescribe medications to the pooch for soothing the itching and treating the infection.

If the animal is suffering from suspected environmental allergies, then your vet will perform a blood test for analyzing the results. In case it is found that the canine is indeed suffering from environmental allergies, then the vet can commence therapy for desensitizing the immune system of the pooch to these allergens.

Even though the vet can perform blood tests for food allergens too, the results might not be that reliable in the long run.

We like to conclude this blog by asserting that you should take the help of the vet at the earliest if you observe your pooch licking his butt or even chewing it excessively.