Why Won't My Dog Stop Licking Their Butt?

Why Won't My Dog Stop Licking Their Butt?

Dogs have all kinds of strange behaviors. If your dog keeps licking their butt, it can be a sign that something is wrong. This can be more serious if they are releasing foul odors.

In this article, we're going to explain why your dog keeps licking their butt and what you can do about it. 

Why is my dog constantly licking his butt?

Here are a few possible reasons why your dog might be preoccupied with his rear.

  • Your dog is just grooming
  • Dogs often groom themselves with their tongues. They often lick their butt to groom themselves. You should let your dog do his thing to help alleviate his discomfort. However, if your dog is licking excessively, there might be other reasons.

    • Anal gland issues

    If your dog's anal glands fail to express properly, they may actually become impacted. Your dog is most likely licking his butt due to impacted anal glands or infected anal glands. If you notice a strong fishy smell and your dog is licking or dragging its rear across the floor, then anal glands might be the culprits.

    It causes inflammation of the ducts that make the sacs swollen and distended. An anal gland problem makes it very painful for your dog to pass feces. This makes your furry friend very uncomfortable. Your dog begins scooting or keeps licking its rectum. You may notice a foul odor coming from your dog's rectum area.

  • Allergies
  • Allergies are another possible cause of your dog's butt-licking behavior. An allergic reaction causes itching which sometimes includes your dog’s anal region. Allergies can be managed by adjusting your dog's diet or making lifestyle changes. You'll need to work with your vet to determine the exact allergen that's causing trouble.

  • Parasites
  • Your dog can be exposed to parasites through contact with contaminated soil or feces. Parasites such as tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and fleas may irritate your dog’s rear end. 

  • Skin infection
  • Your dog may get a fungal or bacterial infection around the rectum. These infections might occur if a bit of your dog's feces remains on the anal area for some time. Skin infection can also occur if there is an open wound around your dog's butt. You may notice redness and inflammation in the affected area and your dog may lick their butt to try to relieve the discomfort.

    How to stop a dog from licking their butt?

    So your dog is a persistent licker, and you want to put a stop to this behavior? Here are some general tips.

    • Dog tails and the surrounding area must always be kept clean. Neglecting the tail and the rear end can cause health problems like redness, dry skin, inflammation, yeast or bacterial infections, and irritation.
    • When you are brushing, combing, and bathing your dog, check his tail to catch minor injuries early and care for them.
    • If there are tail injuries, always keep the wound clean and make the dog comfortable.
    • If your dog's tail infection is bad enough or you notice irritated skin or an unusually foul smell coming from your dog's tail area, don’t hesitate to take your dog to the vet.
    • Redirect the licking behavior to an alternate behavior. For instance, tell your fur buddy "leave it" as soon as you notice its intent and redirect him to an alternate behavior. Make sure to praise and reward. Alternatively, you can try to redirect to a chew toy or any other interactive toy. 
    • Anal gland problems will be solved by expressing the glands and treating infections with antibiotics.
    • A bacterial or fungal skin infection will be treated with antibiotics or antifungal medications.

    Consult your vet if your dog keeps scooting their butt along the ground or if you see visible redness and inflammation around the rectum. 

    Keep your dog's tail and butt clean and healthy all the time! Always make sure the area is completely dry when you are finished cleaning.

    Would you like to help maintain your dog's good digestive health and avoid health problems before they begin? Safe Guard Probiotics for dogs may help create a thriving environment for a healthy gut and strong immune system.

    Final thoughts 

    Until dogs can talk, we can only make assumptions as to what is really going on in a dog's mind when licking their butt. It's better to look at how the behavior presents, the context in which it happens, and the accompanying body language. If you notice your dog licking their bum more than usual, take them to the vet.

    Proper care and good hygiene can be a great way to help your dog stop licking its tail. Give your dog a healthy and happy life full of endless tail wags! They just need plenty of love and time to thrive.

    Hope you enjoyed reading this article! Feel free to share your thoughts and questions. We would be happy to hear from you!