why is my dog licking his butt

Why Is My Dog Licking His Butt

Did you just enter the house and find your dog laying on the ground with his face between his hind legs? Well, that’s not concerning. But what is concerning is this question, why is my dog licking his butt? 

The reason behind your dog licking his butt can be as simple as grooming his body to as dangerous as parasites. It can be an allergy or even fleas attached to the dog’s tail that is bothering your dog. Thus, it is quite important for you to gather all the information about your furry friend licking his butt. 

What Is Rectal Itching in Dogs? 

dog with rectal itching
Image by Khaligo from Pixabay

As the name suggests, rectal itching in dogs is the irritation in the rear area. If you notice your dog licking his butt or scooting his rear ends at the floor, there is a possibility that your dog is suffering from rectal itching. 

However, if your dog occasionally licks his butt, then there is no need for you to be worried about it. They may be just cleaning and grooming that area, or if he has big fur, there is a chance that some of his poop is stuck in there. You can give him some space or a bath if he approves. 

On the other hand, if this itching is irritating your dog to the extent that he can not sit peacefully for a minute, you need to book a veterinary appointment as this is an indication of a serious issue.

Reasons Dogs Lick Their Butts

reasons dogs lick their butts
Photo by Anima Visual on Unsplash

Following are some of the common reasons why is your dog licking his butt. 

He is just grooming

If it is your first time owning a pet dog, you may find it weird that your dog is licking his butt. However, this is nothing to wonder about or question if this happens not so often. Dogs can lick all over their body as they like to stay clean and tidy. Dogs with long hair or fur keep licking the body because it is easy for dirt or feces to accumulate in that area. 

All you can do in this scenario is to place a bowl of dog food in front of your furry friend for the hard work he puts in his grooming.

Fleas or external parasites

Fleas or external parasites that include mites, ticks, roundworms, tapeworms, or hookworms may be the reason for rectal itching in your dog. Roundworms and hookworms can pose a great threat to your dog’s health and can be transferred to other pets as well. 

Moreover, these external parasites mostly attack the rear ends of your dog’s body. As a result, you need to keep an extra eye on his actions that concern his hindlimbs. 

Parasites in intestine

Although it is quite rare that parasites are causing an itching bum in your dog, if it is the reason, there are chances that parasites have traveled inside your dog’s intestines. Sometimes, you can even see wobbling worms in the poop of your dog, which confirms the presence of internal parasites. 

If this is the case with your dog, you need to check in with a vet. A fecal test will be run out on the stool samples. Most of the time, hookworms, roundworms, or tapeworms can be eradicated with treatments prescribed by your doctor. 

Anal allergies

If the rear area of your dog is swollen, red, or dry, it will cause rectal irritation, and ultimately you will question why is my dog licking his butt. Allergies in animals are as common as in humans. If your dog is exposed to a particular element to which he is allergic. It can cause skin problems for him.

In such cases, try to prevent your dog from licking or scooting his butt. It may worsen the condition if the infected area gets opened by a cut, internal infection increases, which is hard to cure. 

Should I Be Worried if My Dog Is Licking His Butt?

dog after licking his butt
Image by Alkhaine on Unsplash

A simple answer is yes. It should worry you if you see your dog continuously licking his butt or scooting on the ground. This is a symptom that he is experiencing discomfort or irritation due to parasites or infections. 

On the other hand, if you regularly visit the vet and you’re sure that your dog is clean and healthy, you can opt for not worrying. In this case, the chances that your dog is only grooming his fur increases. 

What Should I Do If My Dog Is Licking His Butt?

things to watch for if dog is licking butt
Image by ThomasWolter from Pixabay

You should look out for the following things: 

  • See if his butt is swollen, red, or dry. 
  • Examine the stool and see if there are any living or dead parasites
  • Keep an eye out for anything unusual with your dog’s behavior—any symptoms of vomiting, sleeping issues, foul smell, etc. 

If you see any of these symptoms, book an appointment with the vet to quickly inspect the dog. 

In the meantime, you can put a temporary round cone around his neck. It will stop him from biting or licking the butt. Just as scratching injuries make them worse for humans, it is not healthy for dogs as well. A cone around his neck will help not make the situation even worse. 

Apart from that, keep a record of how long your dog is showing these symptoms. Your vet will inquire how frequently your dog licks his buttocks and how much it bothers him. 


So far, we have gathered that dogs do lick their butts. It is in their nature to keep the fur tidy and healthy. However, there are certainly other reasons that can initiate rectal itching. You just need to keep a keen eye on the movements of your dog regarding the rear areas. 

Apart from this, keep a flea comb at home and, more importantly, frequently use it on your dog. It will help in detecting problems in the early stages. Let us know if you have any further questions regarding your dog licking his bum.

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