Your dog could have serious butt problems and you might not even realize it. It is crucial that you learn the more common signs of these issues before it is too late.

All dogs have glands near their anus that serve the sole purpose of marking their territory. The strong scent that these glands emit gives dogs an effective means of identifying each other. This is why you will see these animals smell each other’s butts when they first meet.

There are a number of different issues that dogs can have with these rectal glands. Some of these problems are fairly mild while others are far more serious. Below you will find a list of signs to look out for. When you learn about the symptoms of these issues, you will be able to get them the necessary treatment early on.

What Causes “Butt Problems” in Dogs?

Most dogs with “butt problems” have what is known as Anal Sac Disease. Problems can occur when a dog’s anal sacs/glands get plugged because of inflamed ducts. The more fluid the sacs secrete, the more swollen they become. This fluid is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Once the glands are infected, you will start noticing symptoms with your pet.

dog butt probles

5 Signs Your Dog Has Butt Problems

1. Excessive Licking

One of the telltale signs that your dog is having problems with its anal glands is that they are licking this area over and over. If you have noticed your dog licking this area of their body a lot, you should take notice.

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Dogs often lick themselves when they are experiencing pain or discomfort of some kind. While a certain amount of licking is perfectly normal, this behavior can increase when something is wrong. It is a way for the dog to soothe itself, and it occurs more frequently as the pain worsens.

2. Strong Unpleasant Smell

Another common sign that your dog might be experiencing butt problems is a very strong and unpleasant odor coming from them. They will most likely leave behind a really powerful smell that is even worse than their normal feces.

This odor is a strong sign that there is an issue with your dog’s rectal glands. It is something that you will be sure to notice because of how strong the smell is. As your dog’s condition worsens, the smell will get increasingly more pungent.

3. Scooting

Dogs that experience issues with their butt often scoot around on the floor. This is something they do when they are itching or in pain. It is a way for them to satisfy their itch and soothe their discomfort. This is one of the most common signs of this issue, and it is easy to spot right away.

While some people view scooting as perfectly normal behavior for a dog, it is usually an indication that something is wrong. If you ever notice your pet doing this, it is important that you make an appointment with your veterinarian.

4. Pain During Defecation

If your dog has problems with their anal sacs or glands, they will likely experience quite a bit of pain when defecating. You might notice them yelping or making some strange sound when they do their business. 

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The pain that dogs experience while making a bowel movement can be quite significant, depending on the severity of the condition. Sometimes dogs with this issue get constipated, which results in not defecating for long stretches of time. If you notice that your dog isn’t going to the bathroom like they usually do, there is most likely a problem.

Some dogs avoid defecating as much as possible because of the pain they experience when doing so. Either way, your dog not being regular is definitely cause for concern.

5. Swelling Around the Rectum

You can often tell if there is an issue with your dog’s butt just by looking at it. Swelling and redness around the rectum is a clear indication that something is wrong. As the condition gets worse, the swelling will become increasingly noticeable.

It shouldn’t take very long for the irritation around the anus to become apparent if your dog has problems with its anal sacs. If there is swelling around this area, you will most likely notice at least one or two of the above listed symptoms as well.


  • Problems with the anal glands are fairly common with most dog breeds.
  • One of the first signs of butt problems is scooting.
  • Excessive licking is often a sign of pain or discomfort, which may be due to these types of issues.
  • A very strong and unpleasant smell coming from your dog is usually an indication of butt problems.
  • Swelling around the rectum usually occurs with anal sac disorders.
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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".