As dog owners, we’re all familiar with seeing our furry friend licking their butt occasionally. While it may look strange and even unsanitary behavior, there are perfectly logical reasons why dogs might lick their butts — and believe it or not, sometimes it can be a good thing.
This blog post will explore the ins and outs of this dog’s behavior so that you can better understand why doggies indulge in some butt-licking action. So whether you’re curious or concerned by your pup’s quirky behavior, keep reading to learn why they lick their butts (and what you should do if they start doing it too much!).
Why Do Dogs Lick Their Butt?
Dog’s Anal Gland Issues
One of the most common causes of dogs licking their butt is an issue with the dog’s anal glands or sometimes called scent glands. Dogs have two tiny sacs full of fluid in their anal area that produce a strong-smelling scent when they are healthy. When these glands become blocked or irritated, dogs naturally lick them to try and relieve the discomfort. However, excessively licking the anal region, can lead to anal gland infection and bacterial or fungal infection.
This can be caused by various issues such as dietary changes, environmental allergies, skin allergies, food allergies, gastrointestinal problems, and even parasites or worms. If you suspect your dog was having anal gland problems or anal irritation, it’s best to take him to the vet’s office to get checked out immediately. Try to bring stool samples if possible so that the vet can give treatment and prescribe medications.
Internal Parasites and Worms
Common intestinal parasites and worms are another potential cause of butt-licking in dogs. Common parasites like roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms can all cause itching and irritation around a dog’s anus, which leads to dogs licking their butt excessively to relieve discomfort caused by these pests.
Worm infestation is a serious business; if left untreated, it can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, organ failure, and even death! So be sure to take your pup for regular check-ups at the vet so any potential worm infestations can be caught early on before they become too serious.
Skin infections are another possible cause of the dog’s persistent licking of his butt. These infections are usually caused by bacterial or fungal organisms that live on the skin’s surface and naturally feed off oils found there.
A skin infection can lead to itching and irritation, prompting your pup to lick its rear end to find relief from the discomfort caused by these organisms. Skin infections are very treatable with antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian, so be sure to check your pup immediately if you suspect he may have one.
Cleaning Up Messes
Another reason dogs may lick each other’s behinds is to clean up messes their fellow canine friend has made! If your pup has had an accident on themselves or another dog, then it would make sense that they would try to clean it up with their tongue. This helps keep everyone clean and healthy, which is important for all pack members.
To Soothe Itching Skin
Itching skin can be uncomfortable and annoying for a pup, so sometimes, they lick the area to relieve it. This could explain why they sometimes lick other dogs, too – their saliva contains enzymes that can help soothe irritation caused by bites or allergies. So if your pup starts licking another one behind, it may not be out of bad manners – instead, it could be out of concern for their friend’s comfort.
Why Does My Dog Lick Their Butt?
Aside from the reasons mentioned above, believe it or not, some dogs enjoy licking themselves that’s why it’s considered a normal behavior! This is because dogs have sweat glands in their paws and butts, which secrete pleasurable pheromones, similar to humans getting a whiff of something delicious.
Dogs also clean themselves similarly to cats and may find it soothing or comforting to lick certain areas when feeling anxious or stressed out by their environment.
Should You Let Your Dog Lick?
The Pros Of Licking
The main benefit of allowing your dog to lick itself is that it can signify good health, contentment, and relaxation. Dogs will often groom themselves as an expression of comfort and self-care.
This is especially true for dogs in social groups like puppies or feral dogs who use licking to bond with their peers. Grooming also helps clean their fur by removing dirt and debris from the coat and skin.
The Cons Of Licking
However, some risks involve letting your dog lick itself too much. For instance, excessive licking can lead to irritation or infection on the skin, known as “hot spots.” Hot spots are caused by bacteria buildup on the skin due to saliva, which can cause inflammation and pain.
Also, licking can indicate that something else might be going on, such as allergies or parasites like fleas or ticks. If you notice any signs of skin irritation or redness on your dog after they have been licking itself, contact your veterinarian immediately for advice and treatment options.
How to Stop Your Dog’s Butt-Licking Behavior?
Determine the Cause of the Behavior
The first step in curbing any unwanted behavior from your pup is to determine why they are doing it in the first place. For example, there could be a few different reasons your dog is licking its butts, such as food allergies or parasites like fleas or worms.
If either of these issues is present, you should take your canine companion to the veterinarian’s office immediately so they can get fecal sample tests and blood tests done. They’ll get the proper treatment plan after the results. If your vet suspects a food allergy, they will likely suggest the prescription diet.
Additionally, if your dog’s bottom has been injured or has an infection, it may be licking its bottom out of discomfort or pain. Make sure you check for any signs of redness, inflammation, sores, or scabs on their skin before attempting to curb the behavior yourself.
Redirect Their Attention
If there isn’t an underlying medical issue causing your pup’s fascination with their backside, then you should start working on redirecting their attention away from that area whenever possible. One way to do this is by giving them plenty of exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day, so they don’t have much time left for such activities.
You can also give them toys and treats when they start licking themselves to distract them and reward them for stopping. Additionally, teach them commands such as “leave it” and “no lick,” which will remind them not to lick themselves when given these commands during playtime or outside walks.
Keep Your Dog Clean
Ensure that you bathe your pup regularly (at least once a month) with pet-safe shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for dogs so that their fur is clean and free of dirt or debris that may attract insects like fleas or ticks, which could cause itching leading them to lick themselves more frequently than usual.
Additionally, ensure that you brush their coat every day so that mats and tangles don’t form around their rear end, which could lead to further irritation and excessive grooming behavior. Finally, keep an eye out for changes in their behavior related to grooming habits; if anything seems off (i.e., more frequent licking than usual), make sure you take them to the vet right away just in case something more serious is going on behind the scenes.
Home Treatments to Stop Dogs From Licking Their Butts
Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the most effective natural remedies for helping to stop your dog from licking its butt is apple cider vinegar. This potent liquid contains antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can help soothe any itching or irritation on your pet’s skin. All you have to do is mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle and then spray the solution on your pup’s affected area. Do this twice daily until the itching stops.
Another excellent natural remedy for helping to stop your pup from licking its bum is yogurt! The probiotics in yogurt help reduce inflammation while preventing harmful bacteria from multiplying on your pet’s skin. Mix one tablespoon of plain yogurt into their food once a day and watch as their symptoms improve.
Oatmeal baths are another great way to soothe your pup’s skin and help prevent them from licking their behinds too much. To make an oatmeal bath, grind up ¼ cup of oats until they become a fine powder, and then add the powder into two quarts of warm water in a bathtub or large bowl. Allow your pup to soak in the mixture for 15 minutes twice weekly until the itching subsides.
The answer to why dogs lick their butts is often rooted in either medical issues or behavior that needs redirection. If the licking persists, take your pup to the vet for a check-up and rule out any underlying serious health problems before attempting any home treatments. Additionally, try redirecting their attention away from their backside to help break this behavior. With patience, understanding, and a little effort, you can help stop your pup from licking its butt for good.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dogs express their glands by licking?
If a dog suffers from anaphylactic spondylosis, it may be difficult for them, or they may scratch and bite excessively to express themselves naturally. Anal glands are two sacs at each side of the rectum that secrete water when animals defecate and sometimes when scared.
Why is my dog licking his bum more than usual?
The anal glands may become damaged or infiltrated by anal glands in a dog when the skin has been contaminated. Many dogs chew on the carpet and try to relieve it. If your dog suffers from an anal inflammatory disorder, it could cause diarrhea.
Is it normal for dogs to lick their private parts?
Is licking private parts ever acceptable? A moderate degree of licking is part of normal grooming behavior in the dog world. For example, a male or female dog may lick the genital area after urinating to clean the room.
Do dogs pick a favorite person?
Like their human pals, dogs are likely to choose a favorite person based on several factors. Some of these include the person's demeanor, interactions with the dog, and how well the person helps meet their basic needs.