Why Does My Dog Spinning In Circles On His Bottom

Why Does My Dog Spinning In Circles On His Bottom?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Scooting occurs when your dog rubs his butt against the floor and is almost always a sign of irritation. Anal sac problems, worms, flea infestations, rectal prolapse, etc., can cause this.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Why does My Dog Spinning In Circles On His Bottom?“.

Its almost humorous to watch your dog spinning in circles like crazy on its bottom until you realize he does not do that just for your amusement.

Why Does My Dog Spinning In Circles On His Bottom

Or his.

Dogs Spinning in Circles on the ground are anything but amused. Thats a sign that there is something wrong whether its serious or not.

I would not chastise the poor thing for his unusual behavior or for leaving a stinky trail of dirt on the carpet.

The spinning might be caused by something else. You should check that out. Keep these things in mind.

What is scooting?

Scooting occurs when your dog rubs his butt against the floor and is almost always a sign of irritation.

Anal sac problems worms flea infestations rectal prolapse etc. can cause this.

Lets examine each of these problems in more detail.

Anal sac problems

It is the most common cause of your dog dragging and rubbing his anus on the floor.

Movements such as these can provide some relief from the irritation and itching caused by anal sac problems.

Two anal glands are located on each side of the anus in dogs.

Since they are located on the inside you cannot see them if you look at your dogs behind because they are the size of a grape.

Dogs use these glands to communicate with each other by releasing smelly fatty compounds.

There are a few drops of smelly substances released into the air every time a dog defecates. 

Anal sacs are the natural way for dogs to express themselves.

He runs into problems when he is unable to do this and the glands become impacted. 

Anal sac problems generally cause the following symptoms:

  • Scooting
  • A fishy odor emanates from the dogs buttocks
  • Licking of the anal area excessively
  • Bleeding or swelling in the anal region
  • Leaks from the anal sacs at random

When the dogs anal glands are not working properly you will notice it. Now you must decide what to do.

Express the dog’s anal glands

Assist the dog in expressing his anal glands.

The procedure can be done at home if your dog trusts you and you know the procedure.

It is not a good idea to experiment with expressing the glands of a dog who has an irritating behind.

You should take him to a vet even though it might cost around $100. 

A vet may also prescribe antibiotics if there is an infection present.

Additionally warm compresses can relieve pain and reduce irritation. 

Improve your dog’s diet

Normal well-formed stools play a key role in allowing the anal glands to express themselves naturally.

If the stool is firm enough it will exert pressure on the sacs to release a few drops of fluid when it passes through the anus.

Dogs with loose stools cannot empty their anal sacs resulting in inflammation and irritation. In order to prevent such problems in the future you should increase your dogs dietary fiber intake.

Fecal contamination

If the anal area has been contaminated with feces a dog might resort to scooting.

A severe episode of diarrhea usually triggers this.

It is possible for feces to get trapped in the hairs on a dogs bottom. 

Calming your dog is easy.

Simply bathe him and thoroughly clean the matted area on his butt.

Taking a bath might not be appealing when he is already annoyed by the irritation but he will feel much better afterward.

The dogs hairs on his behind can be trimmed.

After cleaning his bottom take a good look at it. Its a sure sign that the dog has been infected if its red and swollen or shows signs of puss.

If you do not see any improvement within 24 hours you should take him to the vet. You can apply an antiseptic ointment.

Most likely the veterinarian will prescribe oral antibiotics for the dog.

Only use ointments that are approved for use by veterinarians. When he is bothered by the irritation his behind will be licked obsessively and he will ingest the ointment. 


In most cases the tapeworm is to blame.

By swallowing fleas containing tapeworm eggs dogs can become infected with tapeworms.

When tapeworms mature individual segments also known as proglottids are passed with the stool.

Each segment is 1-3 mm long and looks like a grain of rice.

The following is a brief description of what anusworms look like. You may notice them wiggling around your dogs anus.

Scooting is the only way to provide some relief to a dog during such situations. 

A quick bath will make him feel better especially if you concentrate on the anal area.

Deworming medication should also be given to the dog. Take into account the various flea-control options available such as pills and topical medications in the long run. 

It is important to remember that fleas can cause an allergic reaction that will result in skin irritation anywhere on your body including your bottom.

Rectal prolapse

As it sounds this refers to a portion of the rectum protruding into the anal opening. The cause of rectal prolapse is digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation.

Each of these conditions puts stress on a dogs rectum resulting in a cylindrical mass protruding from the anus. The dog needs to be taken to the vet as soon as possible.

A complicated case may require stitches or even full surgery for the dog 

A soft diet will also be recommended by the veterinarian to avoid straining the dog. 

Why does my Dog Spin in Circles while Pooping? Why Does My Dog Keep Spinning in Circles?

A child who scoots is a sign of a problem in the ankle area while a child who spins in circles is almost always having behavioral issues.

Pet owners know how frustrating it is when a dog spins in circles trying to find a good spot for a poop.

Theres nothing wrong with that and its not meant to drive you nuts.

In order to determine whether the area is safe a dog walks in a circle and sniffs the ground.

Since he is in a vulnerable position when squatting he must search for predators or other hidden dangers.

Furthermore by flattening the grass in his chosen spot he makes sure the feces hes about to deposit there can be seen from a distance marking his territory. 

The same is true for many dogs’ bedtime rituals.

When your pet stomps on his blanket and spins in circles he is not being fussy.

Basically its the same – making sure he is able to get some shuteye.

As if you were going around the house at night making sure the windows are closed and the door locked.

Why is my senior dog walking in circles?

When a dog starts walking in circles it could indicate that its brain function is declining. 

Cognitive dysfunction in dogs is also characterized by:

  • Feeling disorientated
  • Disturbances while sleeping
  • Incontinence
  • Making strange noises

The vet might prescribe medication to slow down the inevitable decline of the dogs mental condition but there is no cure for this age-related condition. 

Write down everything relevant about this new and strange behavior you observe on your dog for a couple of days.

There are times when dogs spin in a tight circle but sometimes they walk in a very wide circle as wide as the room or the garden will allow it and the pattern might not be obvious.

Another sign of anxiety is the behavior of spinning in circles and this behavior is much more prevalent among aging pets.

A veterinarian should be consulted.

It is important to look for ways to combat the underlying problem in such circumstances as well as using anti-anxiety medication. Bored dogs are more likely to experience anxiety.

If this is the case you should increase your dogs exercise sessions and provide more mental stimulation. By giving him a big bone to chew on you can provide him with mental stimulation and relieve his anxiety.

Additionally you can look for intelligent feeders that make him sweat to get to the treats. 

The confusion caused by their declining physical abilities such as losing their sense of smell or hearing can cause anxiety attacks in senior dogs.

Walking in circles and vestibular problems

The dog may be suffering from vestibular problems if it walks in circles.

In order for a dog to maintain balance it has a vestibular system in its inner ear.

A dog can develop the canine vestibular disease at any age but older pets are more likely to suffer from it. The condition is caused by inner ear infections certain drugs trauma injury or tumors. 

The following symptoms are associated with the canine vestibular disease:

  • Loss of balance
  • Feeling disorientated
  • The head tilts
  • An irregular jerking movement of the eye

The dog needs to be examined by a veterinarian.

Infections can be treated with antibiotics but injuries to the head or tumors may require surgery to fix. 


First you need to examine your dogs anal region if you notice he is scooting.

Any type of swelling or irritation should be observed.

It is most likely that his strange behavior is caused by anal sac problems in which case you will need to have his glands expressed.

There will be an infection present if the dog needs antibiotics.

Dogs that walk in circles without scooting may have canine cognitive dysfunction common in older pets anxiety or vestibular disease.

This is not a disease if the dogs spinning around is strictly related to him trying to do his business. You just have to put up with it. Its just how dogs are. 

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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