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Why Does My Dog Keep Looking At Their Back End? 11 Reasons

Why Does My Dog Keep Looking At Their Back End

Is your dog obsessed with their back end?

Do they scoot like there’s no tomorrow?

They might be saying, “Halp me, hooman!”

Your dog’s back end probably wasn’t on today’s to-do list of yours.

But what else can pet parents do if their dog is suffering?

Keep on reading to discover:

  • The best defense against fleas.
  • 5 weird signs of anal gland problems.
  • Why you shouldn’t give your dog milk.
  • 1 mistake people make before getting a dog.
  • The easiest way to deal with internal parasites. 
  • 11 reasons why your dog keeps looking at their back end.
  • And many more…

Why does my dog keep looking at their back end?

Your dog keeps looking at their back end because there might be something wrong with it. Anal gland problems are the most common reason. But it can be gas, constipation, allergies, or hip and skin problems. Parasites like fleas and worms can cause itchiness in your dog’s back end.

11 reasons why your dog keeps looking at their back end

#1: Anal gland problems 

Have you noticed how dogs greet each other?

They smell each other’s bums! 

Why do dogs do this?

Dogs have two anal glands on each side of their backend.

These glands produce a really bad-smelling oily liquid.

The liquid is like their own individual fingerprint. The scent is unique to each dog.

And the dogs use this scent to make friends or mark territory.

The glands normally work on their own to expel the liquid. 

It takes place during pooping for your pooch.

The act of pooping applies pressure on the glands. 

And the glands release the liquid. 

It also lubricates. Making pooping easier for your dog. 

But there are times when problems happen.

Anal sac disease

This is a very painful disease that can lead to your dog’s surgery if left untreated.

And it happens because of these:

  • Soft poop.
  • Days of diarrhea.
  • Too much anal sac liquid production.

Your dog has to release the liquid from their anal sacs regularly. 

But there are times when this does not happen. 

The liquid accumulates in the anal glands. 

The result?

The anal sac becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

Leading to inflammation and abscesses.

Anal sac infections happen in 3 stages:

Anal sac impaction

The liquid builds up in the glands. Over time it thickens.

Because of this, the glands swell up. 

It becomes difficult to empty through the usual way.

Anal sac inflammation

This is the second stage of anal sac disease.

It happens if the liquid continues to pile up in the glands.

The liquid thins out and fills with pus. 

Infection is very possible at this stage.

Because bacteria can grow inside the gland.

Abscess formation

An abscess forms in the last stage of this disease. 

Your dog’s anal glands are pockets of pus.

The glands will keep getting more swollen and painful.

And you may even see a red-brown liquid coming from the gland sac.

In most cases, swollen glands explode out of the dog’s skin.

The explosion will make a literal hole on the side of your dog’s butt.

All these descriptions make anal sac disease sound so scary.

So read on to learn how to keep your pooch away from this disease.

“How can I prevent my dog from having anal sac disease?”

You can prevent anal sac disease by observing your dog:

According to The Kennel Club, these are the 5 weird signs to look out for:

Note: If your dog displays the signs above, take them to the vet for a rectal examination. It’s always best to seek help from a licensed professional before doing anything by yourself. 

#2: A little blocked down there

Is your doggo struggling when they poop?

Do they want to poop, but it takes a long time?

Then your dog may have constipation.

These are some of the common causes of constipation:

  • Poor diet.
  • Dehydration.
  • Lack of fiber.
  • Intestinal blockages.
  • Not enough exercise.

“How can I know if my doggo has constipation?”

You will know that your dog has constipation when they have:

  • Blood in their poop.
  • Hard, pebble-shaped poop.
  • Mucus mixed with their stool.
  • Trouble with pooping or don’t poop.

Most signs of constipation disappear within a few days.

It can also be solved with a fiber-rich diet and more exercise.

But take your dog to the vet if the signs continue to happen.

Your dog may have chronic constipation.

And this is dangerous.

Your dog’s poop becomes so hard.

It blocks their intestines. So your dog can’t poop at all.

#3: Painful gas

Dog Keeps Looking At Their Back End Due To Painful Gas

Does your dog keep staring at their back end?

Your dog might need to let out a little air.

Dogs pass gas, too! 

How does this happen, you ask?

Diet changes

Significant changes in diet cause gas in your dog. 

Eating spoiled food also causes gas. 

It also happens when you feed the wrong type of food to your doggo:

  • Peas.
  • Soybeans.
  • Spicy foods.
  • Dairy products.

Don’t feed your dog these foods.

Their stomachs cannot properly digest them.

And these foods cause gas to form in their colon.

“What do I do if my dog passes gas often?”

Consult your vet.

They can help you form the proper diet for your dog.

Your vet may recommend removing the “extras” from your dog’s diet.

Extras mean anything that isn’t part of their meals, like: 

  • Treats.
  • Leftovers.
  • Poop (if they eat it).

Give your dog two weeks on this simple diet and see if your dog passes less gas.

If not, PetMD recommends these for your dog:

  • A novel ingredient diet.
  • Probiotic supplements.
  • Dog food made for sensitive stomachs.
  • Products made with high-quality meat.

What’s a “novel ingredient diet”?

This is food specially formulated with uncommon ingredients.

These ingredients aren’t present in commercial dog food.

And this makes it unlikely for your dog to have eaten it. 

It also makes it easier for your vet to rule out food allergens.

Novel ingredient diets include:

  • Fish.
  • Duck.
  • Venison.
  • Kangaroo.
  • Rabbit meat.
  • Vegetarian ingredients.

#4: Hip problems

Pain may be the reason why your dog looks at their back end.

The most common causes for hip problems are:

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia happens when the hip bone doesn’t grow properly.

It’s a genetic disease common in large breeds.

Other factors also affect it, such as:

  • Diet.
  • Exercise.
  • Hormones.
  • Growth rate.
  • Environment.
  • Muscle mass.


Arthritis is the inflammation of joints.

It happens when the cartilage can’t cushion the joint.

The bones rub together, resulting in inflammation.

Arthritis can happen to dogs, no matter their age.

But it’s usually observed in:

  • Obese dogs.
  • Athletic dogs.
  • Large breeds.
  • Senior pooches.
  • Dogs with hip or elbow dysplasia.

“How to find out if my dog has hip problems?”

Aside from looking at the painful site, your dog will have:

  • A limp.
  • Swollen joints.
  • Stiffness in getting up.
  • Difficulty standing, climbing, jumping, or lying down.

Hip dysplasia is usually diagnosed when dogs are still puppies.

But arthritis can happen at any age.

“What do I do if my dog has signs of hip problems?”

The best thing to do is consult with your vet.

They can prescribe the proper medications and treatments.

Medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These reduce pain and inflammations caused by the loose hip bones and joints rubbing together.

Dogs can also take dietary supplements like:

  • CBD oil.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Glucosamine supplements. 

Veterinarians recommend these diet supplements to help relieve pain and reduce damage to the joints. 

According to this study, dogs will need to have diets to control weight and a low-impact exercise plan.

A controlled diet keeps your dog’s weight in check and keeps the pressure off the joints.

While a low-impact exercise plan such as underwater treadmill therapy allows your dog movement without trauma to the joints.

#5: Intestinal parasites

Intestinal parasites live inside your dog’s intestines.

These parasites get their food from your poor pooch.

There are many kinds of intestinal parasites.

Your dog may have tapeworms if they keep looking at their back end.

Dogs can get tapeworms through fleas. The tapeworm babies from the fleas pass to your dog.

Mature tapeworms then exit through your dog’s bottom.

Your doggo’s butt gets itchy.

They may do butt-scooting. 

Or try to lick or bite their butt.

“What’s the easiest way to deal with internal parasites?”

Regular dewormings are the best way to keep your dog safe.

Puppies are hit the worst with intestinal parasites. But it doesn’t mean your adult doggo is safe.

Keep your pooch updated on their dewormings. 

It keeps the parasites far away from your doggo.

Further reading: Why do dogs arch their backs?

#6: Something is stuck

Sometimes looking at their back end is a cry for help!

“Momma! Something’s stuck on my butt!”


Have you ever gone on a walk with your dog and noticed:

  • Constant glancing at their back end.
  • Frustrated noises from them.
  • Attempting to bite their rear.

Your dog’s back end may have picked up something on the walk.

A piece of poop might still be there.

Plant burrs may have attached near their back end. 

There may be a scratch on their skin from sharp rocks or twigs.

The skin on the back end is sensitive.

And your dog can feel every little discomfort.

Check your dog if they display signs of being uncomfortable. 

It will help you determine if the problem’s serious or not.

#7: Fleas

Fleas are nasty little things.

They’re flightless insects that prey on mammals.

They suck the life out of your dog. Literally.

Fleas are external parasites that carry diseases and worms. 

Definitely not what you want on your dog.

“How do I get rid of fleas?”

There are a lot of anti-flea medications for dogs. Here are some examples of these:

  • Collars.
  • Sprays.
  • Flea dips.
  • Oral pills.
  • Powders.
  • Shampoos.
  • Topical medications.

Most are incredibly effective in keeping fleas away.

There is such a wide selection of flea medications.

You might wonder, “What is the best for my dog?”.

Ask your vet for recommendations. They can tell you what works best for your dog’s breed.

Some ingredients in medications can cause skin allergies in your dog. Others may have side effects. 

A few oral pills can cause vomiting and dizziness.

Your vet can help you decide on the safest and most effective medication.

But there’s another reason why fleas are nasty.

Read on and take a look at reason #8.

#8: Flea allergy dermatitis

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Fleas feed off the blood of your pooches.

But did you know?

Flea saliva can cause flea allergy dermatitis in some dogs.

Flea allergy dermatitis is an allergic reaction.

Your dog can be allergic to the proteins found in flea saliva.

Such a tiny thing can cause your dog’s skin to itch.

The urge to itch can last up to 2 weeks even after treatment.

What are the signs of flea allergy dermatitis?

The most common signs in your pooch are biting and scratching:

  • The groin area.
  • At the base of their tail.
  • Around their back end area.

You can also see hotspots and secondary skin infections.

Hotspots are pockets of inflamed skin.

And pus comes out when your dog scratches these.

Hotspots are usually found on your dog’s:

  • Hips.
  • Legs.
  • Head.

Mites cause secondary skin infections.

Mites are microorganisms that live on our dog’s skin.

A healthy skin barrier prevents mites from causing infections.

But flea allergy dermatitis destroys your dog’s skin barrier.

It causes mites to multiply and cause more itching for your dog.

What’s the best way to treat this allergy?

Sadly, there is no magic cure-all for flea allergy dermatitis.

But if your dog has other forms of allergies like:

  • Dust.
  • Mold.
  • Pollen.
  • Food ingredients.

Then your dog has a higher chance of developing flea allergy dermatitis.

The MSD Vet Manual states that there are two sure ways to prevent FAD.

First, you have to get rid of fleas in your dog using topical or oral medications.

Next, remove fleas from your pet’s environment using insecticides.

It may be necessary to do the treatments more than once.

Be thorough as possible in destroying the fleas.

This stops current infestations.

And prevents future ones. 

Check out this article: Why do dogs scratch themselves?

#9: Skin infections

Skin infections are skin problems with an underlying cause. 

Reasons for skin infections are: 

  • Fungus. 
  • Bacteria.
  • Allergies.
  • Parasites.

Skin infections can be tricky to treat by yourself.

The best thing to do is consult your vet if you find the following on your dog’s skin:

  • Lumps.
  • Bumps.
  • Rashes.
  • Dry skin.
  • Hair loss.
  • Dandruff.
  • Redness.
  • Skin sores.

Which dog breeds are prone to skin infections?

According to PetMD, these dog breeds are prone to skin infections:

Cocker spaniels get infections around their ears and lips.

Their long ears and heavy jowls promote yeast and bacteria growth.

Poodles may inherit the hereditary condition granulomatous sebaceous adenitis.

This condition affects their oil glands. It causes hair loss and itching. 

Both lead to secondary infections.

American Bulldogs can have environmental and food allergies.

They can also have a genetic defect called canine ichthyosiform dermatoses.

The symptoms show during puppyhood:

  • Red and scaly skin.
  • Secondary yeast infections.
  • Itching around the ears and between the paws. 

Most breeds that are prone to cAD are also prone to skin infections.

What is cAD?

cAD or canine Atopic Dermatitis is your dog’s reaction to allergens.

Your dog may inhale, eat, or absorb them through the skin. 

The result is itchy skin and rashes.

Dogs with cAD have an immunoglobulin deficiency.

Immunoglobulin is a protein that your body produces to help fight sickness. 

The German Shepherd is one breed highly vulnerable to cAD.

This study reveals that a novel gene in GSDs may be the cause of their cAD. The gene isn’t found in other dog breeds.

The itching and rashes present in German Shepherds lead to bacterial skin infections.

Another breed is the Labrador Retriever.

An example is Hank. He reacted to all 43 allergens in a blood allergy test.

Before going to the vet, Hank scratched so much that his skin was full of scabs and hot spots.

His coat was thin and patchy. His eyelashes were non-existent.

It took 7 years of treatment to get Hank’s coat and skin healthy. It includes:

  • Allergy relief pills.
  • Omega-3 supplements.
  • Twice a week allergy shots.
  • Medicated shampoo baths twice a week.
  • Anti-bacterial and fungal spray twice a week.
  • Soothing solution spray to restore natural oils.

Note: Not doing enough research is the 1 mistake people make when getting a dog. It doesn’t mean that breeds prone to skin problems are less loveable. But it will help to know what skin infections are common in your dog’s breed. And how to prevent or treat them.

#10: Skin irritation 

Skin irritation is a possible reason why your dog keeps looking at their back end.

It’s the skin’s physical reaction to external stimuli. 

It often appears as red, swollen, or itchy skin.

Which is located in the area where the irritant touched your doggo’s skin.

Continued irritation can lead to secondary skin infections. 

Most skin irritations in dogs happen because the skin reacts to:


It may be fun to play in the sun. But keep an eye on your pooch.

Dogs sweat through their paws. This is because they have glands there that produce sweat.

But the glands don’t do all the work.

Your doggo pants to keep their temperature at a normal level.

But there are times when it isn’t enough.

When that happens, your dog is in danger of heat rash or skin fold pyoderma.

It happens in dogs with lots of skin folds. 

The skin folds trap heat and moisture.

And the skin gets irritated when it rubs together.


The coming of summer brings with it allergies for hoomans.

And their dogs. 

These are called environmental allergies.

Another type is food allergy.

Dogs can develop allergies to the proteins of their diet.

Dog Allergies
CausesItchy skin onCausesItchy skin on
– Grass
– Pollen
– Dust mites
– Face
– Feet
– Chest
– Stomach
– Beef
– Eggs
– Chicken
– Dairy
– Wheat
– Vegetables (rare)
– Face
– Feet
– Ears
– Anus


Have you noticed red areas on your dog after spraying dog perfume?

Maybe a perfume ingredient irritated their skin.

This can also happen with topical medications.

Or soaps and cleaning products. 

How to treat chemical skin irritation?

Take your dog to the vet if they display signs of skin irritation.

Your vet will perform tests to identify the irritant.

If the irritant is identified:

  1. Remove the irritant.
  2. Bathe your dog with hypoallergenic shampoo.
  3. Keep the dog away from the irritant.

It may take a few weeks for your doggo to get healthy skin.

But it’s important to be patient with medications and treatment.

Reading tip: Top 10 Reasons Why Dogs Act Like Something Is Biting Them

#11: Your doggo just needs back scratches

A dog’s back end isn’t a part they can reach easily.

It’s an itch they cannot scratch.

So what do they do?

They ask their beloved hooman to do it, of course.

“Can you scratch my back, please?”

Then your pup pairs it with those puppy eyes.

And you’re in for a back scratch session with your doggo.

Should you be worried when your dog keeps looking at their back end

Yes, if your dog keeps looking at their back end all the time. Check if they also rub their butt on the ground.

This can be anal gland problems, parasites, or skin infections.

Anal gland problems

The anal glands of your dog are located at the sides of their anus.

The glands produce a liquid that functions as scent markers.

It also functions as a lubricator for their stool.

Impaction can happen if your dog can’t express the anal liquid.

This can happen when your dog has diarrhea. 

There isn’t enough pressure on the glands to express the liquid.

If the area is swollen or red, there may be an impaction.

Take your dog to the vet for a proper medical examination.


Tapeworms can cause your dog’s back end to itch.

Mature tapeworms exit through your dog’s anus.

Parasites can get inside your dog without proper prevention medication.

Keep your dog’s deworming updated.

Skin Infections 

These happen because of:

  • Allergies.
  • Parasites.
  • Fungus or bacteria growth.

If your dog displays signs of skin infection:

  • Lumps.
  • Dandruff.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Scaly skin.
  • Red irritated skin.

It’s best to take them to the vet. 

The vet will determine the cause of the infection.

This will help them decide the best medications for your dog. 

And be ready. 

Skin infections can take a long time to heal. In some cases, it’s a lifelong treatment.