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As dog parents, we all know our pups can perform some pretty repulsive displays of behavior (especially when we have company over). And a dog licking its butt is arguably one of the worst. Although you may want to avert your eyes, this behavior could indicate a health concern that requires your attention.
- Why Do Dogs Lick Their Butt?
- Remedies To Relieve Itching
- Is This Your Dog? (Video)
- Why Do Dogs Lick Everything?
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When To Consult Your Vet
If your dog’s butt is red and inflamed and he won’t stop licking it excessively, you should consult your veterinarian. It’s never a good idea to “self-diagnose” a potential health problem with your pup.
Impacted or infected anal glands are a fairly common cause of anal irritation in dogs. Healthy anal glands, or sacs, continually fill up with fluid that gets expelled every time your dog poops. But often, these glands get clogged leading to a bacterial infection or abscesses that can become quite uncomfortable for your pet.
Besides licking his anal area, you may also notice him dragging his butt along the ground to help relieve the itching and discomfort. Other telltale signs include red skin around his anus, bleeding or pus draining from around his anus.
If your dog has one or more of these symptoms, take him to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet will need to expel these fluids manually and possibly prescribe treatment for an infection. In the worst cases, impacted anal glands can rupture, which then require surgical removal.
Internal parasites that can live in your dog’s intestines, such as hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms and whipworms, may be the cause of anal irritation. They can also cause other health issues, including vomiting, diarrhea, nutritional deficiencies and anemia.
You may also find segments of these worms around your dog’s anus and in his stool. Your vet can test a fecal sample and then prescribe treatment to kill the specific internal parasite that tests positive.
External parasites like mites, fleas and ticks can also cause your dog’s anal region to become itchy. Fortunately, there are topical treatments that you can use to get rid of these pests. See our article about the best flea and tick products.
Food or contact allergies could also be the culprit. However, if your dog is suffering from these kinds of allergies, it’s likely that he’ll lick or chew many other itchy parts of his body in addition to his rear area.
If you suspect that your dog has food-related allergies, consult your vet with all the symptoms he’s experiencing. If he does have food allergies, you might want to consider a raw food diet or check out our reviews of the best dog food delivery services, some of which deliver customized, allergen-free dog food to your home.
Although not as common, it’s also possible that your dog has developed a fungal or bacterial skin infection in his anal area. This can happen if the skin around his butt is punctured or if fecal matter remains on his skin after he poops. Unfortunately, excessive licking to clean a wound or remove fecal matter makes the problem worse and can lead to skin infections.
See the 7 most common dog skin problems to learn more about skin allergies, external parasites and other causes.
These over-the-counter remedies can help relieve itchy skin and hot spots that result from excessive licking and chewing. We strongly recommend checking with your vet before starting at-home treatment, especially since there are many possible health condition indicated by this behavior.
King Kanine’s King Kalm Soothe is a CBD-infused anti-itch spray that does a great job relieving dermal abrasions, hot spots and dry, cracked skin. It also helps reduce inflammation and protect against infections. This non-toxic spray includes aloe vera, tea tree oil, chamomile and other all-natural ingredients.
Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Premium Itch Relief Spray provides dogs and cats medicated analgesic and anti-inflammatory relief from inflammation, itchy skin, hot spots and other skin irritations. It contains lidocaine and hydrocortisone to reduce itching, redness and swelling and allantoin to help heal wounds.
Here’s one owner’s video of their darling dog’s daily butt licking. Remind you of someone in your home?
Dogs love to lick anything, from themselves, other pets, people, their bedding and toys and even your furniture. Why are they licking fiends? Check out our article about why dogs lick if you’ve ever wondered why they’re so lick-crazy.
What crazy things does your dog love to lick?
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