My Dog Keeps Biting His Back End – How To Treat?


Seeing your dog constantly chewing and licking its backside can be troubling for any animal caregiver. You might frequently catch yourself wondering – if my dog doesn’t have fleas or ticks, then why does my dog continually bite and lick at his rear?

The reasons for a dog licking its back end can range from skin issues to unexpressed dog’s anal glands. It could also be due to food allergies or environmental allergies. 

Let us dive into all the reasons why dogs lick their back ends.

6 Reasons Why My Dog Keeps Biting His Back End

Here are the reasons behind chewing or licking the dog’s anus.

1. Dog’s Anal Gland Infection

This is one of the most common reasons why your dog may scoot or dogs lick or bite its anus. Dog’s anal glands consist of two sacs on either side of the anus.

These glands get filled with water, feces, and other materials and they need to be expressed from time to time. This is especially the case if your dog’s diet causes loose or watery stools.

Ideally, dog’s stools need to be hard and small. That way, they can express the anal glands on their way out. Most dogs lick the anal sacs to express them as well.

If that isn’t the case and your dog is constantly having diarrhea or loose stools, then the glands are not expressed and need manual expression.

In some dogs, the anal glands become infected with bacteria. This causes the glands to swell causing pressure on the anal region. It may also result in itching sensation, pain, and burning.

To relieve that itch, your dog may scoot or bite or dog chewing or lick the dog’s anal glands

2. Food Allergies

Sometimes, dogs are allergic to certain ingredients in their food or treats. These could be certain grains or proteins. The result of these ingredients in your dog’s food is loose stools, diarrhea, and itchy skin or skin infection. Some dogs even suffer from flatulence, bloating, vomiting, etc.

Dietary allergies can cause your dog’s behind to get irritated and inflamed. This can cause them to constantly lick or chew the anal region to relieve that pain.

3. Environmental Allergies 

Environmental allergies tend to also cause anal itching and irritation in the dog’s anus region. Your pet may have sat on the grass or even on floors cleaned with chemical cleaners or detergents. This too could trigger dogs to lick the anal region due to skin infection. An allergic reaction may trigger skin irritation resulting in the dog chewing the infected anal glands.

4. External Parasites

Ticks, fleas, lice, and mange are some of the external parasites that can cause dog’s biting in the anus and subsequent skin infection. Ticks and fleas are very tiny and they can easily hide under the dog’s tail or anywhere on the dog’s coat. Flea bites and saliva around the anal glands can trigger skin infection in dog’s body.

5. Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal worms like hookworms, pinworms, and roundworms can sometimes remain in the dog’s feces and pet owners can see them on the dog’s anal gland region. These internal parasites appear like tiny grains of rice to the naked eye. These could cause itchy bum in dogs.

6. Boredom

We might not think much of this, but yes, a bored dog could inflict bites on its skin or indulge in excessive grooming behavior causing irritated skin around the dog’s butt. A dog that does not get exercise and is left alone at home may bite its tail to distract itself.

Also Read: Causes of Blood in Dog Stool

Why Is My Dog Biting the Base of His Tail but No Fleas?

A dog without fleas may bite its butt or own tail due to the following reasons:

  • Filled anal gland- as mentioned earlier, anal glands fill up from time to time and they need to be expressed or flushed. A rectal exam can show the same.
  • Hot spots – hot spots can be allergic reactions to food or other allergens. This can cause tail biting with other symptoms like blisters, redness, skin rashes, or inflamed skin, etc. on the dog’s skin.
  • Contact dermatitis – if your dog does not have fleas, it could have contact dermatitis due to chemical cleaners, detergents, harsh floor cleaners, etc.
  • To relieve pain – often dogs may try to relieve their pain for conditions like hip dysplasia or joint pain and that is normal behavior. This can trigger a change in the dog’s behavior.

How to Stop Dog Licking Its Bum?

Get your Dog’s Anal Sacs Flushed

It is easy to flush the sacs at home and many dogs cooperate, but if you’re not sure how to do that, take your dog to the vet’s office.

Ensure Healthy Bowel Movements

If the loose stool is the cause behind infected anal glands in your dog, please feed canned pumpkin to your dog. Vets recommend pumpkin puree to help regulate the stools and prevent diarrhea which is usually the cause of rectal gland issues in dogs. 

Prevent Contact Dermatitis and Treat Skin Infections

Eliminate dermatitis caused by flea saliva as most dogs are sensitive to the flea’s salivary proteins. Use flea and tick protection for your dog which can be in the form of collars, powders, sprays, shampoos, topical medication, or oral/chewable tablets. Remember, fleas can occur year round, so your dog needs protection year round too.

Switch your Dog to Hypoallergenic Diet

If allergies are causing the biting and chewing behavior, try switching to a grain-free hypoallergenic diet. You may also switch to home-cooked meals based on your vet’s advice.

Also read: Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach

Apply Topical Skin Cream

If your dog is chewing rear end, then apply some antibiotic anti-itch cream on the affected area once or twice a day.

FAQs – Infected Dog’s Anal Glands

Why is my dog biting the base of his tail but no fleas?

If your dog is biting the base of dog’s tail but you haven’t seen fleas, it may be due to infected anal glands or other skin problems like dermatitis, fleas, allergies caused by food or environmental allergens, etc.

How do I get my dog to stop biting his tail?

If switching your dog’s food, feeding pumpkin, and eliminating fleas do not stop your dog from biting its tail or dog is chewing rear end, please use an Elizabeth collar to prevent tail biting and excessive licking and other symptoms.

Why is my dog so itchy but has no fleas?

Most dogs that are itchy but have no fleas or ticks are allergic to their food or something in their environment. Try bathing your dog. Switch to a different food as per your vet’s advice. Apply some ointment to soothe the affected area. this usually gives relief for most dogs.

Why does my dog lick himself down there so much?

Vets advise for dog excessive licking their privates, it may have a bacterial or fungal infection or it could be due to sexual reasons. Unspayed and unneutered dogs tend to do it more. Please see your vet for treatment.

Can dogs express their own glands by licking?

Most dogs can express their own glands by scooting, dog’s butt licking, or during a bowel movement. If not, they may have a blockage or an infection that may prevent anal gland expression and cause anal gland problems.

Conclusion – Dog Keeps Biting Its Back End – How To Treat?

If you are wondering ‘why my dog keeps biting its back end’ then it could be due to anal gland issues, skin infections, allergies, or boredom. Pain can also be a cause of obsessive tail biting.

Get your dog anal gland issues sorted and schedule regular anal glands flushed at the vets. Prevent secondary skin infections and treat dog itchy skin right away. If the underlying cause of rear end biting is not clear, see take your dog to the veterinarian’s office for blood tests.

We hope this guide helps you find the answer to your problem.

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