If you have a dog, at some point you’ve likely seen him sit down and drag his bottom along the carpet or grass. There can be a number of causes for this rather embarrassing behavior commonly referred to as “scooting,” but usually the culprit is your dog’s anal sacs. Dogs have anal sacs or “scent glands” on either side of the anus. These glands produce a strong-smelling oily substance used to mark territory and communicate with other dogs, as well as to provide lubrication when your dog passes stool. When all is working properly, the pressure of a bowel movement causes the anal sacs to empty, releasing a small amount of the substance. The glands can also empty spontaneously, especially when your dog is anxious or under stress such as at the vet’s office.
If your dog isn’t able to empty his anal glands, for example if the stool is too soft, then the glands may become impacted causing your dog discomfort and irritation, and sometimes an abscess may even form. Signs that your dog could have impacted anal sacs include a strong, foul odor, excessive biting or licking around the rectum, and the dreaded scooting. Once your dog’s anal glands become impacted, you will need to bring your dog to the groomer’s or vet’s office to have them expressed. If you’re very brave you can learn to express your dog’s anal glands yourself, but be warned that this will be a smelly task!
One way to prevent anal sac problems and scooting behavior is to ensure proper stool consistency with a fiber-containing product such as Pet Naturals Scoot Bars. Scoot bars provide three sources of fiber: larch tree extract, digestion-resistant maltodextrin and pumpkin powder. These ingredients are designed to support healthy anal gland functioning and also provide immune, digestive and colonic support. Even better, Scoot Bars are a great-tasting duck flavored chewable bar that your dog will love; just give one chewable bar per 20 pounds daily.