My dog ​​licks his anus a lot - Causes

Personal hygiene

Dogs lick their anuses as part of their daily grooming routine . When a dog defecates, small fecal debris may remain on the skin near the anus and the dog uses its tongue to remove these debris and clean the area. If you notice that your dog licks his anus a lot and smells bad, check the area in case he is too dirty and needs your help.

While a dog’s anus licking behavior is generally normal, there are some signs that may indicate that there is an underlying medical problem that requires immediate attention. Some signs that could indicate a medical problem include:

  • If your dog licks his butt excessively or compulsively , to the point that he feels pain or causes skin lesions.
  • If your dog exhibits other symptoms , such as weight loss, vomiting, or diarrhea, it could indicate a larger health problem.
  • If your dog has difficulty walking or sitting due to discomfort or pain.
  • If your dog has difficulty defecating or urinating.
  • If your dog has behavioral changes , such as increased aggression or irritability.

In general, if your dog only licks his anus occasionally and doesn’t seem to have any health problems, there is no cause for concern. However, if your dog compulsively licks his anus or exhibits other symptoms such as itching, redness, or bleeding in the anal area, it is important to consult your veterinarian for a thorough evaluation and possible treatment.

Sometimes dogs lick their anus because they feel discomfort or itching in that area. This can be due to a variety of factors, including infestations with parasites such as fleas or ticks, skin irritations, or allergies . This causes discomfort to the dog, which is normal, so if the problem persists it is advisable to consult a specialist.

Additionally, some dog breeds are more susceptible to skin and coat problems , which can cause itching and irritation in the anal area. These breeds include the French bulldog , dachshund or dachshund, and cocker spaniel , to name a few. In these cases, the guardian may need to take preventive measures such as periodic coat maintenance and the use of specific shampoos.

My dog licks his anus a lot - Causes - Itching or discomfort


Some dogs may lick their own butts simply out of boredom or stress . In these cases, it is important to identify the cause of the stress and try to resolve it, for example by increasing physical exercise or providing more play activities.

Gastrointestinal disorders

In some cases, dogs lick their butts due to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or constipation . When a dog has diarrhea, there may be a discharge of fluid from the rectum that can irritate the skin near the anus, causing itching or discomfort. Likewise, constipation can cause pressure on your dog’s anal glands, which can cause itching or discomfort.

On the other hand, in both cases there may be traces of fecal matter stuck to the skin or hair around the anus, which will also lead the dog to lick itself to remove them.

Tumor perianal

In rare cases, dog butt licking behavior may be a sign of a more serious health problem, such as inflammation of the colon or a perianal tumor . If your dog continues to lick his butt compulsively or excessively, you may need to take him to the vet for a thorough examination, as these problems do not always manifest themselves with physical signs such as a lump.

There are several types of perianal tumors and among the most common symptoms are persistent licking of the area, pain, itching, bleeding and even ulceration.

anal inflammation

Anal inflammation can be caused by several factors, including feeding problems, bacterial or parasitic infections, and allergies . The dog licks his anus a lot to relieve the discomfort and irritation he is feeling due to one of these causes. Unfortunately, the dog can make the situation worse if it continues licking the area because it could cause wounds or infect existing ones, so it is best to go to a veterinarian to find the best solution.

Full perianal glands

Dogs have two small anal glands on the sides of the anus that secrete a pungent, odorous fluid. This fluid is normally expelled during defecation, but sometimes it can build up and cause discomfort. In these cases, the dog licks its butt to try to empty the glands , but it can also drag it along the ground. In addition, it is common to notice a bad smell.

At your veterinary center they will explain how to properly empty your dog’s anal glands and how often to prevent this from happening again. 


Not only external parasites such as fleas or ticks can cause a dog to scratch and lick their anus, some internal parasites, such as intestinal worms , can cause anal itching and discomfort. In these cases, the dog licks its anus to try to relieve the symptoms, drags its butt on the ground and, sometimes, we can see grains of rice in its feces.

It is advisable to go to the veterinarian to examine the dog and determine if it has parasites and what type. This will require a physical examination in search of external parasites and an analysis of the feces to find out if there are internal parasites. Once the parasite is found, the professional will determine the best treatment. In addition, it is necessary to carry out an adequate deworming schedule to avoid future infestations.

neurological problems

In rare cases, a dog may lick its butt due to neurological problems such as a spinal cord injury or nervous system disease . We repeat, these are isolated cases, but it is still advisable to visit a specialist.

What to do if your dog licks his anus a lot?

If your dog licks his anus a lot, it is important to identify the underlying cause to prevent or treat any health problems, of course if they exist, since we have seen that this behavior can be part of his daily grooming routine without requiring a problem.

Below we share some actions you can take if you notice that your dog licks his butt frequently:

  • Vet Visit : If you suspect a health problem, it is important to take your dog to the vet for an evaluation. Your veterinarian can perform a complete physical examination and recommend laboratory tests to determine the cause of your dog’s behavior.
  • Keep the anus area clean : If your dog licks his butt because there is dirt or feces, it is important to keep the area clean. This can be done with a damp cloth or dog wipes. Additionally, trimming the hair around your dog’s anus can help keep the area clean and prevent the buildup of feces.
  • Change the diet : If your dog licks his anus due to digestive problems, the cause may lie in his diet. Your veterinarian can recommend the diet that best suits your dog’s needs.
  • Exercise : Exercise can help prevent constipation and improve your dog’s overall health. Additionally, physical activity can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which can lead to this behavior.
  • Use natural products : There are natural products, such as coconut oil or chamomile, that can help soothe irritation and inflammation in your dog’s anus area. However, it is important to consult your veterinarian before using any product.

In short, if your dog is constantly licking his anus, it is important to identify the underlying cause and take appropriate action. In many cases, a visit to the veterinarian can help resolve the problem and prevent complications.

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