French Bulldog Scooting & Bum Dragging: Causes & Solutions


french bulldog scooting

Seeing your Frenchie rubbing or dragging his bum on floor is momentarily comical; until you realise it’s your prized carpet underneath his butt! But what exactly does it mean when your French Bulldog is scooting across the floor?

Whether you call it tail scooting, carpet surfing, bum dragging, or the spinning shuffles, it can actually be a sign that something’s not quite right. Frenchies can’t reach their bums, so if there’s something wrong with their behind, scooting across the floor can be their only respite.

Why is my French Bulldog scooting? Frenchies will scoot and drag their bum on the floor for a number of different reasons. It could be an anal gland problem, allergy, parasites, infection, dirt, or just an itch. They cannot reach their own butt, so this is their way of relieving pain or discomfort in their butt.

Scooting can affect dogs of any age or gender. It’s just as common to see female French Bulldog scooting as it is male, and puppies can also drag their bums, shuffle, or start spinning in circles to get relief.

French Bulldog bum dragging and scooting causes

Below are the most common causes of scooting and butt dragging. The top 3 are the most common causes of scooting, and more than likely going to be one of these

french bulldog bum shuffle
Why your French Bulldog keeps dragging his or her bum on the floor could be a for a myriad of reasons.

However, there are other possibilities for French scooting and bum dragging too. If you can, take a look at the signs below as you might be able to do a quick diagnosis yourself before you visit the vets.

1. Anal sac / anal gland infection or impacting

Frenchies have anal glands on either side of their anus (they are about the size of grapes). Anal glands produce a smelly liquid that dogs use to mark territory and identify each other. When your dog defecates, a small amount of this fluid also secretes.

However, anal glands are prone to infection or can become impacted, becoming very painful. Impacting is the most common, where the glands become blocked. Possible infections and abbesses can develop if not treated.

When the anal glands become irritable, your French Bulldog will keep scooting his bum across the floor or over grass. They do this to relieve the itchiness where the anal glands might have swollen or become infected.

Symptoms

  • Butt scooting and dragging.
  • Nasty smell (can be described as fishy).
  • Constipation.

Treatment or prevention

  • Consult with your vet.
  • Anal glands can be expressed by a vet or owner.
  • More fiber added to your Frenchie’s diet.
  • Antibiotics if an infection.
  • Potential surgery in more serious cases.

It’s very common for Frenchies to have their anal glands become full and impacted. Many owners actually choose to express them manually rather than get a vet to do it. It’s a nasty job!

You can also buy a treat on that is designed to support healthy anal gland function, and in turn, stop your French Bulldog from rubbing his bum on the floor. They are called Scoot Bars on Amazon, containing pumpkin and larch tree extract.

2. Fecal contamination / something stuck on their butt

Your French Bulldog could be scratching their bum on the floor because of an itch or some fecal matter left behind which has then become dry and itchy. Frenchies cannot clean their own bum so butt dragging is the next best thing.

In many cases this cause of scooting will occur after your Frenchie has had diarrhea. Diarrhea can dry and cause irritation of the anus which needs to be itched or scratched the one way they know how.

Symptoms

  • Butt scooting and dragging.
  • Obvious fecal matter around the butt.

Treatment

  • Trim away any matted hair from the butt.
  • Clean with warm water and disposable pet-friendly wipes.

If your French Bulldogs is spinning on his bum and pulling himself along in the scooting position to remove fecal matter, you really don’t want this on your carpet!

3. Allergies

Another reason for your French Bulldog is scooting his bum could be an allergy. Frenchies are prone to many different allergy types including skin allergies, seasonal allergies, food allergies, or a reaction to an insect bite.

Tail-dragging across the carpet could be your Frenchie’s way of scratching his allergic bum, offering temporary respite to the rash or itch.

As there are so many possibilities to what the allergy could be, it’s tough to list out the symptoms to look for, so consult with your vet (as you should do with all scooting problems).

4. Parasites / worms

Moving onto the least common reasons for Frenchies dragging their butts, we now have possible parasites and worms. There are different types of parasite, including tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms.

Tapeworm and roundworm infections can occur if your Frenchie digests worm eggs found in fleas, animal feces, or eats an infected rodent. Hookworm infections occur by larvae entering through the skin in your Frenchie’s paws or mouth.

Symptoms

  • Butt scooting and dragging.
  • You will see small white worms that will wiggle around the anus.
  • Blood-tinged stools.
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss and change in appetite.

Treatment

  • Consult with your vet.
  • Oral or injected medication.

5. Skin, bladder, or UTI infections

Yeast and bacterial skin infections can also cause your Frenchie’s backside to itch. Infections of the bladder or urinary tract can also make your French Bulldog scoot along the floor to relieve the itchy and pain.

6. Painful wound or trauma

Your Frenchie could also be scooting and dragging after an injury. Injuries can occur whilst on walks or during play, and will often be un-noticed at first. Check for any visible cuts or scratches on your Frenchie’s hindquarters.

It could even be an internal injury, or even a possible tumor. If you see visible swelling around the anus, discharge, or redness contact your vet. 

7. Rectal prolapse

A more serious reason for floor bum scratching and scooting can be a rectal prolapse (read more on DogTime.com). It is more common in dogs under 6 months old so should be monitored if you have a French Bulldog puppy scooting. However, it’s not hugely common, so don’t worry too much.

As nasty as this sounds, it occurs when part of your Frenchie’s intestine comes out of the anus. It can occur after severe bouts of diarrhea or by constipation straining.

It’s simple enough to spot; you will see a fleshy mass sticking out of your dog’s butt. If you do this, call the vet immediately. It can be treated successfully with antibiotics or anti-parasitic drugs, manual manipulation, or surgery in more severe cases.

8. Behavioral or neurological problems

Lastly, it could be a behavioural issue or a neurological problem. Research has found that certain anxiety triggers can cause tail-chasing, with some brain problems leading to tingling and numbness in the Frenchie’s hindquarters.

I also read one website where a vet relayed seeing a French Bulldog bum shuffled incessantly until they lost weight.

On another forum a dog owner explained how their Frenchie started spinning in circles on his bum and scooting after a spinal operation. 

How to stop a French Bulldog scooting on the carpet

The only way you can stop your Frenchie scratching his bum on the floor is to treat the problem. Once the irritation stops, your Frenchie will stop scooting (unless it’s behavioural or neurological). 

  1. Take a look at the butt to check for anything unusual.
  2. If you see feces, clean it up.
  3. If you see anything else unsual seek the advice of your vet.
  4. If your Frenchie hasn’t had worming treatment, make sure they do.
  5. If it’s an anal sac problem, they will need to be expressed.
  6. Never scold or punish them for scooting – this doesn’t work with Frenchies!

Dog scooting treatments

There are also some remedies and treatments you can buy, but these are all designed to help with anal gland problems. They can only possibly help if this the reason for Frenchie is scooting. Here are two I found on Amazon.

Probiotic supplements

Either supplements or food that are fortified with probiotics are said to help empty dog’s anal glands easier, reducing irritation.

One of the more popular brands is Purina who sell their FortiFlora product. You can read the Amazon reviews here.

Scoot bars

I mentioned these earlier, but they are worth a second look. You can buy them on Amazon.

The reason pumpkin is good for Frenchies that scoot is due to the soluble and insoluble fiber. This can help make stools pass easier, plus reduce anal gland inflammation.

Handy Hint: Vegetables and fruit also contain high fiber. Check out what veggies are best for Frenchies, plus which fruits are safe for them to eat.

Antibacterial wipes for dogs

With fecal matter being a big cause of scooting, you will need a decent wet wipe that won’t contain harmful chemicals that could further irritate your Frenchie’s bum.

There are some highly rated ones on Amazon designed for butts and anal glands.

When to call the vet

Unless you see something that is really quick and simple to resolve – such as dried feces – you should always call your vet. This is particularly important if the scooting continues for more than a couple of random times a day or is persistent over a 48 hour period.

Conclusion

Now you know reasons why your French Bulldog scoots. Most of the time the reason they drag their bum across your carpet is pretty simple… although not pleasant for us as homeowners!

However, it can more unpleasant for your Frenchie; definitely irritating for them, and possibly even painful.

So rather than laughing at their butt dragging, take a close look to see what the real issue might be.

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Here are some training guides I developed for new Frenchie owners:

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