In the pet myth hall of fame, I reckon this one sits above all the others. Just why do both dogs (and cats) drag their backsides across the carpet?
And while I can’t explain why they always seem to choose the whitest and most stain-worthy spot, I can help with what’s really happening here. And get this. It’s not worms.
So here goes.
It’s actually their anal glands that have become blocked and itchy. And that dragging…or scooting, is the best way to scratch them. Apparently.
So what even are anal glands?
Well, these two rather worryingly named glands are two grape sized sacs that sit just inside their bottom. Given their location, these AG's (much better) are prone to blockages and even infections. That's understandable painful and a major source of frustration for the furry family.
In fact, if you ever notice your dog or cat suddenly stop in their tracks and turn around to lick ‘that’ area, chances are a blockage in these glands is to blame. So it makes sense that the ultimate itch they can’t scratch is only relieved when they do the drag. And the more abrasive the surface the better. I've even seen it done on concrete. Ouch.
Interestingly, having skin allergies and recurrent ear infections makes blocked anal glands more likely.
So why do dogs and cats even have them? Anal glands contain the unique scent of your pet, and this is why they sniff each other's backsides! They skip the small talk and learn as much as they can in just a quick sniff.
How do I stop the dragging? Well the glands aren't a complete dog and cat design flaw. They're actually meant to empty naturally without your vet having to 'get the glove on'.
In fact, if the stool is firm enough, that will actually express the glands on the way past. But they only have perfect stool health with the right balance of gut bacteria and the correct fibre in their diet.
But I've taken the fuss out of the process by creating my In-Betweeners that are packed full of a special prebiotic fibre (green banana flour) that's especially skilled at doing just that. Just a couple every few days should keep the drag (and the squeeze) at bay...
Oh and for cats, try the Furball + Skin treats. They have the same ingredient...