The most common reason that pets scoot or rub their butts is a problem with their anal glands. The anal glands are found next to the anus and contain a foul odor that pets use to mark their territories. When these glands become full, pets can begin scooting or rubbing their butts or owners may even notice a foul odor.
Full anal glands can be expressed by an experienced groomer or veterinarian. The frequency of expression is unique for each pet. In some animals, the anal glands may have to be expressed on a monthly basis. If the problem is severe or secondary problems occur, the anal glands can be removed by an experienced veterinary surgeon. Secondary problems that may develop are chronic anal gland abscesses or a type of cancer called anal gland adenocarcinoma.
Other reasons that cause pets to scoot their butts are diseases such as intestinal parasites or allergies. Pets whose scooting does not resolve with anal gland expression should have a fecal examination performed to rule out any possible underlying parasites. These parasites are common and can be zoonotic, or infectious to people. Allergies can be treated with various dietary therapies and other symptomatic treatments.