Does your dog drag his butt across your carpet? Does he do it often? According to veterinarians, butt-scooting is more than an embarrassing nuisance — it can be a sign that your dog needs a medical examination. There are a few different things that can cause butt scooting, with the most common cause being impacted anal glands. Even among pets who are well taken care of and receive plenty of exercise, impacted anal glands can become a problem. A dog’s anal sacs are found between the external and internal anal sphincter muscles. This gland is used to mark areas with a dog’s scent and to let other dogs understand who that dog is — think of the scent these glands make as your dog’s personal signature. Dogs slightly express these glands when using the restroom and when meeting other dogs. Additionally, the gland is used to lubricate stool as it passes through, making it easier for the dog to go potty. The substance secreted by the gland can vary in appearance based on when the gland was last emptied and other factors. When glands aren’t expressed as often as they should be, they can become infected. If the gland fills too much, it can rupture into the abdominal cavity. Problems of this nature are easy to fix if caught early, but removal of the anal gland may be necessary in the most severe of cases. Pet owners can actually express their dog’s anal glands on their own once they’ve been shown how to do it by a veterinarian. The next time you bring your dog in for an appointment, ask the vet or the vet tech to show you how to safely express your dog’s anal glands. If you see your dog scooting his butt around the carpet and you’re not sure why, it’s best to bring him in to the vet to rule out problems with his anal gland. It’s entirely possible that all he needs is to have his glands expressed — a simple process that will leave him healthier and happier over the long-term.