My Dog Has a Sore Bum What Can I Put On It?

Disclosure: Our recommendations are based on our testing, research and analysis. We may earn a commission on products purchased using links on this page.

If you’re a dog owner, you know how heartbreaking it is to see your pup in pain. And while your furry best friend can’t tell you what’s wrong, they have behaviors that can clue you in as to what’s going on. If you’ve seen your dog scooting across the floor on their bum or rubbing it against the furniture, it’s a sign that your dog has an itchy, sore bottom. While there are a number of things that could cause this, there are also several solutions to help your canine buddy out.

Disclosure: Acme Canine isn’t veterinary advice and is presented for educational purposes only. If your dog has a medical issue, you should go see your vet or contact a televet.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product thru a link below, we may receive a small fee.

Signs of a Sore, Itchy Bum

There are several signs that your dog has a posterior problem. The following are the most common signs your dog has a sore, itchy bum:

  • Scooting across the floor in a sitting position
  • Rubbing their bum on furniture and other things
  • Biting, licking, and scratching under the tail
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Red, swollen skin around the anus
  • Signs of abrasion or other injury around the anus

Causes of a Sore, Itchy Bum

Causes of a Sore

Here are the most common causes of a sore, itchy bum:

Worms and Other Parasites

There are a lot of different parasites that can infest your dog’s GI tract. Some of them can cause itchy, sore bums. There may not be any external signs of a parasite infection other than your dog trying to scratch.


Your dog can cut or scrape its bum by accident. This injury, even if it seems minor, can be incredibly sore or itchy due to where it’s located. Although minor injuries should clear up quickly, there is a danger that they will get infected.

Food Allergies

Food allergies can cause rectal itching. This problem can be challenging to spot, although if the problem started shortly after you switched to a new brand of dog food, you should be suspicious.

Rectal Tumors

Rectal tumors could also be the problem. However, while tumors on the outside of your dog’s anus can be easy to spot, it’s impossible to spot them if they’re on the inside. Only a vet will be able to tell you for sure.

Anal Gland Infections

Every dog has a small gland on either side of the anus, also referred to as an anal sac. These glands secrete a liquid that helps your dog to poop. Typically, anal glands will empty every time your dog poops. Sometimes, something goes wrong, and the glands don’t empty all the way. Fluid buildup in the anal glands can cause them to become impacted and even infected. When this happens, the glands swell up and turn red.

Some dogs are more susceptible than others to getting an anal gland infection. Breeds that are especially at risk include the:

  • Beagle
  • Toy poodle
  • Chihuahua
  • Basset hound
  • Lhasa apso
  • Cocker spaniel
  • Shih Tzu

Obescity increases the risk of an anal gland issue in any dog, regardless of the breed.

Anal Furunculosis

Anal furunculosis is a dehibilitating, progressive inflammatory disease that affects the area surrounding the anus. This condition is far more serious than infected anal glands and primarily affects German Shepherd dogs, although it can be found in any breed.

Treatment is available in the form of drug therapy and surgery, both of which can significantly improve the condition.

Connect with a Vet Today for Free
Pawp - the Online Clinic for Pets
Free Trial; Then $24/month
  • Video chat 24/7 with licensed vets and nurses
  • Unlimited text and video calls
  • 7 day free trial; then $24/month
  • Discounts on prescriptions & medicine
  • $3000 safety net for emergencies diagnosed by their televet team
  • Cancel anytime
Talk to a Vet Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

How to Relieve Your Dog’s Sore Bum

How to Relieve Your Dog’s Sore Bum

At a loss as to how you can help your furry friend to feel better? Let’s take a look at how to best soothe your dog’s sore, itchy bum.

Warm Compresses

You can relieve your canine companion by putting a warm compress on their bum. Soak a soft, clean cloth in warm water, fold it up, and set it on the floor. Sit your dog on the cloth so that it covers the anus and use gentle pressure to keep your dog on the cloth for several minutes. The warmth will help relieve the soreness and itch for a while, and it may even help the anal sacs to relax enough to fully empty the next time your dog poops (if they’re suffering from an anal gland problem, of course).


Some recommend putting Vaseline on your dog’s bum to relieve soreness and itching. The idea does seem to make some sense. After all, Vaseline would protect any cuts or abrasions from getting infected. It is supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties as well. However, there is no evidence that Vaseline does help with such issues, and your dog would also just be likely to lick it off almost as soon as you put it on.

Antibiotic Creams

It also might seem like a good idea to use an antibiotic cream to avoid an infection. This is, in most cases, going to be a bad idea. While your dog will probably just lick it off, just as in the case of the Vaseline, antibiotic creams also contain drugs and other chemicals. These substances may be perfectly safe and healthy when applied topically and slowly absorbed through the skin, but taking them orally is another matter entirely.

Your vet may prescribe an antibiotic cream to help your doggy pal, but keep in mind your vet is an expert. They will either give you a cream that isn’t dangerous for a dog to ingest, or will provide you with special instructions for preventing your dog from licking it.

Other Treatments

Besides applying  directly to the problem area, there are a few other things you can try to help soothe your dog. If your dog has problems with anal gland infections, try switching them to a high-fiber diet. This will make them poop more often, making it more likely that the anal glands are being emptied regularly. Increasing the amount of water you give your dog and increasing frequency of exercise can help as well.

See a Vet

No matter what you think the cause of the problem is, you need to bring your dog to the vet. Only a vet can accurately diagnose the cause of your canine’s discomfort, and can prescribe any necessary treatments.

See a Vet 24/7
24/7 Online Vet Appointments with Vetster

Vetster connects pet owners to thousands of licensed veterinarians ready to provide the best online vet services through video chat appointments 24/7.

Book an Online Vet Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Please give us feedback on this post:

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?