Many French Bulldog parents have all seen the dreaded butt scoot. It could be after coming in from outside or in front of a group of friends.
When it comes to embarrassing things your Frenchie does, scooting may be right up there with begging and humping someone’s leg. Before you laugh, it’s helpful to find out just why your Frenchie has the scoots, and what you should be done about it.
In reality, scooting is a dog’s way of trying to relieve something wrong back there. That might mean an itch, irritation, pain, or problem. Many reasons could be responsible for your Frenchie scooting, from the mildly uncomfortable to the medically concerning. Educating yourself on the causes of scooting problems will help lead to more direct resolutions.
All dogs have two small anal sacs on either side of their rear end that contain a rather fishy-smelling liquid they release when they poop. The liquid may be a biomarker that helps leave a sort of “poop print” for other dogs to smell.
Normally, your French Bulldog’s bowel movement triggers his anal sacs to empty. But if they’re not working properly, the fluid can build up. The glands in the sacs have a tendency to get inflamed, solidifying the liquid and hindering its release. When the sacs are continuously full or not emptying properly, it can be painful and can even become infected.
If your French Bulldog’s glands are looking enlarged or they’re having bloody discharge, it’s time to take a trip to the vet. If the anal glands are very full, they should express them. When they are infected, your vet will usually prescribe you a round of antibiotics and sometimes pain medication.
Food allergies or intolerances may be to blame for some French Bulldogs anal sac issues. Everyone knows Frenchies are kind of the poster dog for allergies. If soft or watery bowel movements aren’t providing the pressure needed to empty the sacs properly, diet may be the cause. A diet with only one or two types of protein, not enough fiber, or one that contains grains like corn, oatmeal, rice, wheat, or soy can be what’s affecting stools and preventing the anal sacs from functioning properly. I always recommend for French Bulldogs a non chicken based food. Going with Salmon or Turkey based is they way to go to avoid that chicken allergy so many Frenchies don’t do well with.
The bottom line is if your Frenchie scoots once or twice, it may just be an itch or dirty bottom after a trip outside. Cleaning your Frenchie’s tail pocket can also help. We have a whole blog on pocket tail care, but if you notice scooting behavior more frequently, constant licking and biting of the rear area, or other signs of swelling or abnormality, take your Bulldog to the vet right away for an exam to get to the root of the scooting.