A dog licking its anus is a common occurrence in many households. Some owners get alarmed while others see this as its natural behavior. Where is the truth? Is there any cause for alarm? Here are a few reasons why this may be the case.

5 Reasons Why Dogs Lick Anus

Most dogs lick their anus because of various infections in the anal cavity. However, sometimes, a dog owner will get so much used to their dog’s behavior that they overlook some medical problems normally related to change in behavior. If these conditions exist in your dog, visit your local vet for assistance. By visiting the local vet, you are helping your favorite pet alleviate discomfort.

Dogs lick their anus due to anal infections, intestinal parasites, allergies caused by external parasites, skin infections, and grooming.

dogs lick anus
Dog licking anus. Source

Dog anal infection

If your dog’s anal glands get infected, your dog gets the urge to lick their anus constantly. When your dog keeps dragging itself on the floor with the hind legs raised, it is trying to scratch an infection that causes the problem. Alternatively, your the dogs lick anus when the itch turns too painful to drag itself on the ground. If your dog’s stool produces a foul smell, this is a sign that the anal glands are okay. However, when not working, the glands swell leaving your dog with much pain and discomfort. That is why dogs lick their anus to reduce the pain. You need to take dog to the vet to have the fluid removed manually.

Intestinal parasites in the anus

Dogs lick their anus at times because of the irritation some intestinal parasites cause. These include.

  • Tapeworms
  • Roundworms
  • Whip worms
  • Hookworms

A test done on your dog’s stool by your vet will show whether there are parasites in your dog’s intestinal tract. You can also check for segments of these worms in your dog’s stool. The vet administers medication if any worms are found to eliminate the problem.

Allergies to external parasites

Most allergies cause an itch when the skin is affected. External parasites like fleas cause dogs to bite and scratch their skin. However, the anus is a tender area, therefore, when affected by external parasites; dogs lick their anus to try and alleviate the itch. Your vet will provide an anti-inflammatory cream to lessen the itching.

Dog licks anus
Vet examines dog’s anus. Source

Skin infection

If the skin around your dog’s anal area is broken, your dog may suffer from a fungal or bacterial infection. Naturally, the anus area has some stool; therefore, it is vulnerable and if your dog persists to lick the infected area, it worsens the infection. Get an anti-fungal cream and medications for your dog to eliminate the problem.


Naturally, dogs lick anus for cleaning purposes. However, when this licking habit takes place too much, then you need a veterinary diagnosis. Sometimes, dogs lick their anus constantly to ward off anxiety. Visit your vet and get tests done to ensure why your dog incessantly licks their anus.

Once you solve these anal conditions, the amount of time your pet dog licks their anus reduces. Cleaning is natural, even to animals, therefore, do not mind if the dog licks his anus occasionally.

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