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Rectal Itching in Dogs

Itching is pretty common to dogs. But why does rectal itching in dogs happen? This can mean your dog is experiencing some anal complications and may worsen if not treated immediately.

rectal itching in dogs
tal itchingPhotographer: Ryan Riggins | Source: Unsplash

Rectal itching gets alarming if you notice that it keeps on reoccurring and is happening for a long period of time already. It's best that you begin to identify the possible causes of this because it can't be left untreated.


If your dog has rectal itching, you will notice that he will keep on licking, scratching and will try to express his discomfort in his rectal area. It can also be identified through:

  • Rubbing his rectal area on the floor
  • Constantly licking his tail or his rectal area
  • Constantly biting or scratching his tail or rectal area
  • Your dog may appear stressed out trying to reach his rectal area for him to bite, lick, scratch, or rub
  • Additional symptoms can be any pain, smell, or irritation in the rectal area


There can be a number of possible reasons on why your dog is experiencing rectal itching. It can be caused by:

  • Food allergy or food sensitivity reactions that is expressed in the rectal area
  • Flea allergy
  • Yeast infection in the rectal area
  • Developing tumor on or near the rectal area
  • Cracks and ulcers on the skin surrounding the rectum
  • Possible anal sac issues or anal-related problems like infection, anal gland impaction, etc.
  • Irritation of the skin caused by feces
  • Tapeworms


The management and treatment of your dog's rectal itching greatly depends on the reason why he is experiencing it in the first place. In treating rectal itching in dogs:

If it is because of any anal gland issues, it can be expressed if the glands are full and if there are any infections that occur, prescription medicines from your vet are given to your dog.

If it is because of tapeworms, your dog may be wormed or given any medications that are able to get rid of them in your dog's body.

If it is because of a yeast infection, you can treat the affected area with a prescribed dog soap and a medications to be given orally or topically.

If it is is because of fissures on the areas around the anus, it can be managed through antibiotic therapies, stool softeners or constant rectal area washing.

If it is because of food allergies, changes and adjustments can be made to your dog's diet. You can also provide your dog allergy supplements that will help relieve the allergy symptoms your dog is having a hard time going through, particularly the itchiness.

If it is because of fleas, flea control in your dog's entire body will be the best prevention. You can consult your vet for any monthly anti-tick and anti-fleas medication. You should also be able to keep your dog away from getting into dirty places and socializing with stray animals. Keep your dog's surroundings healthy for him to minimize ticks and fleas.

But remember! It is not good for your dog to self-medicate even if you know what's causing him his rectal itching. It is ALWAYS best to consult your veterinarian first for proper diagnosis and treatment. Also using dog diapers is an efficient way to keep your dog away from licking, itching or scratching the affected rectal area while he is on treatment or on post surgery if the cause of the rectal itching required certain surgeries.

Rectal itching in dogs can be very uncomfortable for our dogs but our major role as pet parents, aside from relieving their itchiness, is to make sure we do all means to prevent it from occurring. Good grooming practices, healthy diet, and regular vet checkups will prevent rectal itching and prevent any further complications - all for that happy and healthy life!

The Author:

Micka Virtudazo

Micka Virtudazo is a full-time content creator at Pet Parents who lives with thirteen adorable American Bullies and a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix named Gretel. She especially enjoys writing how-to articles as she feels through this she can connect to other pet parents on a more personal level.

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