A dog's physical anatomy is slightly different than the anatomy of humans, which may be why we need to always wipe and they do not have to. I know this sounds quite odd but a dog should not need their bottom wiped unless it is messy or they are sick. They made need added help if they have diarrhea. While dogs do not fully understand hygiene like people do, they do have their own grooming rituals but this doesn’t necessarily mean wiping their own bottoms. Dogs groom themselves much like cats do, by licking themselves clean. So why don’t dogs wipe their bottoms?
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The Root of the Behavior
Humans have thighs and the buttocks region that makes it difficult to clean without wiping. Whereas, dogs don’t have a buttocks and their sphincter actually rectracts, leaving their bottoms clean most of the time. Wiping with paper or wipes is a manmade form of hygiene. Humans are far more physically aware of our hygiene and we are disgusted by our excretions, which is weird since no other living organism has a disgust for their own fecal matter like we do. Some people also believe that dogs lick their behinds or scoot their bottoms on the floor to clean themselves from fecal matter. However, dogs don’t really scoot their butts on the floor due to fecal matter. A dog’s bottom contains anal glands that release stinky secretions. These secretions help it to mark its territory. Sometimes, these secretions are thick and can cause irritation the dog’s behind. This is why a dog will scoot across the floor in an attempt to relieve the irritation. The same is true for a dog licking its behind. The anal glands most likely have an infection and the dog is trying to relieve themselves of it.
Another reason why you may see your dog scooting his bottom across the floor may be due to tapeworms. If you suspect tapeworms, take your dog to the vet. The simple solution usually is a pill for your dog to take that the vet can prescribe. Nobody likes tapeworms, so it makes logical sense that your dog is scooting and trying to rid himself of them. Although your dog normally does not have to wipe, sometimes you may have to wipe for him. Fecal matter may get stuck to a dog’s fur and can cause irritation and poor hygiene. There are several companies that sell dog wipes such as Tushee Wipes that can help remedy this.
Encouraging the Behavior
While dogs don’t need to wipe, there are common behaviors like cleanliness, buttscooting, and licking that can be remedied with the following tips. Wipe your dog when necessary. This means to aid your dog with cleanliness when he has fecal matter stuck in his fur or he has been sick with diarrhea. Dog wipes come in handy for this. Keep the fur around your dog’s bottom trimmed nicely. This will help you dog not to get fecal matter stuck on him.
If your dog has normal skin, it is recommended you bathe him once a month. This will encourage good hygiene. If you see your dog licking his bottom or scooting across the floor, take him to see your vet since their maybe an underlying health reason for this behavior. If you dog is pooping more than normal, this is a sign of overeating. You might want to reduce the size of meals. It will be harder to keep the area clean if your dog goes all the time. And it’s not good for his health if the dog is eating too much.All in all, I would not worry to much about your dog’s hygiene. Your dog will groom himself as well as he can. If you follow the above recommendation, your dog should be just fine.