As humans, we’ve got a selection of wonderful shower gels, soaps, and other cleansing products to keep us clean – but our four-legged friends don’t have the same luxury.
As a result, a dog’s rear end can become unclean, irritated, sore, or otherwise uncomfortable quite easily. Helping our dogs with their sensitive areas might not be your favourite part of being a dog owner – but it’s a really important part of keeping our pooches healthy.
In this blog, we’ve explored some of the issues that can lead to a sore or itchy bum for our pet dogs – and some of the creams and ointments that we’re often asked can be used to help them deal with symptoms.
What kinds of bum problems do dogs get?
There are a few different conditions that can cause a dog to have an uncomfortable bum.
Generally, a dog’s sore butt isn’t going to be an emergency – but if you notice significant bleeding or any signs of a prolapse (damage to the dog’s anus with leads to parts of the digestive system being exposed through the anus) then you should consult a vet as an emergency.
Symptoms of anal problems in dogs can include:
- Your dog ‘scooting’ (dragging it’s bum on carpet, rugs, tiles, or grass)
- The dog’s sore bum appearing swollen or reddened
- Blood in the dog’s poop or around the anus
- Constipation or straining when pooping
- Lots of licking on or around the anus
- Wounds or sores near the anus
Causes of anal problems may include:
- Problems with the dog’s anal glands
- Allergic reactions
- Prostate problems (in male dogs)
- Rectal prolapse
- Vulva or vagina problems (in female dogs)
We’ll cover some home remedies here – but if problems are ongoing or appear immediately serious, it’s essential for your dog’s wellbeing that you speak to a vet as soon as possible.
My dog has a sore bum what can I put on it?
As long as you’re confident your dog’s sore bum isn’t being caused by something serious, you can explore different creams, balms, and ointments to apply yourself.
What to use on a dogs sore bum
The best creams or ointments to use are zinc-based or castor oil-based creams. Different companies make different creams – but if you check the ingredients, keep a lookout for zinc and castor oil.
Aside from these creams, Sudocrem is suitable, as is Metanium if your local pharmacy stocks it. Original Neosporin also works well – but it’s not suitable for ingestion, so you’ll need to make sure your dog doesn’t lick themselves with it on.
Aside from creams, a warm compress is another good remedy for a dog with a sore anus. Warmth is a good way to relax the muscles, so it can be good for anal gland health too (more on this later).
Can I put Sudocrem on my dogs bum?
Thumbs up! Sudocrem is suitable for use on dogs and your dogs bum.
As a medicated antiseptic cream it contains antibacterial and antifungal agents that will help clear up infections and the weak anaesthetic will help ease pain too.
Be a little careful with Sudocrem if your dog is a heavy licker though – as consuming too much of it will mean it’s not where it needs to be, and could upset your dog’s sensitive stomach.
Can I put Vaseline on my dogs bum?
Vaseline is technically okay for use on your dog – but avoid using it in large quantities.
Vaseline is a must-have in many people medicine cabinets – a petroleum jelly that acts as a heavy barrier that’s used to protect sore skin.
Despite being a product of oil refining, Vaseline is actually considered to be an extremely safe product and has had any carcinogenic (cancer causing) elements removed when it’s made.
Although it shouldn’t cause your dog any problems in theory, this is another product that you’ll want to make sure your dog doesn’t lick. If it’s consumed in any quantity, it could cause your dog to have an upset stomach, which in turn could make any health issues worse. You’ll also need to make sure that the wound or sore is clean too – as Vaseline will lock in any dirt if not.
Can I put Bepanthen on my dogs bum?
Bepanthen is safe for use on a dog’s bum – but make sure any wound or soreness is very clean beforehand.
Bepanthen is a barrier cream that’s designed to create a seal over irritated skin and prevent any further irritation. Parents of young children will know that it works wonders for nappy rash – and it’s even found popularity in people looking for a moisturizing barrier for new tattoos.
Again, the only problem you might run into is if your dog decides to lick the Bepanthen off his or her sore bottom. It’s almost totally waterproof – so it doesn’t lick off easily, but consuming a lot of it will probably cause your doggo to have an upset stomach. However, since it’s packed with Pro Vitamin B5, it will help to keep your dog’s bum moisturized and will aid recovery.
Bepanthen is a barrier cream though – so you’ll need to make sure your dog’s area is totally clean before application, otherwise you could be trapping dirt against the wound.
Can I put Savlon on my dogs bum?
Savlon is generally safe for dogs – but use with caution as some of its ingredients could be dangerous if ingested
Like Sudocrem, Savlon is a medicated anti-septic cream that’s used for a huge range of minor ailments in humans. From minor burns to cuts, blisters, and sores – it’s a must-have product for a medicine cabinet and lots of dog owners swear by its use too.
The only trouble is, Savlon is quite appealing to dogs who often like the taste and the smell. If humans or dogs consume Savlon in any quantity, it could be poisonous – so we only really recommend it for use if you don’t have a safe alternative and use it just as a one-off.
If you can’t be absolutely certain that you dog isn’t going to lick itself with Savlon on his or her bum, then avoid using it.
Can I put Polysporin on my dogs bum?
Polysporin is more than likely safe for use on your pup! It’s even prescribed by vets for use on some dogs.
Polysporin is an ointment that contains two different antibiotics, both designed to prevent bacteria infecting minor wounds. As well as the antibacterial element, Polysporin also acts as an anti-inflammatory that reduces swelling and itching. With such an impressive range of effects, you can see why pet owners often wonder if it will work on their irritated pup.
The good news is, Polysporin is considered to be safe for most dogs. We say most dogs because there’s always a chance of an allergic reaction – and a vet will check this before prescribing – but allergies are rare.
Since Polysporin contains a steroid-based anti-inflammation element and antibiotics, it can sometimes clash and cause side-effects if your dog is on other medications. If this is the case, it’s always best to check with your vet before use.
Can I put Neosporin on my dogs bum?
Neosporin and Polysporin are very similar products – so yes, Neosporin can be safely used on your dog’s butt.
Neosporin and Polysporin are very similar – both antibacterial, anti-inflammatory creams designed to fight infection and reduce swelling. Neosporin contains three antibiotic elements though – compared to Polysporin’s two.
Again, if a vet is to prescribe antibiotics for your dog, they’ll check that there’s no previous signs of allergy before they do. They will also check to make sure there’s no reaction with any other medications your pup is on. Assuming there isn’t, then Neosporin will be fine.
As always, make sure your dog doesn’t go to town licking the cream off themselves – not only will it reduce effectiveness, it could also cause an upset stomach.
Can I put Aquaphor on my dogs bum?
Aquaphor is safe for use on dogs and can offer great results – but make sure it isn’t licked or consumed
Although it’s intended for use in humans (for chapped lips, dry skin, and soothing or minor burns and cuts), Aquaphor is a favourite with dog owners – especially those who own breeds that are susceptible to dry noses, cracked paws, and sore skin.
Aquaphor is a jelly product that contains hydrogen peroxide – ideal for fighting infection quickly. Again though, it can cause an upset stomach if consumed, so better for use on a dog that’s wearing a cone collar or one you know won’t lick it off while cleaning.
Can I use E45 cream on my dogs bum?
E45 is generally safe for use on a dog – but as a moisturiser, it’s not likely to offer much benefit for a sore bum
E45 is a skin care product that’s often used to treat eczema – dry, cracked and itchy skin. As such, caring dog owners have used it on their irritated pooches. Although E45 has some soothing benefits, it doesn’t actively fight bacterial infection – so at best, it is just a temporary fix for a pup with an itchy bum.
E45 is an ’emollient’ – which means it mositurizes the skin. It effectively locks moisture into the skin – so it can be soothing in the short term, but won’t fight any infection. You may struggle to stop your dog licking E45 cream off their butt too – as the lanolin ingredient smells appealing and some dogs will find it pleasant tasting. If there’s nothing else to hand, it may work in the short term – but you’re better tracking down a dedicated antibacterial cream.
Can I use Germolene on my dogs bum?
Yes, as long as you can prevent licking, Germolene is safe for use on your pooch’s rear end
Germolene is an ointment that doubles up as both an antispetic (fighting infection) and a mild local anaesthetic – slightly numbing the area it’s applied to in an effort to reduce pain and itching.
It works wonders in humans – and when applied carefully to dogs, it offers the same great positive effects.
As with other creams on this list, you’ll need to make sure your pup doesn’t lick the cream off – as it could cause an upset stomach. You’ll also need to make sure your dog doesn’t climb on furniture with Germolene on too – as it can be greasy and may stain.
What kind of issue are you treating?
Now we’ve explored some of the creams you can use on your dog’s bum, it’s worth looking at the issues you may be trying to treat in more detail.
Remember, some slight irritation from over-grooming is okay to treat at home – but if you suspect something more serious, get your pup booked in for a trip to the vet.
Dealing with dog anal glands and anal gland problems
One of the most common (and most uncomfortable) issues your dog will have is likely to be with his or her anal glands.
The anal glands are a pair of small sacs that are just inside male and female dog’s bums. They hold a very strong smelling liquid that dogs use to mark their territory.
Normally, the dog’s anal sacs empty naturally when they poop – but the dog’s diet (and a range of other factors) can sometimes mean that one anal sac (and sometimes both) can become ‘impacted’. This really just means ‘blocked’ or ‘packed too tight’.
It’s a good idea to avoid trying to deal with dogs anal glands yourself. Anal gland secretions are very unpleasant to deal with (you’ll need a peg for your nose) – and anal gland infections can be picked up very easily if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.
What to do if your dog has problems with its anal glands
If anal gland impaction (sometimes referred to as ‘anal sac disease’) happens, you need to have the anal glands expressed by a vet. Impacted anal glands are sore and often lead to excessive licking or scooting from your furry friend. Vets deals with dog’s anal sac and anal gland issues virtually every day – and they’ll be able to express anal glands in a way that is gentle and won’t hurt your dog.
What are your experiences with dogs sore bums and anal sac issues?
We’ve explored some at-home remedies for dogs with sore bums here – but we’re always keen to hear from dog owners with similar experiences.
Is there a wonder cream we haven’t covered here? Have you got a different home remedy that works? Let us know!
This is Evelin K. Williams. I am passionate about dogs, cats, and love sharing everything. I have Created dog cat talk to talk about my journey. Products that I have used/admire, and lessons that I have learned in my dog cat career.