What Cream Can I Put on My Dogs Sore Bum? Soothe Them Now!

Close up of a sad dog with a sore bum lying on the floor

Any responsible pet owner will do anything they can if they notice their dog is in pain. If your dog has a sore bum, what cream can you use? 

You can put diaper rash, antiseptic, aqueous, prescription, or hydrocortisone cream on your dog’s sore bum. Coconut oil, natural dog ointment, and Preparation-H can also soothe the pain, itching, and irritation.

In this article, I’ll discuss the main causes of a sore bum in a dog and how to tell if your dog is suffering from this complaint. I’ll also explain how to treat it. 

BUT FIRST, Here Are 3 Creams We Recommend (All available on Amazon)

How To Treat a Dog’s Sore Bum

If your dog has a sore bum, you’ll want to take him to the vet for an evaluation. In the meantime, there are some excellent creams that you can use: 

  • Diaper rash cream: If your dog’s backside has an injury or looks red and painful, using a diaper rash cream is a fantastic idea. These creams are designed to moisturize the skin intensely and relieve sore skin. 
  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil is a good treatment if your dog has been straining when making bowel movements. It helps lubricate the feces’ passage and relieve torn or broken skin. 
  • Antiseptic cream: If you have antiseptic cream in your first aid box, you can use this on your dog, too. Antiseptic cream will work well if your dog has a skin infection around the anus as it will help keep the bacteria at bay. Amazon Basic Care Antibiotic Ointment provides bacterial protection and moisturizes the skin.
  • Aqueous cream: Aqueous cream is very gentle and can soothe itching or sore skin. It’s also an excellent option if you’re on a budget as it’s inexpensive. 
  • Prescription cream: After consulting with your vet, they might prescribe canine anal or skin cream for your dog. Asking your vet for a suitable cream is probably the best bet if your dog seems to be in pain. 
  • Natural dog ointment: If you don’t like using chemicals on one of your dog’s most sensitive areas, you might consider a natural alternative. Natural Dog Company Skin Soother has almond oil and cocoa butter for moisturization and vitamins A and C to soothe the skin and promote healing. 
  • Hydrocortisone cream for dogs: For red, sore, and weeping wounds or irritation on your dog’s backside, hydrocortisone cream can help to speed up healing and dry up the excess moisture. DOGSWELL Remedy+ Recovery Hydrocortisone Lotion for Dogs can also be used on cats and effectively relieves pain and itching. 
  • Preparation-H: According to South Bay Veterinary Clinic, you can use Preparation-H, a common hemorrhoid cream on your dog’s backside. This will help soothe the irritation and relieve any itching. 

Using any of the above creams for your dog’s sore bum is a great idea but be careful that they don’t lick it off as it could cause a stomach upset. You might consider using a cone on your dog while the cream is applied. 

English Cocker Spaniel enjoying air flow from fan on floor indoors

How To Know If Your Dog Has a Sore Bum  

How can you know when your dog has a sore bum? You will likely know, especially if your dog is showing some telltale symptoms. Here are the most common ones:

  • Inflamed, swollen, or red skin around the anus
  • Scooting (dragging the backside along the ground)
  • Missing fur around the bottom
  • Odor from the anus
  • Licking the area
  • Discharge or blood
  • Difficulty pooping
  • Excessive passing of wind

Causes of a Dog’s Sore Bum

But why does your dog get a sore bum? The causes can range from a simple skin infection to a rare anal tumor. Bear in mind that it’s not advisable to diagnose a condition on your own, and you should consult your vet if your dog’s sore backside seems to be causing him pain or irritation. 

Here are the most common causes. 

Parasitic Infection

As friendly and curious animals, dogs love exploring new places, smells, people, and other dogs. Unfortunately, this behavior makes them prone to attracting parasites, such as: 

  • Worms
  • Fleas
  • Ticks
  • Lice

Fleas and lice can bite your dog’s skin, including the skin around the backside area, leaving tiny sores, which can become inflamed, itchy, and red. 

If your dog has a worm infestation, his fur might look dull, and he may lose weight. When the female worm lays eggs, she often does this in the anal area where the conditions are optimal, and the eggs can cause itching and irritation. 

Rectal or Anal Tumor

Thankfully, rectal and anal tumors are rare in dogs, but if they occur, they can cause pain and discomfort when making a bowel movement. If left untreated, the tumor can grow, eventually protruding out of the anus, resulting in a red and sore backside. 

During your dog’s annual physical, his vet will likely notice any abnormalities on the backside, but it’s worth taking your dog in sooner if you notice that he has a sore bum.

Anal Gland Infection, Abscess, or Impaction

Dogs have two anal glands, which are to the left and right of the anus. These glands secrete a gray substance with a unique smell to your dog, allowing him to mark his territory. 

Since these glands are located in a bacteria-rich area, they are prone to infections. An anal gland infection usually clears up by itself, or with a short course of antibiotics, quickly. However, if it spreads, it can cause an abscess or impaction, which is very painful. 

Anal gland abscesses and impactions typically require immediate veterinary attention to drain the area and ensure the infection doesn’t spread elsewhere. 

Skin Infection 

Dogs are delightful creatures, but unlike cats, they aren’t known for their meticulous cleanliness. 

Dogs commonly lick themselves, including the backside area. If their saliva contains bacteria, it can cause a skin infection, especially if the backside has a cut or injury.  The skin can become sore, inflamed, and irritated as the infection progresses. 

Anal Furunculosis

Anal furunculosis is rare and typically only affects older German Shepherd dogs, although other dogs can develop it. It’s an inflammatory disease that can cause the area around the anus to become inflamed, painful, and infected. 

Other conditions, such as an anal gland infection or impaction, can mimic anal furunculosis. If you suspect your dog has this condition, you should take him to the vet for confirmation. 

Enlarged Prostate Gland

As they age, male dogs can develop an enlarged prostate gland. Some common symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland in dogs include: 

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Straining to make bowel movements
  • Pain when walking 
  • Pain around the rectal area

Rectal Prolapse

Rectal prolapse occurs when your dog’s rectum descends into the anus. It typically presents as a rounded and red mass on the backside and causes your dog pain.

Older dogs and females who have struggled to give birth are more likely to suffer from a rectal prolapse. However, if your dog is often constipated and strains to release a bowel movement, they can also be at risk. 


If your dog enjoys running through bushes or playing rough with other dogs, they might have a sore bum due to an injury. Thorns or sharp sticks might have created tiny puncture wounds on your dog’s backside, while another dog may have accidentally scratched your dog’s backside with the claws or bitten it. 


There can be various reasons your dog has a sore bum, but luckily, there are many creams that you could use. Creams with antiseptic properties work well for anal skin infections, while moisturizing varieties, such as aqueous cream, can soothe injured, torn, or irritated skin. 

The cream type you use will depend on the cause of the sore backside and any recommendations your vet has made.

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