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How To Express Your Dog’s Anal Glands At Home

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Strap on your seatbelts, folks, you are about to be launched headfirst into your dog’s anus. Or something like that. In this article, we will be exploring your dog’s anal sacs, more commonly known as the anal glands (even though they are technically not glandular). So heads up, I will be using these two terms interchangeably! When your dog is exhibiting certain types of behavior and stool, it could be indicative of a problem with the anal sacs. I know this is not the most pleasant of topics, but it is vital to your dog’s happiness and overall health.

Dog Anal Glands Explained

Your pet’s anal glands aid the process of defecation. They are dual sacs located under their tail and are positioned close to the sphincter muscles. During ordinary “no. 2s”, your dog’s anal sacs will express themselves and empty naturally, the result of which will be a nice, healthy, smelly poop, which carries your pet’s signature scent.

When the glands are emptied, all is well. But, if there are issues with the sacs – such as when impacted – they can cause discomfort and even infection. Sometimes there is a buildup of fluid, due to different circumstances, and this can bring about a really putrid smell emanating from your dog’s rear. Other symptoms you should be on the lookout for is redness and excessive biting/licking in that area. Pay attention to your doggy, and notice the stools which are coming out. If there is an issue, you can try to treat it yourself. If the situation persists – get to a vet. Better safe than sorry, and better late than never. You know the cliches.

What Does it Mean To Express Your Dog’s Anal Glands

Sometimes it is on us, the owners, to notice these things first and take care of them to the best of our abilities, especially when recommended by a vet. We live with our doggies, we play and hang out and walk with them. And this role, at times, can come with some pretty gross appendages. In the wild, dogs roam in packs. But in your home? Guess what, bucko, it’s on you.

If you see your dog scooting on the rug more than usual, and if you feel, see, or smell that something is up in the area of your friend’s anal sacs, those sacs may not be expressing themselves properly. If that’s the case, it is up to you to provide first-aid with that all-important form of ‘self-expression’.

How To Express Your Dog’s Anal Glands

Dog on beach.

Expressing the Anal Glands.

If you take your dog to a veterinarian, they can express your dog’s glands manually, and/or prescribe antibiotics to help out with the swelling and redness which may be part of the issue. Any symptoms are usually just that – symptoms.

Manual expression may be fine for a vet, but us regular folk won’t necessarily know how to do that. More to the point, most of us will probably not want to go poking around in there. For us – the ordinary people who don’t want to mess with it – expressing your dog’s anal sacs basically means creating the proper environment for that expression to take place on its own. This can be done primarily through a change in diet and exercise.

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How To Express Your Dog’s Anal Glands Through Diet

Alright, so other than doing it professionally, dieting is one way to promoting healthy functioning of the anal glands. There are various types of foods which facilitate the proper function of different organs and physical processes. In the case of anal sac impaction, a diet which is high in fiber could be the solution you are looking for. Does it work for every single dog? Does it make any anal-gland-related situation better? Nope. These things change on a case by case basis, but overall it seems to do the trick.

By the way, this is somewhat similar to humans and their own digestive issues. A diet which is high in fresh dog food is said to regulate the digestive system in humans and make it easier for the body to cycle and achieve optimal peristalsis.

Some dogs are pickier than others. Some are used to this or that. Some can adapt to pretty much whatever it is you will give them. You’ll have to find your way to ease your dog’s condition. The high-fiber method makes it so the stools are larger, and that way they apply the adequate amount of pressure on the sacs, causing them to empty naturally when defecating.

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Granted, these are not necessarily the go-to solutions to doggy anal gland issues, but this does not mean for a second that they don’t work like a charm. If you catch it when it is too late, it could very well be that only a veterinarian will be able to make your pooch feel better and stave off infections. But if you observe the condition early on, there is a lot you can do to ease the pain and facilitate the proper passing of stool.

DIY solutions are not always helpful. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, and get to your vet if there are any doubts. You definitely don’t want to leave it too late, or better yet, make the situation worse than it is.

You know your dog, and if you start seeing signs of anal gland issues, don’t wait. Start taking care of it now. You can begin the process on your own, but be mindful of your actions, and also of the amounts of supplements or foods you are providing as it’s better to err on the side of caution.