How to Express Your Dog’s Anal Glands

You’ve got to take care of your dog’s anal glands if you want them to be happy and healthy. That means more than just picking up your dog’s poop — you need to regularly express your dog’s anal glands as well. If you don’t know how to do it, no worries! This article will teach you everything you need to know about expressing your dog’s anal glands.

A quick guide on how to do it

Anal glands are two small sacs located on either side of your dog’s anus. They are responsible for producing a foul-smelling liquid that is used to mark their territory. If your dog is having trouble expressing their anal glands, you can help by gently pressing on each side of the anus with a cotton ball or tissue. You should do this every time your dog goes to the bathroom. If the glands become full and hard, you may need to have them expressed by a veterinarian.

Tips on why it’s important

Most people don’t know that dogs have anal glands and even fewer know how important it is to keep them expressed. Here are a few reasons why expressing your dog’s anal glands is important:

  1. It helps prevent impaction.
  2. It keeps the area clean and free of infection.
  3. It can help with anal sac tumors or abscesses.
  4. It can relieve your dog’s discomfort.
  5. It can help with anal sac scenting behavior (scooting).
  6. Some studies show that it may help prevent perianal fistulas.
  7. It’s just good preventive maintenance!


The equipment you need

All you need is a pair of gloves, some cotton balls, and a gentle touch.

First, put on a pair of gloves. You don’t want the anal gland secretion on your skin.

Next, take a cotton ball and gently insert it into your dog’s anus.

Gently press on the sides of the anus with the cotton ball until you feel a small amount of pressure.

Squeeze the cotton ball until you see or feel the anal gland secretion coming out.

Repeat this process until both anal glands have been expressed.

Finally, give your dog a treat for being such a good sport!


Safety tips

  1. First, put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands from the anal gland secretion.
  2. Next, gently lift your dog’s tail and locate the two small sacs on either side of the anus.
  3. With your thumb and index finger, apply gentle pressure to each sac and express the glandular secretions.
  4. Be careful not to squeeze too hard, as this can cause pain or injury to your dog.
  5. Once both glands have been expressed, wipe away any excess secretion with a soft cloth or paper towel.
  6. Finally, give your dog a treat and plenty of praise for being a good sport!


Follow these steps

  1. Restrain your dog in a standing or sitting position. 2. Apply gentle pressure to each side of the anus with your thumb and forefinger. 3. Squeeze the glands until you see or feel the contents express. 4. Wipe away any excess with a tissue or baby wipe. 5. Repeat on the other side if needed. 6. Give your dog a treat and plenty of praise for being a good sport! 7. If you’re unsure about expressing your dog’s anal glands, ask your veterinarian or groomer for help.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What are anal glands and why do dogs have them?
  2. How can I tell if my dog needs his anal glands expressed?
  3. How often should I have my dog’s anal glands expressed?
  4. What is the best way to express my dog’s anal glands?
  5. Is it painful for my dog when I express his anal glands?
  6. Can I express my dog’s anal glands at home or do I need to take him to the vet?
  7. What are some common problems that can occur with a dog’s anal glands?

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