If you’ve ever wondered how to express (or empty) the anal glands of your dog, it helps to understand a little more about what these glands actually do. When a dog has soft, normally-formed stools, their anal glands should empty automatically when they defecate. These sacs are located on either side of the anus and each contains a small duct that connects to it.
If you notice that your dog is excessively licking his rear end or scooting across the floor, he might be experiencing discomfort from full anal glands. This article will cover how you can safely express his or her anal sacs at home when needed! Please remember though – this should only be done if your dog needs assistance from you to release fluid from his anal gland!
When a dog has soft, normally-formed stools, their anal glands should empty automatically when they defecate.
Dogs have two small glands that produce a fluid when they go to the bathroom. The fluid is released through ducts just outside of the anus, and it is odorless. The anal glands are not harmful to dogs or people, but if your dog has soft stools that contain this fluid instead of firm stool, it can be uncomfortable for them.
When a dog has soft, normally-formed stools, their anal glands should empty automatically when they defecate. If you notice your dog having loose stools with no signs of discomfort or straining while trying to defecate, then this may be an indication that their anal glands are full and need emptying by a professional groomer or veterinarian.
Some breeds of dogs can have trouble with their anal glands.
There are some breeds that are more likely to have problems with their anal glands. In particular, boxers, dachshunds, English bulldogs, German shepherds and pugs.
You may notice your dog scooting on their bottom or dragging their butt across the floor. This is a sign that they need to express their anal glands (but don’t worry—we’ll show you how!).
Start by putting on a pair of disposable gloves.
If you have any cuts on your hands that could get infected by dog feces or urine (both common sources), wear gloves when touching messy parts of dogs’ bodies as well as their anal glands; otherwise wearing disposable latex gloves might be enough protection against illness or injury for most people
- a pair of disposable gloves
- a towel or other cloth to clean up any messes
- a bowl to hold the excrement, if necessary
- antibacterial soap and water to wash your hands before and after the procedure.
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after the procedure.
Washing your hands is an important step in preventing contamination of the anus, which can lead to infection or other problems (e.g., diarrhea). Use soap and water, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or a disinfectant wipe—but no matter what kind of cleanser you use, don’t forget this step!
Clean his bottom area with a bit of soap and warm water or pet shampoo.
The bottom area needs to be cleaned before you express the anal glands. You can use warm water, soap or pet shampoo. If your dog is very dirty, you may want to use a washcloth or even a little scrub brush.
Once you’ve cleaned your dog’s rear end and are ready to express the glands, here’s what you should do:
- Place your thumb on the anal opening and press down while keeping your index and middle fingers on the gland.
- Hold this position for about 10 seconds while massaging or pressing gently around the base of each gland.
- You should be able to feel both glands harden as they empty into your hand.
- When they’re empty, look at them closely; you’ll see a dark paste that comes out of them when they’re expressed (and sometimes even before).
The gland’s material should empty out as a dark paste onto your dog’s stool.
If your dog has recently expressed his anal glands, you should look for the following characteristics:
- The material should be a dark brown paste. This means it’s not too runny and not too thick. It’ll probably have a slight stickiness to it as well, which is normal.
- The consistency of the material should be slightly smelly and warm (not hot). If your dog ever feels pain when expressing his anal glands, take him to the vet immediately!
Remember, you should only be doing this if your dog needs assistance from you to release fluid from his anal glands.
- Never use your hands to squeeze the anal glands. This is dangerous, painful and can cause infection.
- Never attempt to get the fluid out with a plunger or any other object that you think might work. It won’t work!
- Never ask someone else (like a friend or family member) to squeeze your dog’s anal glands for you. Their hands will not be as gentle as yours and they may accidentally cause injury by squeezing too hard or accidentally getting bitten in the process of trying to help you out with this task.
- Never use a syringe or bottle for this purpose, either; it’s just too easy for the dog to slip away and have no way of letting you know if he needs some help with releasing his anal gland fluid on his own time table!
If your dog is having problems with his anal glands, the best thing you can do is take him to a vet to get them checked out. It’s also important that they are in good health so they don’t get an infection if something goes wrong while emptying their glands. After all, your dog’s health should always be your number one priority!