Did you know that your dog has anal glands that need to be emptied on a regular basis? If not, do not worry - you are not alone! This is a task that many dog owners are unfamiliar with, but it is one that is important for keeping your pet healthy and comfortable. In this blog post, we will discuss what anal glands are, why they need to be emptied, and how to do it properly. We will also provide some tips for preventing problems with the anal glands in the first place. So read on to learn more!
What Are Anal Glands?
Dog Anal glands produce a fluid that adds a distinctive foul-smelling odor to mark a dog’s territory. These glands naturally express themselves when dogs have bowel movements. There are other situations that can cause the dog to involuntarily express their glands, for instance when scared or stressed. Dogs will sniff each other’s hind ends to gather information about one another.
Sometime dogs experience issues with their anal glands. They can swell or become blocked and infected causing a great deal of pain. However, most dogs can live their whole lifetime without any anal gland issues. You will know if this is a problem for your dog if you see redness, swelling around the anus or if the dog is dragging its rear end on the ground. All tell tale signs that your dog needs its anal glands expressed.
How to Express Your Dog’s Anal Glands
If your dog's anal glands need to be expressed (emptied), you can do it yourself, or take your dog to the veterinarian for express. Failure to properly empty and maintain the anal glands can lead to infection and abscesses. Here is a step-by-step guide to identify and care for your dog's anal glands.
Step 1: Inspect the area around your dog's anus for any signs of irritation, redness, or swelling. If you notice any of these signs, take your dog to the vet immediately as they may have an infection.
Step 2: Clean your hands and materials thoroughly. Wash your hands with soap and water and sanitize any tools you will be using. You do not want to introduce any bacteria into your dog's delicate anus area.
Step 3: Put on a pair of latex gloves to protect your hands from the foul-smelling secretion. This protects you from getting any of the foul-smelling fluid on your skin, and it also keeps you from transferring any bacteria from your hands to your dog's anus.
Step 4: Locate the anal glands on either side of your dog's anus. Locate the anal glands. These are usually located just inside the rim of your dog's anus, about halfway between the rectum and the outside world.
Step 5: Use your thumb and forefinger to apply gentle pressure to each gland until the secretion is expressed. You may need to do this a few times before all of the fluid is expressed. Some dogs will need their glands expressed more frequently than others, so be sure to talk to your veterinarian about how often this needs to be done.
Step 6: Wipe away any excess fluid with a clean cloth.
Step 7: Give your pup a treat! This is probably not their favorite thing in the world, so they deserve a little reward for being such a good sport.
Repeat this process every week or as needed until the problem is resolved. If you are having difficulty expressing the glands, or if your dog seems in pain, make an appointment with your veterinarian for assistance.
How to Prevent Anal Gland Problems
The best way to prevent anal gland problems if your dog is prone to this problem, is to have your dog's anal glands expressed regularly, every 2-4 weeks is generally recommended. You should also feed your dog a fiber rich product like Health Extension® Original Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe to help keep their stools healthy and regular. Finally, make sure your dog has plenty of opportunities to exercise as this will also help keep their anal glands expressed and healthy.
Anal glands are an important part of your dog’s overall good health along with a Holistic Health Extension® diet. Anal gland expression may not be pleasant, but it is an important part of taking care of your furry friend. By following these simple steps, you can make sure that your dog's anal glands are healthy and functioning properly.