Why Dogs Need to Have Anal Glands Expressed

Dogs have two glands, located on either side of the rectum, that produce a strong smelling brown liquid that dogs use to identify each other. In some cases, a dog’s anal glands may become infected due to poor diet or the infrequent use of this scent gland allowing the growth of dangerous bacteria. When this happens (which is not necessarily infrequent), your pet may require assistance to relieve the condition through a process known as anal gland expression.

Anal gland expression in dogs is a fairly simple procedure but, due to the nature of the undertaking, many owners will not feel competent to handle this procedure themselves. The process involves raising the dogs tail and locating the anal gland, then using a warm wash cloth and slight pressure to cause these glands to express their contents.

The entire process can be handled very quickly but with the strong smells and the awkwardness of the procedure, the majority of pet owners simply are not comfortable with doing the procedure themselves. Due to the possibility of infection or the need for further medical attention, it is advised to consult a veterinary technician to handle this procedure, although some full service dog grooming salons do offer this extra service.