Dog Anal Gland Expression

Every dog has anal glands. It is one way for your dog to indicate to other dogs that they are in the neighbourhood. When he or she has a bowel movement, the normal stool will apply pressure to these glands, and they are expressed naturally. This isn’t the only time they express them. It is also possible for them to be expressed when your dog is scared. Some dogs may even express them by scooting, often on a carpet, which is a behaviour that no dog owner likes! However, in some cases (for example, if your dog has soft stool), they may not express naturally. Should this happen, it does not take long for them to fill too much and then there is a risk of infection or rupture.

Should I drain my dog’s anal glands at home?

While it is possible to learn how to express your dog’s anal glands at home, it is generally not recommended. Expressing too often or inappropriately can lead to problems with the glands. We would suggest having our trained staff take care of them for you; however, if you would like to learn, feel free to discuss this with us.

If my dog scoots on the carpet, does this mean their anal glands are impacted?

It can be normal for dogs to feel some irritation or discomfort and they will scoot to try and express their anal glands. However, if this is happening regularly, you may want to contact our office for an appointment, as this may be an indicator of a health concern.