How To Empty Your Dog’s Anal Glands

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Before you start practicing how to empty your dog’s anal glands, ask yourself whether you really want to learn how to empty your dogs anal glands. I must warn you that the process is a little tricky, the smell is strong and if you do it wrong, you risk making your dog sore and uncomfortable. Also keep in mind that most Vets will empty the glands for you for only a small fee.

So you have decided to learn! Good for you. Let’s go over some basic anatomy.

The anal glands are small fluid-filled sacks located on either side, just below the mid-point of your dog’s anus (see photo above). All dogs have anal glands (people don’t). Anal glands empty into your dog’s colon just inside the anus through narrow openings.

Most dogs are able to empty their glands naturally every time they defecate. Some don’t, and the glands just keep filling up. This is very painful. To relieve the pain, the dogs will often scoot on their bottom or lick incessantly. This is usually a sign that you need to have the glands emptied urgently. If you don’t, they will burst causing an anal gland abscess, which will need to be treated as an illness by your Vet.

How to empty:
Buy some rubber gloves and personal lubricant.
Put the glove on your leading hand and lubricate liberally.
The next step should be done when your dog’s anal glands are full.
Insert one finger (I use the index finger) into your dogs anus and use it together with your thumb to feel the swellings of the anal glands in a pinching sensation.
The anal glands are located at 5 and 7 o’clock marks around your dog’s anus (just imagine your dog’s anus as a clock face).
Then apply very gentle pressure.
If nothing is coming out and your dog is getting distressed, stop and get professional help. You are doing something wrong.
You should be able to squeeze out a small amount of brown, smelly material of toothpaste consistency. If you did, you are doing well.
Then stop the procedure, clean your dog’s bottom and give your dog a treat.
Repeat again in a few days.
The goal is to be able to squeeze out most of the material on both sides without causing pain to your dog.

Don’t forget. You can improve the efficiency of your dog’s anal gland function by increasing your dog’s fibre intake.
Do this by adding more vegetable and cooked rice to your dog’s food.
This is unlikely to fix the problem but will decrease the number of times that your dog’s glands need to be emptied.
Good luck.

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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

One comment

  1. Pingback: Should You Have Your Dog’s Anal Glands Removed? « Doctor 'Pets'

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