Pet Grooming 101

I heard of anal glands, can you tell me more?

Have you ever expressed your dog’s anal glands?


Anal glands are the one in charge of the secretion of the “lubricant” for your doggies poo to be able to glide out with less effort. It is also thought by many to be a means of territorial marking or communication between dogs and cats. Skunks also have this type of gland, and they use the secretion for defense.

The anal gland sacs(which stores the oily secretion) are located between the external and internal muscular rings of the anus. Viewed from behind, the sacs would sit at approximately the 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock positions, below the anus.

When do we know whether it’s time to express?

1. When your dog scoots around and its not due to intestinal worms, clipper irritation or anal gland infection.

The rough texture of sand…feels good!!

2. When your pet groomer/vet notice the fullness of the anal glands during regular physical checks.

How regularly should we express our dog’s anal glands?

For me I understand that the anal gland secretion is a natural process. Therefore it is not recommended to express the anal glands too frequently so as to avoid the dependence of manual expression by the dog’s natural body mechanisms. However, I would advice to express roughly once in one or two months or when any of the reasons stated above deem expression to be necessary. Vetmedicine (2012) also suggests that in the best case we should never express the glands, and routine emptying when not necessary is not recommended as it may disturb the normal balance, leading to inflammation or infection.

Expressing the anal glands the wrong way may cause the glands to rupture leading to severe pain for your beloved pet. You should never attempt to express your doggie’s anal glands, always leave it to your groomer or vet.


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