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Most people know that it’s important to keep their dog’s nails trimmed, but many don’t realize that it’s also important to keep their dog’s anal glands expressed. Anal gland expression is a process in which the contents of the anal glands are manually removed. If these glands become impacted or infected, they can cause serious health problems for your dog.
So, how often should you express your dog’s anal glands? The answer may surprise you. Read on to learn everything you need to know about keeping your dog’s anal glands healthy and functioning properly.
What Are Anal Glands?
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Anal glands are two small sacs that is located just inside your dog’s anus. They are also sometimes called anal sacs or anal sacculi. These glands are responsible for producing a bad-smelling liquid that is used to mark territory. When your dog is defecated, this liquid is released and sends a message to other dogs that this is your dog’s territory.
While the main function of anal glands is to help your dog mark their territory, they also serve another important purpose. The liquid produced by the anal glands is very high in fat and contains nutrients that can help your dog absorb more fat from their food. This helps to keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny.
The contents of the anal glands are very thick and sticky. If they become impacted, it can be very difficult for your dog to express themselves on their own. Impacted anal glands can cause a great deal of discomfort for your dog and can lead to more serious health problems if they are not treated promptly.
How Often To Express Dog Glands?
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The answer to this question depends on the breed of your dog, their size, and whether or not they have any health problems that require special attention.
For example, small breeds generally need to have their glands expressed more often than large breeds.
And, if your dog has any medical conditions that affect their anal area, such as anal sacculitis, your veterinarian may recommend expressing their glands more often.
In general, most healthy dogs need their glands expressed every 2-3 months.
However, some dogs may need them expressed as often as once a month, while others may only need it done every 6 months or so.
If you’re not sure how often your dog needs its glands expressed, ask your veterinarian for guidance.
How To Express Dog Glands
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The anal glands or sacs are two small pouches located on either side of your dog’s anus. They are lined with sebaceous (oil-producing) glands that secrete a foul-smelling, oily substance used for identification and social ranking. When your dog defecates, the act of passing stool through the anus squeezes the glands and forces this secretion out.
Many dogs express their anal glands naturally while defecating, but some do not. This can lead to the glands becoming full and impacted, which can be uncomfortable for your dog and may lead to infection or abscesses. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help keep your dog’s anal glands healthy and functioning properly.
The most important thing you can do is to make sure your dog has a healthy diet. A diet that is high in fiber will help keep your dog’s stool soft and easy to pass, which will reduce the likelihood of impaction. Adding canned pumpkin or another source of soluble fiber to your dog’s food can help with this.
You should also take your dog to the vet for regular anal gland expression. This is a simple procedure that can be done quickly and easily in the vet’s office. Your vet will insert a gloved finger into your dog’s rectum and locate the glands. Once found, the vet will apply gentle pressure to express the glands.
In some cases, your dog may need to have his anal glands expressed more frequently than just at vet visits. If this is the case, you can learn how to do it yourself at home. It’s a relatively simple process that just takes a little bit of practice.
If you notice your dog scooting his butt along the ground, licking or biting at his anus, or showing any other signs of discomfort in that area, it’s a good idea to have his anal glands expressed. Doing so will provide relief and help prevent any further problems.
One last thing to remember is that dog glands are like anything else – too much of a good thing can be bad. Over-expressing your dog’s anal glands can lead to irritation, inflammation, and even infection. So, while it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s anal gland health, you don’t want to overdo it.
If you’re unsure about how often to express your dog’s anal glands, talk to your veterinarian. They can help you create a schedule that’s right for your dog.Thanks for reading! We hope this guide has helped you better understand dog anal glands and how to express them properly.
I’m Nathan Koster, an experienced dog nutritionist and blogger. As the owner of Dog efficientdog.com, I strive to provide accurate, up-to-date information on canine health and nutrition so that pet owners can make the best decisions for their beloved pups. With years of research and a passion for helping others, I’m committed to creating a helpful resource for pet owners. Thank you for visiting my blog!