What do you do when your dogs glands are full?

  • Date: January 7, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

When your dog’s anal glands are full, it can be a very uncomfortable and unpleasant experience for your pet. The glands are located on either side of their anus and if they become full, your dog may start scooting or licking their bottom excessively. If not treated, the impacted glands can cause your dog to feel pain and discomfort, and they may even become infected. Therefore, it is important to address this issue as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to help relieve your pet’s discomfort and treat the issue when their glands are full.

What Are Dog Glands?

Dog glands are small, fluid-filled sacs located near the anus of most mammal species, including dogs. They contain a variety of oils, fats, and other secretions that are essential for the health and well-being of the animal. When the glands become full, they need to be expressed, or emptied, in order to prevent discomfort and infection.

Signs Your Dog’s Glands Are Full

The most obvious sign that your dog’s glands are full is a foul odor emanating from the area. If the smell is strong, it is likely that the glands are full and need to be expressed. In addition, dogs may display signs of discomfort and agitation when their glands are full, such as licking and biting at the area, scooting, and restlessness.

When and How to Express Dog Glands

It is important to express your dog’s glands when they become full. It is recommended that glands be expressed every 3-6 months, or as often as needed. It is also a good idea to have your vet or groomer check the glands during routine visits to ensure that they are not becoming impacted.

Expressing the Glands Yourself

It is possible to express your dog’s glands yourself at home, but it is important to be aware of the proper technique in order to avoid injury or infection. Start by placing a small amount of warm water on a cotton ball or tissue. Gently insert the cotton ball or tissue into the rectum, being careful not to insert it too far. Gently massage the glands until you feel a release of fluid. Wipe away any excess fluid and dispose of the tissue.

Having a Professional Express the Glands

If you are uncomfortable expressing the glands yourself, you can always have a professional do it. Your veterinarian will be able to express the glands quickly and safely, and can also check for any other issues that may be causing the glands to become impacted.

Tips for Keeping Your Dog’s Glands Healthy

There are several things you can do to help keep your dog’s glands healthy and prevent them from becoming full or impacted.

• Feed your dog a high-quality diet with plenty of fiber to keep stools soft.

• Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, as this can help keep the glands active.

• Do not allow your dog to become overweight, as this can put extra pressure on the glands.

• Make sure your dog’s bottom is kept clean and free of any debris.

• Have your vet or groomer check the glands during routine visits.

• Have the glands expressed regularly to prevent fullness and infection.

Common Myths about Dog Gland Expression

Myth #1: You can safely express your dog’s glands yourself.
Fact: It is not recommended to try to express your dog’s glands yourself. This should be done by a veterinarian or a professional groomer who is trained and experienced in performing the procedure.

Myth #2: Gland expression only needs to be done once.
Fact: Your dog may need to have his glands expressed on a regular basis, depending on his breed, size, and age. It is important to speak to your veterinarian to determine the best schedule for your pet.

Myth #3: Gland expression is painful for the dog.
Fact: Although the procedure may be uncomfortable, it should not be painful for your pet. Your veterinarian or groomer will use a gentle and sensitive approach to ensure your dog’s comfort.

Myth #4: Gland expression should only be done when the glands are full.
Fact: Regularly expressing your dog’s glands when they are only partially full is recommended to help prevent the glands from becoming overfilled and potentially rupturing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my dog’s anal glands are full?

A good indication that your dog’s anal glands are full is if they are scooting their bottom along the ground. Additionally, they may also lick or bite at their bottom more often than usual.

How can I empty my dog’s anal glands?

It’s best to visit a veterinarian or a groomer to have the anal glands expressed. Professional help is recommended to avoid any potential complications.


Dog glands are small sacs located near the anus of most mammals, including dogs. Signs that they need to be expressed, or emptied, include a strong odor and signs of discomfort and agitation. It is possible to express the glands yourself at home, but it is important to use the proper technique. Professional expression is also available. To keep the glands healthy, feed a high-quality diet, ensure your dog gets enough exercise, keep your dog at a healthy weight, keep their bottom clean, and have the glands checked and expressed regularly.

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