What dog breeds need their glands expressed?

  • Date: December 29, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

When it comes to pet care, one of the most important things to be aware of is that certain dog breeds need their glands expressed. This is an important part of grooming, and it helps to keep the dog healthy and comfortable. Gland expression is a simple procedure that is typically done by a groomer or veterinarian, and it involves manually squeezing the anal glands to release any fluid that has built up. Knowing which dog breeds need their glands expressed is essential to providing them with the best care.

What are Dog Glands?

Dog glands are small sacs or pockets located near the anus of a dog and they produce natural oils that help keep their fur soft, healthy, and clean. The glands produce an oily substance that is secreted through the fur when the dog is either scared, excited or engaged in a physical activity. These secretions serve to identify the dog and communicate with other dogs. In other words, the secretions are the dog’s “scent” or “perfume”.

Do all Dog Breeds Need Their Glands Expressed?

No, not all dog breeds need their glands expressed. Smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas, Pugs, and Beagles tend to have smaller anal sacs and do not need their glands expressed as often as larger breeds. However, larger breeds such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers tend to have larger anal sacs and therefore do require their glands expressed on a regular basis.

When Should I Have My Dog’s Glands Expressed?

It is recommended that you have your dog’s glands expressed every 6-8 weeks, depending on the size of the dog and the activity level. If your dog is not very active or is a smaller breed, it may be possible to go as long as 8-10 weeks between expressing. On the other hand, if your dog is a larger breed or is a very active dog, it may be necessary to have their glands expressed more frequently.

Why Should I Have My Dog’s Glands Expressed?

Having your dog’s glands expressed is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, expressing the glands helps to prevent health issues such as anal sac impaction, anal sacculitis, and anal sac abscesses. Additionally, expressing the glands can help to reduce odors and staining in the home.

How Are Dog Glands Expressed?

Dog glands are usually expressed by a veterinarian or professional groomer. During the procedure, the veterinarian or groomer will use their fingers to manually squeeze the glands until the secretions are released. It is important to note that expressing the glands too often or too aggressively can cause irritation, so it is important to have a professional perform the procedure.

What Should I Do After My Dog’s Glands Are Expressed?

After the glands have been expressed, it is important to keep an eye on the area for any signs of irritation or infection. If you notice any redness, swelling, or discharge, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Additionally, it is important to continue to keep the area clean to prevent any further irritation or infection.

Conclusion

Knowing which dog breeds need their glands expressed and why is important in order to keep your dog healthy and happy. It is important to have your dog’s glands expressed regularly and to keep an eye on the area for any signs of irritation or infection. If you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s glands, it is best to contact your veterinarian for professional advice.

Common Myths About Dog Gland Expression

1. All Dogs Need Their Glands Expressed – This is not true. Only certain breeds, such as Cocker Spaniels and Bulldogs, naturally produce more anal gland fluid than other breeds and need regular expression.

2. Expression is Painful for Dogs – While the process of expression may be uncomfortable for some dogs, it does not cause them any pain.

3. Expression is Only for Dogs with Medical Issues – Expression is not only necessary for medical issues, but it is also part of regular grooming for certain breeds.

4. You Can Express Glands Yourself – While it is possible to express glands yourself, it is recommended to have a veterinarian or a professional groomer do it for you.

5. Expression Should be Done Regularly – Expression should only be done as needed, based on the breed of dog and the amount of fluid being produced.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Anal Glands and Why do Dogs Need Them Expressed?

Anal glands, also known as anal sacs, are small glands found on either side of a dog’s anus. These glands produce a foul-smelling liquid that helps dogs mark their territory. When these glands become impacted, they can become uncomfortable, and the expression of the glands becomes necessary.

How Often Should Anal Glands be Expressed?

The frequency of anal gland expression varies from breed to breed and dog to dog. Generally, small breed dogs, such as Chihuahuas, should have their glands expressed every 4-6 weeks, while large breed dogs, such as Golden Retrievers, may only need to have their glands expressed every 6-8 weeks. It is important to consult with your veterinarian for guidelines specific to your pet.

Conclusion

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Dog glands are small sacs or pockets near the anus that produce natural oils to keep the fur soft and clean. Not all breeds need their glands expressed, but larger breeds like German Shepherds do. It is recommended to have your dog’s glands expressed every 6-8 weeks and to watch the area for signs of irritation or infection. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your veterinarian for professional advice.

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