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Anal Glands: Are They Supposed to be Expressed Regularly?

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Are you supposed to express your Doodle’s anal glands regularly?

“Ok real talk….everyone who’s doing the DIY groom, are you expressing the anal glands, because holy hell, I can’t take this smell anymore 😭😭 How do I do this without puking? 🤮”

It’s a great question, but, in short, no. (And you can’t do it without puking…just kidding!)

Let’s discuss!

Anal glands do not need to be expressed routinely as this can weaken the muscles that are naturally responsible for this action. Due to the weakening of those muscles, once you start doing it, you’ll always have to do it. Moreover, if it’s not done properly, it can cause more issues.

You should also not allow groomers to express the anal glands unless there’s an anal gland issue.

Signs of Anal Gland Issues

Dogs should have nice, solid poops which express the glands naturally. However, if your dog starts to frequently scoot his butt across the floor and lick his bum, these are usually pretty good signs he needs help.

If this goes on for too long, the anal sac could burst. Other signs of anal gland issues include visible swelling, redness, or sensitivity.

How to Treat Anal Gland Issues

Once in a while dogs just need help expressing their anal glands. If your Doodle has anal gland issues, take him to the vet where he can get them expressed properly. It shouldn’t cost that much – usually under $30. A veterinarian or vet tech is the best person for the job, as they can express the glands internally with less potential harm than the external method.

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Preventing Anal Gland Issues

Generally speaking, you may need to give your dog more fiber to bulk up his stools. Canned pumpkin with every meal should help tremendously. You can also feed more veggies or green beans to up your Dood’s fiber intake. There are also some products that claim to help with anal gland issues, such as these:

How to Get Rid of the Smell

Anal glands are notorious for their awful smell that lingers for days. I suppose it can be described as a fishy smell…if the fish was rotting and drenched in vinegar.

If this type of odor is coming from your Doodle’s behind, try something like these wipes to get rid of the smell:

You can also give baths more frequently, using a high-quality dog shampoo to combat the odors, such as the following:

I hope that helps!

Has your Dood ever experienced anal gland issues? What remedies did you follow? Let us know by leaving a comment below!


The information on this page is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for qualified professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified animal health provider with any questions you may have.

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