How Often To Express Dogs Glands

How Often to Express Your Dog’s Glands: A Complete Guide for Pet Owners

As a responsible pet owner, it is important to keep your furry friend healthy and comfortable. One of the ways to ensure this is by regularly expressing your dog’s anal glands. Many pet owners are unaware of the importance of this procedure or how often it needs to be done. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about expressing your dog’s glands.

What are Anal Glands?

Anal glands, also known as scent glands or anal sacs, are small sacs located on either side of your dog’s anus. These glands produce a unique odor that helps dogs communicate with each other. When a dog defecates, the pressure on these glands causes them to release their contents along with the feces.

Why do Dogs Need Their Glands Expressed?

While dogs have a natural mechanism for emptying their anal glands during bowel movements, sometimes they can become clogged or impacted. This can lead to discomfort, irritation, and even infection. Signs that your dog may need their glands expressed include scooting their bottom on the ground or excessive licking of the area.

How Often Should You Express Your Dog’s Glands?

The frequency at which you should express your dog’s glands depends on several factors such as breed, size, diet, and activity level. Typically, smaller breeds require more frequent expression than larger breeds due to the size of their anal gland ducts.

It is recommended that you express your dog’s glands every 1-3 months as a preventative measure. However, if your dog shows signs of discomfort or has a history of gland problems, you may need to do it more frequently.

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Expressing Your Dog’s Glands at Home

If you feel comfortable doing so, you can express your dog’s glands at home. Here is a step-by-step guide:

1. Put on gloves and prepare some paper towels or wipes.

2. Have your dog stand or lie on their side.

3. Lift their tail and locate the glands (they will be located at about 4 and 8 o’clock positions).

4. Gently apply pressure to the glands, squeezing them towards the anus.

5. Release the pressure and wipe away any discharge with a paper towel or wipe.

6. Repeat the process on the other gland.

It is important to note that if you are unsure or uncomfortable with this procedure, it is best to leave it to a professional groomer or veterinarian.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you have attempted to express your dog’s glands at home and notice any of the following signs, it is time to seek professional help:

– Your dog appears in pain or discomfort during the procedure
– There is blood or pus present in the discharge
– Your dog has a swollen or infected gland
– Your dog continues to show signs of discomfort after expressing


Expressing your dog’s glands may not be the most glamorous aspect of pet ownership, but it is an important one. By understanding how often to do it and when to seek professional help, you can keep your furry friend healthy and comfortable. Remember, if you are ever unsure or uncomfortable with this procedure, always seek professional help from a groomer or veterinarian. And don’t forget to give your pooch some extra love and treats afterwards for being such a good patient!