As a new pet owner, you are probably ready for walks, training, feeding, and lots of cuddles. Anal gland expression is one aspect of dog care that you may not be so familiar with. This article will discuss the telltale signs that your dog may need their glands checked and why it is important to make anal gland expression part of your dog’s wellness plan.

What Are Glands?

A dog’s anal glands are located in sacs on either side of the anus. The sacs have soft walls filled with fluid that usually gets released every time they have a bowel movement. Both male and female dogs have these glands. Dogs can also release this fluid as a smelly defense mechanism against predators if they are scared.

Do you ever wonder why dogs are so interested in smelling each other’s behinds? Essentially their bottom contains glands that hold smelly fluid that tells other dogs about their health, age, and essentially who they are. It is like their own form of doggy ID.

Problems with glands can occur when the fluid is not released correctly. This build-up can lead to irritation, swelling, and an uncomfortable pooch.

Some Common Causes of Gland Issues are:

  • Soft stools or diarrhea - if the stool is too soft, it can not express the glands as it passes
  • Constipation - hard stool also can’t express the glands
  • Obesity
  • Allergies - can lead to irritation and inflammation
  • Glands are in the wrong place

Signs Your Dog Has Gland Issues

The main sign that your dog may have impacted glands is if they scoot their bottoms on the ground or lick or bite around their tails. This is generally a sign that their glands are irritated and uncomfortable. You may also notice their bottoms are red or swollen, or there could be a smelly odor if their glands are very full.

What is Gland Expression?

Gland expression is a treatment for dogs who have issues with their anal glands. It is generally done by a vet or groomer with special training as part of a dog wellness plan. Impacted glands are uncomfortable for your dog and could become dangerous if left untreated. If ignored, the glands could become infected and require antibiotics. If they rupture, they could need surgery to fix it.

Gland expression generally involves inserting a gloved finger into your dog’s anus and carefully squeezing the sacs to empty them of the fluid. Many dogs require gland expression on a regular basis to keep them healthy, and many owners prefer to have it handled by a professional as part of a pet wellness plan.

Dog Wellness Plans With Grooming

Gland issues are very common for many dogs. Many owners find that regular anal gland expression is essential to keep their dogs healthy. Some groomers offer the service of gland expression as part of regular grooming through an animal wellness plan.

Wellness plans reimburse you for regular pet expenses and preventative care such as vet visits, grooming, vaccinations, routine exams, and blood and fecal tests that are often outside of standard pet insurance. Animal wellness plans can also cover costs like pet dental care and reimburse you for the money you spend on regular pet care.

If you are interested in a dog wellness plan for your favorite pooch, contact us at Wagmo today. We offer three different pet wellness plans so that you can choose the best options for your needs. Take a look at our pet wellness plans to find the best fit for your dog and your family.