Like it or not, dogs can be anal sometimes. All dogs will need some anal attention from time to time. All dogs (and cats) have two sacs on either side of their anus that are filled with a liquid/paste that smells differently for each dog. This is why dogs smell each other’s rear-ends–to smell their anal glands. When a dog poops, normally the anal glands empty themselves, but it is wise to make sure that they are emptying properly as un-emptied anal glands can lead to infection. Every time a groom a dog, I express their anal glands. If your dog is emitting a fishy scent from his rear end or is scooting his bottom on the ground (or dare I say it) or carpet these could be signs that your dog needs to have their anal glands emptied. You can take them to a vet, but that’s sure to be more expensive than attempting to do it yourself.

To express your dog’s anal glands, prepare gloves or a papertowel. Place your thumb on one side of the anus and your index finger on the other side. ALWAYS PRESS IN AND UP. Pressing down can cause the anal glands to rupture because the fluid has no where to go if you press it downward. Press in, together, and up. If you are just using a paper towel, place it over the dog’s back end before you begin. I express in the bathtub since the fluid will be gruesome and SMELLY. A brownish-yellow color is normal. If you see blood, take your dog to the vet asap.

It might sound intimidating but I assure you–you can do it! Check out these videos for a visual of what to do:

Lead your dog!

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