How Often Should You Express A Dog\’s Glands

How Often Should You Express A Dog’s Glands

Glands are an essential part of a dog’s anatomy. They are located on either side of their rectum and help to produce an oily secretion that helps to lubricate the area around their anus and allows them to pass stool with ease. However, at times, these glands can become overactive and lead to complications such as infection, inflammation and discomfort for your furry friend. In such cases, it becomes necessary to express the glands to bring out the accumulated fluid. In this article, we will discuss how often should you express a dog’s glands and the right way to do it.

When Does Your Dog Need Anal Gland Expression?

Before we move to the frequency of expressing your dog’s glands, let’s first understand the reasons why it may be needed. Glands can become overactive due to several reasons, and to make sure that your furry friend remains healthy, you should be aware of them. Some of the common reasons why your dog may need gland expression are:

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1. Overweight

Overweight dogs are more prone to gland expression due to the excess pressure exerted on their glands.

2. Diet

Diet also plays an important role in gland expression. A low fiber diet often leads to softer stools that do not put enough pressure on the glands, leading to overactivity.

3. Infections

Infections around the gland area can cause inflammation and lead to overactivity of the glands.

4. Age and Breed

Certain breeds and older dogs are more prone to gland overactivity, and regular expression may be needed to keep them healthy.

How Often Should You Express A Dog’s Glands?

Now that you know the reasons why your dog may need gland expression let’s move to the frequency with which it should be done. The frequency of gland expression depends on several factors such as age, breed, and activity level of your dog. However, the general rule of thumb is to express the glands every 4 to 6 weeks. However, if your dog’s glands are consistently overactive, you may need to do it more frequently such as every other week. On the other hand, if your dog’s glands are not full or overactive, there is no need to do gland expression.

How Do You Express A Dog’s Glands?

Expressing a dog’s glands is a relatively simple process that can be done at home or by a veterinarian. We recommend that if you are new to this, you should get it done by a professional before you attempt it yourself. If you are doing it at home, you need to follow these steps:

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1. Position Your Dog

The first step is to position your dog in a way that allows you to access their anal glands easily. The best way is to have them stand with their back against a wall or surface, or you can also have them lie on their side.

2. Locate The Glands

Once you have positioned your dog, identify the glands behind their anus. This may require you to put on gloves and lubricate your fingers with petroleum jelly or water-based lubricant.

3. Express The Glands

You can use your fingers to press on the swollen area and gently squeeze the glands. You should see a small amount of fluid coming out, which you can collect using a tissue. Be gentle and do not use too much pressure as it can lead to injury.


1. What are the symptoms of overactive anal glands?

The symptoms of overactive anal glands include scooting, licking of the anus, and discomfort while sitting or walking.

2. Can I express the glands myself?

Yes, you can express the glands yourself. However, if you are new to this, we recommend that you get it done by a veterinarian or a professional first.

3. Can overexpression of glands lead to complications?

Yes, overexpression of glands can lead to complications such as infection and inflammation. Therefore, it is important to follow the recommended frequency.

4. How can I prevent the overactivity of the glands?

You can prevent the overactivity of the glands by feeding your dog a high-fiber diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping the area around the glands clean.

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Anal gland expression is an important part of a dog’s hygiene and should not be ignored. Knowing the frequency with which it should be done and the right way to do it will help you keep your furry friend healthy and comfortable. Remember, if you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior or symptoms, it is important to consult with your veterinarian.

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