BestForPets is reader-supported. Your purchases via our links may earn us an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Our Affiliate Disclaimer

8 Easy Steps To Express A Dog’S Anal Glands

Have you recently observed your dog continually rubbing its bottom against the carpet? Or perhaps they have been excessively licking or biting their tail?

If so, it's probable that your dog's anal glands are clogged, leaving you with the unpleasant task of clearing them out!

A dog's anal glands produce a highly odiferous fluid that imparts a distinct fragrance to its feces (presumably to identify its territory), and this fluid must occasionally be discharged.

Typically, this occurs spontaneously when your dog defecates, but occasionally your pet may require assistance.

If you've never expressed your dog's anal glands before, you must know exactly what to do, as carelessness during the operation might result in irritation or burst glands.

If, after reading "8 Easy Steps To Express A Dog’s Anal Glands" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), you are still unsure of your ability to perform the task correctly, we propose that you leave it to the specialists.

Before You Begin

Before expressing your dog’s anal glands, you will need to obtain the necessary equipment. This is a smelly, nasty task, therefore you must ensure that you and your working environment are protected from as much messiness as possible!

Here is what you will require:

  • Used clothing (because they will stink after)
  • Hand towels
  • Disposable gloves
  • Vaseline (or another lubricant)
  • Soapy water in a bowl or a warm, soapy washcloth
  • A partner (ideally, though you can do this job alone if necessary)

How To Express A Dog's Anal Glands

The anal glands of your dog might be expressed outwardly or internally. You’ll likely want to test externally first, as it’s a little less nasty. But if it doesn’t work, the next alternative is internal. Following are the steps required to extract your dog’s anal glands.

How To Externally Cleanse A Dog’s Anal Glands (8 Steps)

1. Collect paper towels, disposable gloves, soapy water or a washcloth, and, if feasible, a colleague to assist you with the task.

2. Have your assistant very gently bind your dog by placing a hand under its tummy to keep it standing and a hand on its neck to prevent it from turning. Remember to be firm yet compassionate when holding your dog in position, since they do not want to frighten him.

3. Now it’s your turn! Place a wad of paper towels folded in half under your dog’s rear end to absorb the fluid released by the anal glands.

4. Next, don gloves and elevate your dog’s tail to reveal the anus.

5. Place the thumb and fingers of one hand at roughly 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock on either side of the anus.

6. Once your fingers are correctly positioned, push inwards and upwards in gentle pulses (don’t squeeze! ); If it’s working, you should see a liquid dripping out; if this liquid contains blood, stop immediately and take your pet to the vet, as there may be an infection or something worse; continue milking until the liquid stops dripping.

7. Use the washcloth or soapy water to clean your dog’s behind, or give them a thorough bath if you’re so inclined.

8. Throw away the paper towels and gloves that absorbed the liquid, and wash your hands well!

How To Express Your Dog's Anal Glands Internally

  • Follow the aforementioned Steps 1 through 4.
  • After putting on gloves, lubricate your dominant hand’s index finger. Insert your finger inside your dog’s anus slowly and cautiously, stopping when you feel it pass the anus muscle.
  • Use your thumb to locate the external anal glands (4 o’clock and 8 o’clock locations).
  • Once located, you will squeeze the glands with your thumb and index finger from both the inside and outside. Use the same gently pulsating motion you did while washing the outside.
  • Wait for the secretion to cease before cleaning your dog’s butt with water or a rag.
  • Throw away your gloves and used paper towels, and thoroughly wash your hands.

Final Thoughts

Occasionally, your animal companion will want assistance cleansing their anal glands. If you believe you’re up to the task, you can utilize the techniques above to swiftly and safely remove extra liquid.

Remember to use utmost caution so that the anal glands are not accidently harmed. In addition, if the milk is bloody, you should take your pet to the veterinarian immediately, as an infection may be present.

If you are unsure about your ability, you should take your dog to the veterinarian for assistance. You may choose to request that they demonstrate how to clean the anal glands so that you can perform the task in the future!

Finally, give your dog a treat once the experience has concluded. They will certainly merit it!

We hope the instructions mentioned in “8 Easy Steps To Express A Dog’s Anal Glands” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) will help you keep your furry friend happy and good-smelling all the time.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


Rated 0 out of 5
0 out of 5 stars (based on 0 reviews)
Very good0%

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.

Related articles