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How To Get Rid Of Dog Anal Gland Smell (5 Simple Steps)

With a smell that is sometimes characterized as "fishy," anal gland odor is not something you want around your dog or home. Whether your dog has continuously leaking glands or is suffering from the aftereffects of a recent anal gland expression, you'll want the odor to go as quickly as possible.

"How to Get Rid of Dog Anal Gland Smell (5 Simple Steps)" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) shows you five easy techniques to eliminate canine anal gland odor from your pet's body and your home's surfaces.

Before You Begin

The most effective remedy for anal gland smells is prevention. When they defecate, most dogs expel the foul fluid from these sacs on each side of their anus. Assist this process by ensuring that your dog’s feces are hard enough for the glands to be naturally expressed.

If you think your dog’s feces may use some firming up, consult your veterinarian for dietary or supplement ideas. Some dogs must have their glands manually expressed on a regular basis.

Generally, groomers or your veterinarian’s team can execute this procedure efficiently and effectively. Regular anal gland expression can lessen odor by minimizing fluid accumulation and lowering leaking.

Supplies and Materials

Whether you’re removing the anal gland odor from a dog or a sofa, you’ll need a few essential items to complete this procedure. Depending on the cleaning method you choose, you may require one or more of the following items:

  • Pet cleaning wipes
  • Ear cleaner
  • Gauze or a cloth
  • Enzymatic pet stain and odor cleaner
  • Deodorant
  • Dog shampoo

How to Get Rid of Dog Anal Gland Smell

1. Use Pet Cleaning Wipes

For a quick cleansing if your dog’s rear end smells like anal glands, consider using deodorizing pet cleaning wipes. There are a variety of fragrances and hypoallergenic alternatives for pet wipes. They are a fast and practical answer.

However, pet cleaning wipes are less effective on long-haired dogs with anal glands. Wipes may not be adequate to remove the odor and liquid from the long hair of these dogs.

2. Use Dog Ear Cleaning Solution

Many veterinarians utilize a dog ear cleaning solution, such as Epi-Otic, to eliminate the anal gland odor because it is readily available. Using gauze or a rag saturated with ear cleaner, wipe your dog’s rear end.

You may also apply Epi-Otic to fabrics and surfaces where the odor of the anal gland is evident. Apply a liberal amount of cleanser to the affected area and allow it to soak for a few minutes, or until the odor is eliminated.

3. Use Human Deodorant

Attempt deodorizing your dog using a human deodorant, such as Speed Stick, if all the visible anal gland fluid has been removed but the odor remains. Instead of applying the deodorant straight on your dog, lay some on gauze first.

Hold the deodorant gauze against your dog for a few minutes to assist with odor removal. As a precaution, wipe the area with water or a pet cleaning wipe to ensure that no deodorant remains on the skin or fur of your dog.

4. Give Your Dog a “Butt Bath”

Occasionally, especially for long-haired dogs, it is inevitable that your dog will require a wash to eliminate the anal gland odor. In most circumstances, you can get away with giving your dog merely a “butt wash” consisting of water and dog shampoo applied to the dog’s legs and rear end. Make careful to fully rinse and dry your dog after applying soap.

5. Use an Enzymatic Pet Cleaner

Use an enzymatic pet cleaning, such as Nature’s Miracle, to eliminate the odor of anal glands from furniture and carpets. This cleanser breaks down and eliminates odors, as opposed to simply hiding them. Follow the instructions on the cleaner’s label for optimal results. Before using the cleaner, it is advisable to test it on the surface to verify that it does not bleach or stain it.

Concerning Anal Gland Signs to Watch Out For

Anal glands that are swollen or leaking are not a reason for alarm, but rather a smelly annoyance. However, tumors can form in and around the anal glands of dogs.

Abscesses or infections of the anal glands are additional prevalent conditions. Here are some warning signals that may suggest your dog has a more serious anal gland problem:

  • redness and enlargement close to the anus
  • discharges of blood or pus from the glands.
  • Continuous scooting or gnawing of the region
  • Weight loss or appetite suppression
  • Fever

If you observe these symptoms, you should get your dog examined by a veterinarian. In extreme circumstances, your dog may require surgical removal of one or more anal glands.


Dealing with anal gland odor is just one of the many perks of dog ownership. You can, fortunately, take measures to prevent the stink. If your efforts to avoid the odor are unsuccessful, these five methods will help remove it.

If you’re feeling brave, ask your groomer or veterinarian to demonstrate how to express your dog’s anal glands using external pressure. This method might save you time and money if your dog has persistent anal gland problems.

We hope “How to Get Rid of Dog Anal Gland Smell (5 Simple Steps)” on BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has given you an idea of how to keep your furry buddy clean and good-smelling.

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


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