Anal glands, most dogs have two, are something people do not enjoy talking about or expressing, but at the animal hospital I work at, it is part of my daily happenings.
The anal glands are located inside the anus of the dogs and cats and are how dogs identify each other. Every time a dog defecates it squirts a little bit of the smelly “juice” out.
They can fail and become impacted due to poor diet, poor genetics, or soft stool. If the fluid in the anal glands is too thick to be expressed, it needs some fiber to thin it out. In that case adding pumpkin to the diet, that helps to thin out the fluid and makes them easier to express.
If your dog/cat is biting or scratching the area near the tail then he/ she may have an abscess or infection from bacteria entering in during the emptying of the sacs. The abscesses/ infections are very painful and should be brought to the veterinarians office if you see any signs listed above.
There are many ways to help with the anal glands. If you see your puppy scooting across the floor either bring him/her to the doctor and have them express the anal glands or put on a glove with lube, after visiting the vet to get a demonstration of how to, and squeeze them.
Here is a video to demonstrate how to properly express them (sorry about the picture before you play the video)
Before expressing be sure to have a paper towel under the dog’s anal area to catch any drippings. After expressing the anal glands you might want to clean the anal area of your dog. It can be a little stinky afterwards.