How often should a dog’s anal glands be expressed?

As most dog owners know, dogs have anal sacs on either side of their rectum. These normally empty when a pet passes a bowel movement to add a scent to the stool – as if that is even necessary! If the dog has chronically soft stools or abnormal anal sacs, however, these sacs can become impacted, requiring expression. Affected dogs will scoot their bottoms on the ground and lick the area excessively.

Many wonder if the anal sacs should be expressed regularly as a part of routine pet care. For most dogs, this is unnecessary, as they should express naturally. Routine expression in pets without chronic anal sac problems, especially rough expression, can irritate the anal sacs, causing unnecessary inflammation. If you have questions about your dog’s gastrointestinal health, please contact us at Hudson Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. Crane