And you thought that your dog wasn’t that heavy into The Socials… Ha!
Your dog’s anal glands are their gateway to doggy socials and catching up with their buddies and making new friends. Anal glands can also be something that can cause your pup pain and discomfort if not managed properly. This quick video gives the lay of the land covering the key things you need to know about this small but important part of your pup’s anatomy.
Where are your dog’s anal glands? The anal glands are two little sacks situated at the 4 and 8 o’clock position just below your dog’s butthole. You can’t see them, but they are siting just inside the skin diagonally below the anus. Young and old, male and female doggies all have them.
How do the anal glands work? As poop moves past the glands on the way out the back door, hard poop naturally applies pressure on them and the glands are expressed, lubricating the poop with pheromones. It is these pheromones that are your pups social media posts telling their friends and neighbors about who they are, what they have been eating, where they have been…sounds just like socials right? Now you know why when your doggy meets a fur-buddy the first thing they do is go in for a sniff of the back door!
If the poop that your dog produces is too soft for too long, the glands may not be effectively expressed, this can result in a build-up of the anal gland, which is known as an “impacted anal glands”. Essentially they get blocked. This can be very uncomfortable for the dog and the result is that they will try to drag their bum along the ground to massage it, this is known as scooting. If the scooting fails to apply pressure effectively to the glands, then this can lead to infected, irritated, swollen glands which can be quite painful. If the butthole does look inflamed or enlarged and is very sensitive to the touch (your pup yelps when you touch it), time to get down to the vet.
Often though, if you have caught it early, say by observing your dog scooting and it is not yet inflamed or sensitive to the touch, then you can take care of this problem at home. Be warned though, it’s pretty stinky. (Think skunk-like stink!). Here is some simple steps to get this done:
- If this is your first try, consider wearing washing up gloves or something as an extra layer of protection
- After getting the gloves on, prepare some toilet paper in your right hand
- Let your dog sniff the toilet paper, then bring the dog in close to you with them facing to your left, you will need to be at their height, so squat/kneel down
- Use your left forearm to firmly push on their lower back to keep it straight, then use your left hand to lift their tail firmly
- With your right hand, place the toilet paper over the anus and then with your thumb and index finger just below the anus, pinch inward and massage firmly the two glands
- After about 2 seconds of massaging, you should now have a horrendously stinky gift in the middle of the toilet paper. Interestingly, my suggestion is to let the dog sniff it – it seems to help them understand what happened
- Then flush it down the toilet as quickly as you can and wash your hands thoroughly!
If you have had long-running issues with your dog’s anal glands malfunctioning, aka: you have seen your dog scooting down the hallway at home or down at the park more than once, then its time to consider what food they are eating. The VAST majority of anal gland issues stem from an inappropriate diet for your dog. Contact Chateau Canine’s WeChat account (chateaucanine) and we will provide free advice for you about how to fix this problem naturally.
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