How to Safely Express Dog Glands

Start by explaining the importance of anal gland expression in dogs, what the glands are, and why some dogs need help with this part of their body.

Anatomy and Function

  • Understanding Anal Glands: Describe the location and function of anal glands in dogs and explain the signs that might indicate a problem, such as scooting or licking the area.
  • Reasons for Expression: Discuss why it's sometimes necessary to intervene, including the prevention of impaction and infection.

Signs of Need

  • Recognizing Symptoms: Detail the symptoms that suggest a dog's anal glands may need to be expressed, emphasizing the importance of distinguishing these from other health issues.
  • Veterinary Assessment: Advise on getting a professional diagnosis to ensure that expression is needed and appropriate.

Preparing for the Procedure

  • Setting Up: Outline the supplies needed (gloves, paper towels, warm water, etc.) and the best locations to perform the task to minimize mess and stress.
  • Handling Your Dog: Tips on how to calm and hold your dog still during the procedure, possibly with the help of another person.

Step-by-Step Guide to Safe Expression

  • External Expression Technique: Provide a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to express the glands externally, stressing gentleness and patience.
  • Internal Expression Technique: Although typically performed by professionals, briefly describe the internal method for informational purposes.
  • Hygiene and Aftercare: Discuss how to clean up both the dog and the area afterward, and how to monitor the dog for any signs of irritation or infection.

When to See a Professional

  • Professional Groomers and Vets: Emphasize when it's better to have a professional handle the gland expression, particularly for internal expressions or if the dog exhibits discomfort or complications.
  • Benefits of Professional Care: Outline the advantages of professional gland expression, including safety and thoroughness.

Common Complications

  • Potential Risks: Discuss potential complications from incorrect expression, such as pain, infection, or damage to the glands.
  • Post-Expression Issues: What to watch for after expression that might indicate a need for veterinary attention.

Preventative Measures

  • Diet and Exercise: Offer advice on how diet and regular exercise can help maintain healthy anal glands, potentially reducing the need for regular expressions.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Stress the importance of regular veterinary check-ups to catch gland issues before they become serious.


Summarize the key points about safely expressing a dog's anal glands and reiterate the importance of seeking professional advice if unsure.

Call to Action

Encourage readers to consult with their veterinarian before attempting gland expression, and invite them to share their experiences or ask questions in the comments for community support.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.