Should You Empty Your Dog’s Anal Sacs Regularly?

There are certain aspects of pet grooming that both pet owners and even groomers would agree that it is not their favorite thing to do when taking care of their pets.

One of these unmentionable things in pet grooming is emptying your pet’s anal sacs.

Just like a human’s anal sacs, a dog’s anal sacs must be regularly emptied. However, unlike human anal sacs, a dog’s anal sacs carry a special smelly fluid that enables them to mark their territory.

Unfortunately, if your dog doesn’t get enough fiber in their diets, they are unable to defecate properly and it causes the glands to produce a foul odor. If left untreated, your dog might get chronic infections to the point your vets may be forced to remove the glands.

Fortunately, there is a way to determine if your pet is having trouble with their anal glands and they are the following:

  • If they start scooting their butt on the ground
  • If they show pain while sitting
  • If they tend to bite and lick their bottoms regularly
  • If you notice the development of red skin around your pet’s anus
  • If you notice bleeding or leakage coming from your pet’s anus

If you notice any one of these symptoms, you may need to clean their anal sacs manually.

Before you do attempt to manually clean your dog’s anal sacs, it is best you ask your vet or your groomer the right way to do it. If you make even the slightest mistake or too frequent in cleaning your pet’s anal glands, it may cause impacted anal glands and possibly rupture it. If this occurs, you may trigger further infections that can be fatal if not properly treated.

If you wish to help your pet by yourself, here are the ways you can clean your pet’s anal sacs:

Wear the right gear

Before you go set out to clean your pet’s anal sacs, you must ensure you are wearing the right gear. Wear some old clothes, a pair of heavy duty rubber gloves and a nose plug to ensure you don’t get the fluid in your clean clothes and in your hands directly.

Nose plugs are actually optional, but your dog’s anal fluids can be very stinky so you may need to wear one as a precaution.

Prepare a paper towel or pad

Before you begin in cleaning your pet’s anal sac, you need to prepare an absorbent pad that you will use to clean off the fluids. You can fold up several paper towels and put them all together to create an absorbent pad then use it to catch the liquids that would come out of your pet’s bottom.

Get some help

Cleaning your pet’s anal sacs can be very irritating, and sometimes painful, for your pet. Get a family member or a friend to help you hold your pet while you clean so they won’t move around while you do the act.

Lift up your dog’s tail

To begin the cleaning process, first, lift your dog’s tail and place the towels over their anus. Make sure you take note where the anus is located since it would be covered by the towel for the next step.

Squeeze the anal sacs

Place your thumb and forefinger over the location of your pet’s anal sacs and squeeze gently towards each other to entice the fluids to flow out of the anus. Some experts also recommend squeezing at the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions of your pet’s bottom, using the anus as a reference.

As you squeeze gently, make sure you keep your face away and only use light pressure similar to how you use an aerosol spray.

Just continue applying light pressure until all the fluids have been removed from the glands.

Dispose of the used paper towels and gloves

As you squeeze your pet’s anal sacs and the fluids come out, wipe it off your pet’s bottom with the paper towels you folded. When you are done, properly dispose of the used towels and the gloves you used in a covered trash can since the scent can waft out of the trash can if it is not covered.

Clean your dog’s bottom really well

When you are sure that no more fluids are coming out, wash your pet’s bottom thoroughly to ensure no fluids can cause infections.

Extra notes

Even if your pet does not exhibit signs that they are having problems with their anal sacs, some experts and pet owners recommended cleaning your pet’s anal sacs during bath time to ensure they are regularly clean.

However, if you notice that your pet’s anal sacs tend to fill up more frequently, you may need to bring your pet to the vet to see if there are no problems causing it.

Alternatives

Alternatively, you can also change your dog’s diet to assist in emptying their anal sacs. Add fiber-rich treats in your dog’s diet so it can help improve their stool’s size and firmness.

Exercise can also assist in emptying your pet’s anal sacs because they can malfunction if your pet is overweight.

Sounds hard to do?

If you think you can’t do it yourself, you may opt to ask the staff of your pet’s veterinarian or a professional groomer to tackle the issue for you. Like Singapore’s numerous veterinary centers, Singapore has a lot of pet grooming centers that offer full pet grooming. You can also request a groomer close to your home to make a house call to assist you with the problem.

Conclusion

Whichever choice you pick, it is important that you immediately act when your pet showcases the symptoms of anal sac problems. Even if you may find the symptoms cute and perceive it as normal, such symptoms should not be treated lightly.

If you do not act immediately, the discomfort your pet may feel may become unbearable for them to handle and it may lead to them getting their anal sacs taken out. Without their anal sacs, they won’t be able to mark their territory well and put them at risk to other complications. So, act immediately and carefully when it happens!

About the Author Kally