Swollen Anal Glands in Dogs | Home Remedy for Dog Scooting (Early access for our Patreon community)

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Raising Your Pets, Dogs and Cats Naturally


Home Remedy for Dog Scooting

How to naturally express anal glands
Natural dog anal gland care

Have you ever noticed your dog scooting on the floor? Or maybe he’s doing a lot of licking in his bum area. Sometimes, your dog may even have smelly anal glands. If so, you are not alone.

Why Do Dogs Have Anal Glands or Anal Sacs?

He’s a carnivore, baby. All carnivores, with the exception of bears and sea otters have anal glands or scent glands. These anal sacs are positioned inside your dog’s anus, approximately at the 4 and 8 o’clock position. Anal glands are filled with a brownish liquid and, most importantly, pheromones. These pheromones are used to provide information to other animals such as age, sex, health, and status. I’ve even been around dogs who expressed their anal glands when they were stressed!

Why do dogs sniff butts
Important pheromones

When a dog has a bowel movement, his anal glands should express naturally. This is, if the dog is healthy, has a firm stool, and his anal sacs are in the correct position. When a dog isn’t getting the proper fiber intake, exercise, nutrition or has other medical issues, his anal glands may become swollen and infected.

Home Remedy to Keep Your Dog’s Anal Glands in Tip-Top Shape

I spoke with Dr. Randy Aronson, from betterpet, and he offered this advice. “The best preventative to anal gland problems are a few diet additions. We recommend increasing probiotics in the bowel with goat kefir. Also, increasing fiber by adding psyllium or canned pumpkin will help. It is also imperative not to let your dog get overweight, and increasing his/her exercise can be very beneficial.”

Dr. Michelle Burch DVM from Safe Hounds Pet Insurance, agreed that adding psyllium is a beneficial fiber to help naturally express a dog’s anal glands. She explained, “Psyllium is derived from the seed husks of the plantago ovato. Psyllium is a soluble fiber that will soak water up from the colon. With the fiber soaking up water, it will bulk your dog’s stool allowing for better expression of the anal sacs during defecation.”

Her suggested dosage is as follows, “I recommend starting your dog on 0.5 to 1 teaspon per meal then increasing as needed. Excessive psyllium husk can cause diarrhea.”

Side note.  Remember to read the ingredient panel of all products to ensure the product is 100% and does not have any fillers.

Natural remedy to express glands
Herbs to heal anal glands

Expressing Anal Glands in Dogs

Should you, your vet, or groomer express your dog’s anal glands? Well, that does depend. I don’t think it should be a preventative measure, nor the first line of defense. As with most things, finding the root cause is important.

Dr. Karen Becker expressed her concerns saying, “Well-meaning groomers, veterinarians, and even pet owners can cause trauma to anal glands through routine manual expression. The anal sacs are delicate little organs that are easily injured by pinching or squeezing. Unnecessary manual expression will also reduce the effectiveness of the glands over time.”

I can relate to her statement. If I look back to twenty years ago, I started the cycle of monthly anal gland expressing. If I only knew then, what I know now, I would have changed my dog’s diet and stopped expressing his glands at home. But, I can only live and learn, which brings me to Dexter’s anal gland care.

Dexter’s anal glands are pretty regular. I feed him a species-appropriate raw diet, which includes various forms of fiber, fruits, and vegetables. However, there have been times when he may do a quick butt scoot or lick a little longer than usual. That’s when my anal gland tea tincture and homeopathic remedies come out.

So far, this has worked well for us. However, as always, please seek medical attention if your dog’s anal sacs seem swollen or irritated. Ideally, you will be consulting a holistic vet who is familiar with natural treatments, herbals, and remedies.

Natural Remedy to Express Dog Anal Glands

There are a variety of herbs that help encourage anal glands to empty, soothe and heal full anal sacs. I created a natural DIY herbal tea that I use as a warm compress placed against Dexter’s bottom. It’s pretty simple to make, and Dexter tolerates it well. I think he quite enjoys the warm compress and soothing action.

Herbs for dog anal gland care
Brew your dog’s tea

When applying the tea compress, do ensure it’s warm, but not hot! If your dog has a furry butt, make sure you apply the compress on his anal area vs. just on all his fur. Hold the tea compress on his bottom until the washcloth cools. You can brew a new tea tincture and apply it twice a day for three to four days. Please remember, if your dog seems terribly uncomfortable, contact his vet.

Anal Gland Tea Tincture Recipe

Place all your dog’s herbs in a glass bowl and mix them together. Take one tablespoon of your mix and place in a loose leaf tea infuser. Place your infuser in a mug and add 1 cup boiling water. Allow your dog’s tea to steep for fifteen minutes. Once steeped, place the herbs into a clean cloth, fold over once, and dip into the tea. Wring out a bit so the tea is not dripping from your cloth. Ensure the tea is warm, but not hot, and apply to your dog’s anus area until the washcloth is cool.

How to express a dog's anal glands
Place brewed leaves in cloth
Anal gland compress
Dip in warm tea
Herbs to express anal glands
Place on bottom until cool

If Dexter’s anal glands seem to be full, I also give him Silicea 6C. Silicea helps in naturally expressing a dog’s anal sacs. It’s best to give your dog his homeopathic pellets at least twenty minutes before or after a meal. Most pellets are sweet, and dogs typically will lick them up. You want to limit the handling of the pellets. Place 3-5 pellets in your open palm and show them to your dog. Hopefully, he will lick them right up. If not, you can try to place them on his gums. Or, you can place them in a little spring or filtered water and allow them to dissolve, then syringe the water into your dog’s mouth. If you don’t have another pet, you can place the pellets in his water bowl.

Your questions or comments are welcome below.

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Swollen Anal Glands in Dogs | Home Remedy for Dog Scooting (Early access for our Patreon community)