Anal Glands — Why Dogs Have Them & What To Do When They're A Problem

Does your dog have problems with their anal glands?

Unfortunately lots of dogs have problems with their anal glands. Some anal gland impactions get so bad that they become abscessed and rupture, causing pain for the dog, and quite a nasty mess for their people (as well as the costs associated with having the infection and abscess treated). So if anal glands are such a pain in the butt — both literally and figuratively — why do dogs have them and what can you do to help your dog if they suffer from regular anal gland problems?

What anal glands are and why dogs have them

Anal glands are scent glands — some people refer to them as “anal sacs.” They are located between the layers of muscles that make up the rectum and, when all is working right, they are naturally expressed, through the duct that connects the gland to the “outside world,” each time a dog poops. This is another way that a dog can mark their territory and leave a “smell signal” for any other dogs that may pass by their little (or big) “poop present.”