Before we begin this article, please be aware that learning how to express your chihuahua’s anal glands will involve close up looks at a dog’s anus. This article contains pictures to show you where to put your fingers, and that area happens to be on either side of the anus. If you do not want to view close up pictures of a dog’s butt hole, you might want to skip this article.
On the same note, if you can’t stomach looking at pictures of a dog’s butt, just take your pet to a groomer and tip heavily. Expressing glands involves looking at, touching, and cleaning up what squirts out of your dog’s anus.
Why Do Dog’s Need Their Anal Glands Expressed
Not all dogs need their glands expressed. Unfortunately, chihuahuas are a breed highly prone to anal gland difficulties. You will know if your dog is having anal gland problems if it has any of the following symptoms:
- The “boot scoot” on carpeting or grass.
- Excessive licking of the anus
- A strong, fishy odor from the behind
You can also feel extremely full anal glands through the surface of the skin near the anus and may even be able to see them bulging outwards.
If your dog doesn’t seem to have anal gland issues, it is best not to express them at all. My dogs very seldom to never need anal gland expression. If you can’t feel anything bulging and your dog never appears irritated by their behind, it’s probably fine not to do them.
How to Express Your Chihuahua’s Anal Glands
If you know your pet has anal gland issues and want to save some money by doing at home, the good news is it is usually very easy. If your dog’s glands are very full, it’s even easier. You don’t need any special equipment to do so, but you will definitely want the following:
While dogs love sniffing each other’s glands, most humans do not love the smell of anal glands. If you do not want hot, stinking anal gland juice alllll over your hands, you will want to wear gloves. Thin gloves work best because you can still easily feel the glands.
- A cleanable surface
A bath or sink is best. Anywhere that’s easy to wipe or rinse down. If it doesn’t hit your hand it can squirt quite a distance.
- Shampoo or wipes
Your pet will need rinsed or wiped immediately after or they will wipe it all over your carpet instead. Have a cleaning strategy ready.
Once your dog is in the safe zone and your gloves are on, place your fingers on either side of your dog’s anus. Holding the tail up and slightly back to create tension can help pop the anal glands out a bit to help you feel them.
Push your fingers gently into the skin on either side of the anus, and then together as if you were trying to pinch your dog’s anus. Unless the glands are very firm or pasty, they should squirt right out.
Some Dogs Don’t Like This
Before you pop your dog in the tub and squeeze it’s glands, be aware that most dogs don’t care for this. Imagine how you’d react to someone pinching your butt. If you’d haul off and slap someone groping you, don’t be surprised if your dog feels the same way.
If you’re not sure how your dog will behave, take your dog to the groomer for an anal gland expression the first time, explain you are going to be doing it at home after this, and ask for details on behavior. They can let you know if your dog is fine with having their glands expressed or not.
Anal Gland Safety
In some cases, the anal glands will be very hard to express. Pinching too hard obviously hurts, but if it isn’t easy to express it’s best to ask your vet to check them and make sure they’re just a pasty consistency and not impacted or infected.
Your vet can advise you on what is normal, and whether you can safely do them at home or not if they are hard to express.
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