So, your dog just came out of the grooming salon with a new haircut, detangled fur, smelling like the fresh baby they are.
But there is one problem. They keep dragging their butt on your favorite rug!
Why does your dog keep sitting down after grooming? The most likely reason is the groomer has likely checked and emptied their anal glands.
Find out why dogs sit after grooming and the possible causes of anal gland problems.
We also explore how often your dog’s anal glands need to be expressed and tips for dog anal gland care.
Why Dogs Sit After Grooming
Your dog might keep on sitting down after grooming because the groomer has checked your dog’s anal glands and emptied them.
Sometimes, they also scoot or drag their butt along the ground while sitting.
Anal glands are scent glands also known as “anal sacs.” Your dog has two of them located between the muscles that make up the rectum.
When the anal glands are working right, they are naturally expressed through the duct between the anus and anal glands each time your dog poops.
It is also through the anal glands that your dog marks their spot. They leave a “smell signal” for any dogs who try to pass by their territory.
When your dog has a solid stool, they release little fluids. Meanwhile, soft stools don’t require pressure, therefore no fluids are released.
If your dog’s anal glands don’t empty properly, fluids can build up and block it, making bowel movements difficult or painful. It can also lead to infections or abscesses.
If the groomer emptied their anal glands, your dog will tend to sit and scoot because of irritation, which is not harmful. Your dog is just trying to relieve their irritation.
How Often Your Dog’s Anal Glands Need to Be Expressed
The answer to this depends on your dog’s condition. Some need to get theirs expressed manually once a month, while others only need it once or twice a year.
For many dogs, these glands empty every time they poop soft stools. For others, the glands could fail to empty and cause a blockage.
Talk to your vet about how often your dog’s anal glands need to be emptied.
Causes of Anal Gland Problems
Impacted anal glands can lead to infection and abscesses if not treated. It can rupture through the dog’s skin because the impaction can’t be normally expressed through the anal gland duct.
Dogs with skin conditions are also prone to recurrent problems with their anal glands.
These skin conditions include:
- bacteria or yeast infections
- food allergies
- atopic dermatitis
- overweight or obesity
Finally, dogs who get their anal glands frequently squeezed are also prone to anal gland problems. This happens when groomers make expressions part of the regular grooming routine.
The squeezing done can lead to inflammation that worsens when done frequently. It results in scar tissue formation and the further narrowing of the anal gland duct.
Signs of anal sac problems include sitting, scooting, excessive licking of their butt, biting, and blood and pus draining from the rectum.
How Groomers Express Dogs’ Anal Glands
Impacted anal glands are relieved manually by squeezing out the fluid. This is very smelly and may require a professional to do it. However, not all groomers offer this service.
In some cases, if you can handle it, then you can learn how to express or empty their anal glands.
Here’s how groomers express dogs’ anal glands.
First, the groomer shampoos your pooch and cleanses the part below the tail. Then, they assess whether the glands require expression or not.
It should be noted that the groomer shouldn’t express your dog’s anal glands if there is an infection or serious impaction.
They don a pair of gloves and palpate the glands from outside.
The groomer expresses the glands while your dog is in the tub with water to flush the fluid. This emptying process takes some trial and error.
Be careful if you are trying to perform this operation on your own. Most dog owners do not want to insert a finger up their dog’s rectum. Your dog may even dislike the feeling.
Unless you have been properly instructed on the procedure, it is best to leave it to a professional.
Go to the Vet
Always ask your groomer how the anal sacs looked because you may never know if they’re infected or not.
If your dog keeps sitting or scooting well after the grooming session, take them to the vet immediately.
When the glands are infected, the vet will express them with a different and more invasive process. They will use a lubricated glove to insert their finger into the anus.
They then depress one gland at a time and draw their finger forward. This will clear out the gland effectively.
Dog Anal Gland Care
Aside from seeking the advice of a vet, here are some tips to help your dog with frequent anal gland problems.
Treat Skin Condition, Obesity, and Other Issues
If your dog has skin allergies, always give them a hypoallergenic diet and use hypoallergenic grooming products on their skin.
Remember that a grain-free diet doesn’t necessarily mean it’s hypoallergenic because food allergies are sometimes caused by the type of protein instead of grain.
If your dog is overweight or obese, exercise them regularly and put them on a diet to avoid anal gland infection as a side effect. Your dog may also be overweight due to hypothyroidism.
Add Fiber to Your Dog’s Diet
High-fiber dog food products usually provide about 6-10% per serving. But beware of dog food products that have a fiber content of 10% or more as they could cause an upset stomach.
Try Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food. It’s packed with fiber, real chicken, and real lamb to give your dog enough nutrients without leading to obesity.
It also has brown rice, rice bran, split peas, and whole-grain oatmeal.
Give them Fish Oil
The Omega 3 fatty acids in fish oils have anti-inflammatory properties that can treat anal gland impaction.
Fish Oil by Nature’s Bounty is a fish oil that comes in the form of soft gels. It has a high concentration of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids which you can mix with their dog food.
Stop Your Dog From Booty Scooting!
It’s normal for dogs to scoot and sit after grooming when the groomer emptied their anal glands.
However, if it continues to happen and other signs of infection occur, take them to the vet immediately.
Treat skin infection, obesity, and other conditions that might be causing anal gland problems.
Also, give them a fiber-packed diet mixed with fish oil to combat the infection.