What are Foods to Help Dogs Express Glands?

What are Foods to Help Dogs Express Glands?

July 01, 2024

Everyone wants happy and healthy dogs, but there's a behind-the-scenes topic that often gets left out: a dog's anal gland health.

The often overlooked anal sacs near your dog's tail play a vital role in its comfort and health. When the anal glands get blocked or irritated, your dog could end up with an infection.

Your dog's digestive health is linked to their anal glands. A good digestive system means firm stool, which helps anal glands function properly.

So, what can you do to help your furry friend? Give them proper dog food! Adding proper nutrients and fibre to their diets can make a difference in your dogs' anal gland health.

This article will discuss the best dog food for anal gland issues.

What Foods Aid in Gland Expression?

Taking care of your dog's health is a top priority, and that includes keeping its anal glands in good shape.

Certain foods can help you achieve this by promoting a healthy digestive system, which, in turn, helps keep your dog's anal glands functioning correctly.

A healthy gut means a lower risk of gland blockage or infection, so it is a good idea to introduce foods that promote digestive health.

This simple step will prevent potential anal gland issues in your dog.

High-Fibre Foods

High-fibre food is essential for a dog's gut. It also helps support digestive health by preventing blockages. Here are some specific ways that fibre helps your dog.

  • Firmer Stools: Fibre leads to firmer stools that naturally express the dog's anal glands during their bowel movements.
  • Happy Gut Bacteria: Fibre acts like a prebiotic, stimulating the good bacteria in your dog's gut. This promotes digestive health.
  • Reduced Inflammation: A high-fibre diet helps produce short-chain fatty acids, which can decrease inflammation throughout the body, including the dog's anal glands.

Listed below are dog-safe foods for a high-fibre diet.

  • Vegetables like broccoli and carrots are fibrous and can be eaten boiled or raw.
  • Fruits like apples and bananas are great in moderation. Remember to remove the seeds and core from the apples.
  • Whole grains like oats and brown rice give dogs energy slowly and promote healthy digestion.
  • Lentils and chickpeas are full of fibre and protein to keep your dogs strong.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients and offer the following benefits.

  • Fight Inflammation: They ease discomfort from allergies, arthritis, and more.
  • Promote Healthy Skin and Fur: They reduce itching and keep fur shiny.
  • Support Joints: They keep the dog's joints flexible and potentially reduce arthritis pain.
  • Boost Brainpower: This is important for both growing puppies and senior dogs.
  • Heart Health: They contribute to a healthy circulatory system.

For a healthy dose of Omega-3s, look for these foods.

  • Fatty Fish: These include salmon, sardines, mackerel (cooked or canned).
  • Fish Oil Supplements: Look for supplements that are specifically designed for dogs.
  • Plant-based Options (lower in essential omega-3s): These include flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts (grind and sprinkle).

NOTE: Speak with your vet before incorporating supplements into your dog's diet. They will inform you of the appropriate dosage.

Moisture-Rich Foods

Apart from adding fibre to their diet, ensure your dog drinks enough water for their anal gland health. When they are well-hydrated, it softens their stool and makes their bowel movements easier.

Feeding your dogs moisture-rich foods can help keep their anal glands healthy. Here are some examples.

  • Wet dog food is generally recommended for its high water content. It is also easier to chew than dry food.
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits like cucumbers and celery are also good options.
  • Broth can also be added to your dogs' meals to help them remain hydrated.

Natural Supplements

Adding natural supplements to dog food can help the dog's overall health.

  • Pumpkin seed powder: With its anti-inflammatory properties, this supplement helps prevent anal gland issues.
  • Probiotics: These microorganisms improve digestive health, enhance gut health, and strengthen your dog's immune system
  • Fish oil: Rich in omega-3, this supplement reduces swelling in your dog's anal glands.
  • Scoot Solution: This is designed to improve canine bowel health. Our natural supplement is made of beet pulp, flaxseed, dandelion root, salmon oil, and other ingredients beneficial for your dog’s health.

How to Incorporate Gland-Healthy Foods into Your Dog's Diet

For optimal canine health, a well-balanced diet is vital. This includes promoting healthy anal glands. Here is how to achieve that through your dog's food.

Introducing New Foods

When trying out new foods for your dog, proceed slowly. Mix a small portion of the new dog food with its usual food and gradually add more over a few days.

This will help the dog's stomach adjust without any problems. Switching too quickly can lead to further issues.

Proper Portions and Nutrients

A healthy diet for dogs should include various food types. Ensure their meals have a bit of everything — protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

For healthy bowel movement and anal glands, feed them high-quality foods.

Keep Them Hydrated

Keep your dogs hydrated at all times for healthy anal gland function.

This goes beyond providing enough water. Feed your dogs moist foods to keep them cool and soften their stool.

Plus, ensuring they are hydrated helps with digestion by stopping constipation, which could lead to anal gland issues.

Watch for Signs

Keep an eye on your dog's behaviour and health. If they are persistently scooting or licking their rear end, it might mean anal gland problems.

Regular veterinarian check-ups will catch any anal gland issues early so your dog remains healthy.

Remember to speak with your vet before significantly altering your dog's diet. They can provide personalised guidance based on your dog's needs and health.

Asking questions like "Can food cause anal gland issues in dogs" during your vet visits will help you make the best choices for them.

Additional Tips for Gland Health

To properly manage anal gland problems, you will need to assist your dog beyond watching their food. Follow these tips for a healthier dog.

Ease Rear End Discomfort With a Warm Cloth

Your dog may experience discomfort due to an irritated rear end. You can remedy their impacted anal glands with a quick home remedy.

Get a clean washcloth and soak it in warm water, not too hot. Next, hold it gently against the sore area for 10 to 15 minutes. The warmth should help soothe the discomfort and reduce any swelling.

Maintain a Baseline Weight

Similarly to humans, extra weight negatively impacts a dog's health status. Overweight dogs are under extra strain, which will prevent them from expressing their anal glands naturally.

Healthy food and regular exercise will help your dog remain at a healthy weight and keep its anal glands functioning correctly.

Eliminate Potential Sources of Stress

A dog may express their anal glands due to external stressors such as fireworks and storms. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, identify noises that can frighten or surprise your dog and avoid doing them.

Ensure your dog has a calm and peaceful place to relax, away from loud noises or busy areas.

Schedule Regular Check-Ups

Frequent visits to the vet are important for your dog's overall health, including its glands. The vet can check for any issues and provide advice on how to keep them healthy.

Remember to ask the vet if your dog is at a healthy body weight. If not, ask if they recommend any dog foods or dietary changes for weight reduction.

Avoid Unnecessary Baths

Bath time is important to keep your dog clean, but too many baths can hinder its glands from functioning properly.

Canine-friendly shampoo can wash away the natural oils on a dog's skin, making it harder for its glands to function properly.

Ask your veterinarian for a suggested bathing schedule for your dogs and remember to use a gentle shampoo made especially for them.

Alternative Therapies

Your dog's specific condition may be alleviated via special treatments like acupuncture or massages.

These treatments can help your dog's glands by improving circulation and reducing irritation. However, they may take a few days to affect your dog's health.

More pertinently, speak with your vet first to see if this might be a good option for your dog.

Manual Expression in Times of Necessity

In some cases, your dog's anal glands may need to be manually expressed to avoid anal gland issues. However, only do this under your veterinarian's advice. Squeezing them too often can make things worse.

If you suspect your dog's anal glands are impacted, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. They can gently express the glands and check for any underlying problems.

By following these tips, you can maintain your dog's health and prevent further anal gland issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following section will discuss common questions about how food can help dogs' anal glands function at their best.

Is a Raw Diet Good for Gland Health?

Yes, raw food diets are a potential solution for anal gland issues because they are packed with ingredients that promote gut health.

These include soluble and insoluble fibre, natural digestive enzymes, and probiotics. By supporting a healthy digestive system, a raw diet can help prevent anal gland problems naturally.

What Are Symptoms of Anal Gland Problems?

While any dog can experience blocked anal glands, it is more likely in those who are overweight, have consistently soft stool, suffer from skin allergies or conditions, or belong to certain breeds predisposed to the issue.

Here are the signs your dog may have blocked anal glands.

  • Scooting: This is the most common sign, where your dog drags its rear end on the ground to relieve discomfort.
  • Fishy Odour: The fluid from blocked anal glands has a distinct fishy, unpleasant odour.
  • Excessive Licking or Biting: Your dog may persistently lick or bite at its rear end or base of the tail to try to soothe the irritation.
  • Straining to Defecate: Pain from blocked glands can make it hard for your dog to pass stool.
  • Sudden Discomfort: Your dog might yelp or abruptly sit down due to pain.
  • Frequently and Suddenly Looking at Their Bottom: This sudden behaviour could indicate irritation or discomfort in the anal area.

What Types of Dog Breeds Are Prone to Anal Gland Problems?

Smaller dog breeds are more prone to anal gland problems.

The list includes the following.

  • Chihuahuas
  • Toy and Miniature Poodles
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Basset Hounds
  • Beagles

While the above breeds are more prone to needing regular anal gland expression, this issue is not limited by size. Dogs of all breeds and sizes can experience anal gland issues.

Key Takeaways on Foods to Help Dog Express Glands

To sum it up, giving your canine good food is crucial for its anal gland health. Foods that are rich in fibre and healthy fats can help keep anal glands in check and make them feel better overall.

However, it is not just about what you feed the dogs; it is also about how you do it. Follow the tips discussed above for optimal health.

Remember to also regularly play with your dog. Regular exercise keeps your dogs' bowels moving regularly, which helps them express their anal glands naturally. Aim for daily walks to keep them active.

A proper diet, awareness of common signs of anal gland problems and consistent exercise will ensure your dog remains healthy and happy.