Do Pugs Need Their Glands Expressed And How to Do It

Do Pugs need their glands expressed? This is a question that I used to ask myself when I noticed fishy smells from Mindy or I would see her scooting her butt across the floor. Today, we’re going to take a look at the Pug anal glands and everything you need to know.

Do Pugs Need Their Glands Expressed?

The answer is it depends on the dog. Not all dog’s anal glands need to be manually expressed unless there is a problem. Most canines are able to release the fluid during their regular bowel movements. Your dog’s dog food plays a vital role in whether you’ll need to squeeze your Pug’s anal glands or not.

Foods that are high in fiber will help ensure that the anal glands function properly. I’ve put together some high-quality dog food for Pug’s, if your furbaby is having difficulties, I’d highly recommend checking them out.

do pugs need their glands expressed

What Are Dog Anal Glands?

Canines have two small glands aka anal sacs on either side of the anus. Typically, these glands are located in the four o’clock and eight o’clock positions.

pug and anal glands
Your dog has two anal glands that can cause a foul odor.

These glands fill up with a nasty smelling liquid that many people describe as a fishy smell.

Your pooch will secrete this odorous fluid during defecation, and through this process, he/she will spread his signature through his poop.

This is why dogs love marking their territory with both poop and pee. Both male and female dogs do this marking behavior.

Dogs also release this fluid when they are happy, or scared. Some dogs smell worse than others and it’s the way that other dogs know who they are.

It’s also why dog’s sniff each other butts when they first meet.

Why Do Dogs Need Their Glands Expressed

As I mentioned above, most dogs will be able to release this fluid during their normal defecation process. The anal glands become a problem when they don’t express naturally. They’ll cause your pooch pain and discomfort and you’ll start to notice a foul smell.

If left untreated, it can cause an infection in one or both glands. The infection can eventually cause a painful abscess, that will require veterinarian care and possibly surgery.

How Often To Express Dogs Glands?

The tricky thing about anal glands is trying to determine how often these suckers need to be squeezed.

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell how often you’ll need to manually express your Pug’s anal sacs. Some dogs NEVER have a problem with their anal glands.

You’ll have to just keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and spot the warning signs. Mindy used to scoot her butt on the floor when it was time to express hers.

How Do You Know Your Dog Needs Glands Expressed?

It’s easy to tell if your Pug is having problems with their anal sacs, be on the lookout for the following signs:

  • Your Pug is scooting their butt on the carpet.
  • You’ll start to notice a stinky, pungent smell because the anal glands are full.
  • Your Pug is licking their bottom a lot.
  • You may see some spots of brownish material wherever you Pug has been sitting, such as on your furniture, lap, and your carpet.
  • A fishy smell on your dog’s behind.

If your pooch is leaving any blood behind when they scoot, it’s a sign of an infection and you need to go to the vet immediately.

Do Vets Express Glands?

If you don’t feel comfortable expressing your Pug’s anal glands yourself, you can have your veterinarian.

We took Mindy the first couple of times she needed to get hers squeezed. It cost us about $15, the prices will vary from city to city and clinic to clinic.

Anal gland expression is covered through most pet insurances. If you don’t want to do it yourself, then make sure you take them to the vet and NOT the groomer.

A veterinarian will do a much better job because they will squeeze them internally. A groomer will most likely only squeeze them externally.

How to Squeeze The Glands In Pug Dog?

Most Pug owners don’t want to take their dog to the vet every time their dog needs their anal glands expressed. Well, the great news is that you can learn how to do it yourself.

This video will walk you through the process of how to squeeze your dog’s anal glands. I’ll also explain the process of how to squeeze them externally or from the outside the rectum:

Step One

Put your Pug in the bath or do it outside because the fluid that comes out is really smelly.

Step Two

Put on a latex glove and use your thumb and forefinger to feel on their behind. Place your thumb and forefinger on the four o’clock and eight o’clock positions on your dog’s behind.

Without using your nails you’re feeling for two bumps that feel like a little pea.

Your fingers will be about even level with the rectum.

Step Three

Once you feel the anal sacs, you’ll want to push your fingers in front of them. Then you’re going to roll and squeeze your fingers outward towards you.

Make sure you don’t push very hard, otherwise, you’ll hurt your Pug.

If you’re doing it correctly, you should start to see something come out from your dog’s butt.

Do not repeat the process, simply wash your Pug with a washcloth to get rid of the fluid from their body and then give them a reward for being a good doggy.

The fluid that comes out will vary from dog to dog. The one in the video looks like tar. In some instances, when you squeeze your Pug’s anal glands, the fluid will squirt out and get everywhere.

Can I Squeeze My Pugs Anal Glands?

While it’s not really recommended, especially, if you’ve never done it. However, it’s NOT that hard but it is an unpleasant experience.

As I mentioned, we squeezed our black Pug’s anal sacs. That being said, she didn’t have a lot of issues with her anal sacs, especially once we changed her dog food.

If you do squeeze your Pug’s anal sacs, it’s important to make sure that you don’t hurt them or damage the anal sacs.

Instead, I’d highly recommend taking some steps to care for your pooches anal glands.

Regular Care of The Anal Glands

Pugs don’t like to have their anal glands expressed. It’s a painful process and uncomfortable process. The great thing is there are some things you can do to care for your dog’s anal sacs.


Start by feeding your dog a higher quality dog food that has no by-products or cereal fillers. High-quality dog food will help your Pug product firmer stools which will help them naturally express the anal glands fluid.

Avoid People Food

Stop feeding your Pug table scraps which can cause soft stools. We know Pugs love eating, and some owners love feeding them human food. Here’s a list of foods Pugs love to eat and which ones are good and which ones are not.


There are all kinds of doggie supplements you can use, the one that comes to mind that supports anal glands is “AnalGlandz.” Always check with your vet before starting any type of supplement for your pooch.

Most pet owners ignore their dog’s anal glands until they become a problem. With regular care, you can spare your pooch the discomfort from having them expressed.

Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about that nasty smell in your home.

If your dog’s anal sacs are really bad, they may require a veterinarian to manually express them internally. This means they put on a glove and express them from inside the rectum.

References and Further Reading

PetMD – Everything You Need To Know About Those Nasty Anal Glands

Dogs Naturally – Dog Anal Glands: The DIY Solution To Stinky Problems

Cherished Companions – How to Tell If Your Dog Needs His Anal Glands Expressed

Black Pug Site