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Which Food Cause Anal Gland Issues In Dogs: How To Cure


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A comprehensive guide for dog owners: Can food cause anal gland issues?

The health of your dog is one of the biggest priorities for you, as it should be. However, there are certain areas where lack of information and lack of awareness can cause so much confusion and problems for you. At times, when you do not know where the problem is stemming from, it can be very exhausting and I can feel you on that!

You being here on this post tells me that you are worried about the anal gland problems for your dog. Isn’t it true? You might also be worried about the major factors that cause such problems in your dog’s life. Can food also be a major contributing factor?

There are so many questions that can give you a lot of confusion. Also, finding the right information in the right way through the internet is a big challenge. For that, you do not have to worry much as you are on the right post now. It is also about the anal gland problems that stem from the faulty food regulations. So, read till you reach the last word!

What are the anal glands?

These glands are located on either side of the anus of your dog. They usually contain a matter that has a foul smell and it is expelled during urination or defecation. Research says that it acts as a territory marker. Another job that these glands have is to act as the body’s dustbin, in that they are a means of collecting and discharging waste from the system.

Major factors that can cause the issues in anal glands

Dog siting sad and in pain

When it comes to the issues related to the anal gland of your dog, there can be multiple reasons. I have listed some of them below:

1) Soft stools:

Yes, when your dog’s stools are persistently soft or they resemble diarrhea, they are probably not putting the pressure needed by the anal glands to secrete. How is it dangerous? It is a danger to your dog’s health because this can lead to inadequate emptying of the glands and create several severe problems for your pet. Also, multiple factors cause soft stools or diarrhea in your dogs. You will find many of them mentioned below as well.

2) Diet without fiber:

If the food that you are feeding your pet, is low in fiber, it too can cause soft stools for your dog, and thus, your dog cannot express the anal glands properly.

3) Obesity:

Dogs that are overweight can also be prone to anal gland problems. This is because the pressure of their body is also impacting their glands. Thus, this makes them more prone to the infections that are related to the anal glands.

4) Genetics:

Surprisingly, this can also be a cause of your dog’s persistent anal gland-related issues. Some of the dogs are genetically predisposed to such problems. Also, breeds that have smaller anal glands or difficult anatomy are prone to such problems.

5) Infections:

Problems like infections or inflammations can also cause a lot of problems related to the anal glands. Infections can make your dog more prone whereas inflammations can cause blockages that affect secretion.


Yes, you read that right. Dogs that have certain allergic problems that are related to their foods are also prone to problems that are linked to their anal gland secretion. This is because such dogs may face potential changes in their stool consistency, which can lead to such problems.

7) Health conditions:

Sometimes there are some hidden health problems associated with your dog that cause such surface issues. There can be both severe and minor problems. So, for that, you must regularly take your dog to a vet. It is better if the problems are spotted earlier.

You can further explore the causes and reasons of anal gland problems among dogs in the video below:

Can food cause anal gland issues in dogs?

3 puppies eating in 1 bowl

Yes, food can cause anal gland problems in dogs. The food intake of your pet can also be a major problem for the anal glands. If you are feeding your dog more than what they need for sustainability, they can have anal gland problems. This also becomes dangerous for the stomach. Another factor is the quality of the food that you are providing them with. If the food quality is low and has unsuitable ingredients along with chemical additives, then your dog is more likely to face anal gland problems.

What are the symptoms of anal gland problems?

Dog having problem with anal gland

The first thing that comes to your mind is what are the symptoms that are linked with anal glands. There are a lot of symptoms that can help you in knowing about your dog’s health. Based on my personal experiences within the circle of my friends, I have listed some of them below for you:

  1. Scooting is one of the common signs. You may find your dog dragging their hindquarters across the ground floor because of discomfort.
  2. You may find your dog licking their anal area, excessively. This tells that there is some kind of discomfort that they are going through.
  3. You may find them crying or whining when it’s time for them to take out their stool. It’s all in the expressions.
  4. You may see a visible swelling in their anal area that is very much noticeable. If the area is infected, there might be some kind of a lump or abscess that is visible.
  5. There is a very foul odor in the anal gland secretions. The odor is very noticeable to you.
  6. Your dog may show signs of pain and discomfort during defecation. This is because of the infection in the anal gland.
  7. You may also notice that there is a change in their stool consistency. The stools might be soft.
  8. You may also see some visible discharge from their anal glands. The fluid can be brownish fluid or pus because of the prevailing infection.
  9. Your dog may also exhibit discomfort while sitting or you may find them chasing their tail as a response to the irritation that they are facing.

Whenever you notice such symptoms, it is better to opt for a professional vet. The sooner you find the root of the problem, the better it is for your dog’s health.

What helps dogs with anal gland problems? What helps naturally?

help dog with anal gland problem

Several things help dogs with anal gland issues. There are certain dietary adjustments along with regular veterinary care that can be helpful. Things like a high-fiber diet, regular exercise, proper hydration, expression anal glands, regular vet checkups, etc. The anal gland problems vary in severity so a vet’s guidance is always essential for accurate diagnosis. Although, I have enlisted some of the things that you should make sure, are a part of your dog’s diet.

1) High-fiber foods:

high fiber foods are very helpful for your dog’s diet because they are good for promoting regular bowel movements. This aspect is very helpful for anal glands and I have explained this below as well.

2) Omega-3 fatty acids:

These are some other nutrients that you need in your dog’s food. You can usually find them in fish oils or fatty fish. They are very good for the overall skin of your dog and also help in the coat’s health.

3) Whole grains:

Grains like brown rice, oats, quinoa, etc are very good for your dog’s health. They are good at providing fiber and they contribute to the firmer stools of your dog.

4) Lean proteins and probiotics:

Lean proteins are good when it comes to the muscle development of your dog. Probiotics are another important ingredient that you need in your dog’s food. They are good for promoting healthy bacteria that are good for digestion.

High-fiber foods and anal glands

Dog eating food in a bowl

Yup, you read that right! High-fiber foods play a very crucial role in your dog’s diet. They can be very helpful when it comes to anal gland problems. There are certain benefits that one can gain with their usage such as,

1) Fiber diets add bulk to the stool which makes it firm. This way the stool gets the ability to apply pressure to the anal glands of your dog.

2) When the glands are regularly expressed due to fiber intake, this can help in preventing the gland impaction as well. When the glands get regularly expressed, there is a reduced risk of blockage.

3) Fiber also helps a lot in maintaining the digestive health of your dog. It helps in regulating the digestive processes.

which high fiber foods Are Good for anal gland problems?

Dog portrait image

When you maintain a healthy diet for your dog, you can help them a lot in expressing their anal glands naturally. There are some foods that most of my friends have tried for their dogs. I have enlisted them below.

1) Pumpkin:

Pumpkin is known to be very rich in fiber. It can help a lot in adding bulk and firmness to your dog’s stool as it promotes regular bowel movements. This way the soft stools can be prevented and your dog can express anal glands naturally.

2) Sweet Potatoes:

Sweet potatoes are another source for providing high fiber to your dog. They have essential nutrients and antioxidants that are very helpful for the digestive system of your dog.

3) Carrots:

These are other examples of high-fiber food sources. Carrots are known for high fiber but they are low in calories. They are crunchy and nutritious and can be a great addition to your dog’s diet because they are good for the digestive system.

4) Green Beans:

They are another example of a low-calorie, high-fiber vegetable that helps in firm stools. They can be a very healthy snack for your dog so do try them out.

5) Fish oil or Fatty Fish (Salmon):

You might have heard that fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil or fish like salmon can support the skin and coat health of your dog. You can effectively reduce skin-related problems as well that can impact the anal glands of your dog.

6) Brown rice:

This is a whole-grain product that is rich in fiber and can help a lot when it comes to the firmness of the stools. It’s a carbohydrate source that has health benefits and it supports the digestive health of your dog.

7) Oats:

This is another whole-grain option if you want to add fiber to your dog’s dietary plans. They are easily digestible and can help you maintain optimal bowel movements for your dog.

8) Turkey:

This is a lean source of protein as it uy helps support the overall health and muscle development in your dog’s body. Choosing lean meat options for your dog can help in maintaining a healthy weight which reduces pressure on the anal glands of your dog.

9) Probiotic supplements:

Probiotics are often found in the form of supplements and certain yogurts. Why are they helpful? They are helpful because they help in promoting a healthy balance of gut bacteria. This helps in supporting optimal digestive functions inside your dog’s body which ultimately contributes to the anal gland health of your dog.

10) Proper Hydration:

This is something that is most important to me. You must always ensure that your dog stays well-hydrated. Water helps in maintaining healthy stool consistency in your dog’s body. Thus, preventing dehydration promotes regular bowel movements in your dog’s body.

Cure for anal gland problems:

learn how to Cure for anal gland problems

The treatment of anal glands depends on the specific issues that are involved. So, it is always recommended to go to a professional vet so that all the serious issues get ruled out. However, when it comes to the cure, there are certain options for you according to different conditions. The vets or trained groomers can opt for manual expression. This involves the emptying of anal glands manually. This can also be a regular thing because some dogs are prone to recurring issues. Then there are dietary adjustments. Some foods are helpful for firm stools as I have discussed above as well. Water intake is also important for dogs with anal gland problems. Regular bowel movement requires an ideal intake of water for your dog. Sometimes, the infections are severe and the doctors opt for antibiotics. They are mostly for bacterial issues. Similarly, anti-inflammatory medicines can also do good for reducing swelling and discomfort. Sometimes doctors also opt for surgical intervention but that is something for severe conditions. In short, you should consult with a vet as soon as possible.

Foods to avoid for anal gland problems

dog with owner breathing with his tongue out of mouth

Certain foods relieve anal gland issues whereas some can increase the problems for your pet. Different dogs react differently to different kinds of foods so anything can happen. Especially, if you know that your dog has recurring anal gland problems, you must consult your vet. However, there are some foods that I have enlisted for you to avoid. These ingredients should not be considered ideal.

1) High-fat diets:

Diets too rich in fats are dangerous because they contribute to obesity. Overweight dogs are more prone to anal gland problems. This is because the overweight muscles apply too much pressure on the glands which can be dangerous.

2) Low-fiber diets:

We have read above that high-fiber diets are needed for firm stools. Diets that are too low in fiber, lead towards stools that are not consistently firm. These diets won’t apply the pressure that is required by the anal glands of your dog and thus the problems can get complicated. Further, insufficient fiber can also contribute to anal gland problems.

3) Allergenic ingredients and additives:

Allergens such as corn, soy, dairy, etc should be avoided. You should make sure that your dog is not consuming any allergenic ingredients. Further, some artificial additives can also lead to gastrointestinal problems so they must be avoided as well.

4) Spices and seasonings:

Foods that are spicy for your dog must be avoided. Why are they dangerous? This is because they can irritate the digestive tract of your dog and this way they can contribute to the anal gland problems for your dog.

5) Raw bones:

Bones are usually good for dogs as they are part of the natural diet that nature has made for them. However, dogs with anal gland problems must avoid bones. Intake of large raw bones can lead to constipation or obstruction. These can cause some serious problems for your dog’s anal glands.

Final words

Finally, I will say that whenever you are introducing something new to your dog, monitor your dog’s response and make the change gradually. Always notice what things are creating problems for your dog. If there is something that is making you think that your dog’s health is at risk, do not waste time, just reach out to your vet as soon as possible. This way you can save your pup from a lot of suffering.

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About Adam

Adam has been a fervent dog enthusiast since his early days with his beloved pet, Tiger. Recognizing a gap in unbiased dog product reviews in the UK, Adam embarked on a mission to bridge this divide. With the invaluable expertise of Dr. Emily Smith, a seasoned veterinarian, they collaboratively endeavor to provide dog owners with trustworthy information and reviews. Together, they strive to ensure every canine receives the care and love they truly deserve.

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