A dog’s diet has a lot to do with common canine conditions, including anal gland issues. If your pup is suffering from anal gland problems, you may want to consider feeding your dog a high-fiber diet with fresh and raw ingredients. Fresh raw dog food rich in fiber is the best dog food for anal gland issues.
The Purpose of a Dog’s Anal Glands
Anal glands produce fluid with a strong odor that’s unique to every dog. The expression of this fluid marks territory. Dogs usually express their anal glands when they are afraid or stressed. The dog’s anal glands are also expressed while pooping.
Anal Gland Problems
Anal gland problems occur when the glands don’t express or do not do enough of the fluid expressed. The anal sacs (what holds the fluid) can become impacted or plugged. Anal gland impaction can cause the anal sacs to become inflamed. The inflammation can cause the anal sacs to swell and distend.
Bacteria is another anal gland issue to be aware of. The fluid is perfect for bacterial growth. When bacteria grow, feces can travel up the duct and make their way into the sacs. Without treatment, an anal sac abscess can form. The anal sac abscess can pus and bleed.
Read more about why your dog’s anal glands smell.
Causes of Anal Gland Problems in Dogs
Understanding the causes of anal sac issues can help identify a treatment that will leave your dog’s anal gland issues by the wayside.
Soft poop can also cause anal gland problems. A dog’s anal glands are expressed when firm feces makes its way out of the anus. It pushes on the anal sacs which express them. When your dog’s stools are soft, the glands don’t receive the pressure needed for anal gland expression.
If you suspect soft stool is the issue, read this article:
Soft stool often means a dog’s diet doesn’t have enough fiber. Low-quality dry dog food is often the cause of it. A high fiber diet is the best way to combat that, which is why the Dog Ownership Guide recommends fresh raw dog food.
Infrequent Bowel Movements
Infrequent bowel movements (constipation) can cause fluid to build up in the anal sacs. Improving digestive health can greatly help with this issue. This includes adding omega fatty acids to your dog’s diet.
Food Allergies / Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Food allergies (food sensitivities) and inflammatory bowel disease can also cause issues with the anal glands. The digestive system is highly involved in keeping the body healthy and functioning properly. When there’s a problem with the digestive system, some dogs do not express their anal glands well leading to anal gland impaction.
Chronic Skin Dermatitis
Skin issues often mean there’s a nutritional deficiency, which then affects the functioning of many parts of the body, including the anal glands.
Overweight dogs often suffer from digestive system / gastrointestinal tract issues. Weight loss can help this cause of anal gland problems.
Small dogs are more susceptible to anal gland problems, but that doesn’t mean that large dog breeds can’t suffer from it.
How to Tell Your Dog’s Anal Glands Are Full
The following signs will clue you to anal gland impaction:
- A foul odor coming from your dog.
- Your dog scoots his/her butt on the floor.
- Licking the anus more than usual.
- Brown spots where your dog has been lying.
- A foul odor on furniture, bedding, etc. where your dog has been lying.
- Redness or swelling around the anus.
You may not notice the signs at first, but when you smell the odor, you will know.
How to Treat Anal Gland Issues in Dogs
When your dog is actively having anal gland issues, anal gland expression is the best thing you can do. An anal expression can be performed at home. Simply find the anal gland on each side of the anal and pinch it until you see fluid come out of the anus.
Beware: It is a smelly job. We suggest doing this in the bathtub.
The alternative is to take your pup to the veterinarian or groomer to have it done. While you’ll have to pay for it, most dog owners gladly pay for it.
If anal gland impaction has caused an infection or anal gland disease, antibiotics may be prescribed. A veterinarian will be able to tell if this is a complication of your pet’s anal gland problems.
In severe cases and as a last resort, a dog’s anal glands can be removed. Learn more about that here: Dog Gland Removal Pros and Cons
How to Prevent Dog Anal Gland Issues
Feeding your pet a more nutritious and fibrous diet can prevent dog anal gland issues.
The best dog food for anal gland issues is fresh and raw with a focus on high fiber. The best high-fiber dog food is fresh and raw. The high-fiber dog food should include:
- Beet Pulp
- PumpkinGround Flaxseed
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Brown Rice
- Healthy Oils
If shedding is a concern, you’ll be happy to learn that many of the above fruits/vegetables above can help with it. You can read about that here:
Weight loss should also be a focus for overweight dogs. A healthy weight can prevent many medical conditions in addition to solving frequent anal gland impaction.
The Easy Way to Feed Your Pup the Best High Fiber Dog Food
Most pet parents shy away from feeding their pooch fresh and raw dog food because they believe it’s too time-consuming. That isn’t true anymore with the emergence of dog food delivery companies.
Pet parents now can stop feeling as though they have to feed dry dog food. They can get the best dog food for anal gland issues from one of the following companies:
Only Natural Pet
Only Natural Pet offers dehydrated fresh and raw dog food that has high fiber content. All that you have to do is add water to it to give your pup the best food possible.
All of the recipes Only Natural Pet has are made with natural ingredients. There aren’t any artificial flavors like many dry food brands include, which is why it’s perfect for pups with a sensitive stomach.
Healthy digestion starts with healthy foods containing essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, which is exactly what Only Natural Pet has in its dog food.
Choose between beef, turkey, lamb, or a chicken meal for your pup. They are all equally delicious.
Learn more about Only Natural Pet by reading this article: Only Natural Pet Product Reviews
Happy Dog Food
Happy Dog Food provides dehydrated recipes that include important fruits and vegetables for your pet’s digestive health. Carrots, sweet potatoes, and more are packed into each package. All pet parents have to do is add their own protein.
Options for protein can be fish for omega fatty acids. Beef, lamb, turkey, and chicken are other great options for protein.
Just like with Only Natural Pet, Happy Dog Food doesn’t use any artificial flavors and focuses on including essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in every product.
Learn more about Happy Dog Food by reading: Happy Dogs Raw Dog Food
Ollie Dog Food
For pet parents who don’t want to prepare their pup’s food at all, there is Ollie’s dog food delivery service. All food is fresh and made from natural ingredients. While it’s not raw, it still provides great nutrition for healthy digestion.
Ollie offers many different varieties of products to choose from, which gives your pup many different options.
Spot and Tango Fresh Dog Food
Spot and Tango is another trustworthy brand for fresh dog food. They offer customized packages of fresh food and a formula that surprises many dog owners – dry dog food. Spot and Tango call their fresh dry dog food – Unkibble. It’s just like kibble but not like commercial dry dog food. You can learn more about it by reading these articles:
Fiber Supplementation for Dogs
It may be necessary to add fiber to fresh raw food to ensure your up receives the amount needed for their unique digestive system. A dog’s diet should contain 2% to 4% of prebiotic fiber – insoluble fiber and soluble fiber.
Prebiotic fiber is best because it reaches the intestines unaltered so it can regulate good and bad bacteria. The benefits of prebiotic fiber are:
- Ferments food faster to keep a dog’s bowel movements regular.
- Helps the body absorb nutrients better.
- Prevents spikes in blood sugar.
- Manages intestinal disorders.
- Increases bone density and strength.
- Enhances immunity.
The following are the best fiber-rich foods to add to your dog’s diet:
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potatoes
- Bran Flakes
- Cooked Oats
D.O.G. Hera’s Experience with Psyllium Husk Powder for Anal Gland Expression
Dog Ownership Guide uses Psyllium Husk Powder after experiencing anal gland issues with D.O.G. Hera. Hera was adopted and just a couple of weeks later began exhibiting the signs of anal gland impaction. After anal gland expression at home didn’t work, we gave her Psyllium Husk Powder. In just a couple of days, all of her anal gland issues were gone.
We only give Hera Psyllium Husk Powder as needed now because she received enough soluble fiber and insoluble fiber in her diet.
Fresh – Raw Food Is The Best Dog Food for Anal Gland Issues
The best dog food for anal gland issues is also the best food for overall health. When pet parents decide to feed their pup fresh raw dog food, they decide to give their pup the very best in nutrition. This leads to healthy digestion, healthy skin, and fewer medical problems in the future. It’s also much easier for your pup to maintain a healthy weight.
Feeding your dog a fresh raw diet isn’t as hard as it used to be – you do not need to grocery shop, chop or cook anything. You can use a delivery service that will send everything you need right to your door. Consider one of the brands Dog Ownership Guide recommends: Only Natural Pet, Ollie, or Happy Dog Food.
Learn more about feeding your dog a fresh raw food diet: