As a dog owner, it’s important to keep an eye on your furry friend’s health. One of the less glamorous aspects of dog ownership is the need to express their anal glands. If you’re not familiar with this process, it’s when the anal glands are manually emptied to prevent them from becoming impacted or infected. But, you may be wondering, how much does it cost to express dog anal glands? Let’s dive in and find out.
How much does it cost to express dog glands?
The cost of expressing dog anal glands can vary depending on several factors, including the location of the service provider, the experience of the provider, and the size of your dog. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $60 for a single session of anal gland expression. However, if your dog has an infection or requires medication, the cost may be higher.
Why Is It Important to Express Your Dog’s Anal Glands?
You may be wondering why you need to go through the trouble and expense of expressing your dog’s anal glands in the first place. Here are a few reasons why it’s important:
Prevent infection: When the anal glands become impacted, they can become infected. This can lead to discomfort and pain for your dog and potentially more expensive vet bills for you.
Relieve discomfort: Impacted anal glands can cause discomfort for your dog when they sit or defecate. Expressing them can relieve this discomfort.
Avoid bad odor: When the anal glands become impacted, they can produce a foul odor that can be unpleasant for you and your dog.
Signs your dog may need an anal gland expression
If your dog is having trouble with their anal glands, they may exhibit certain symptoms. Some of the signs that your dog may need an anal gland expression include:
- Scooting their butt on the ground
- Licking or biting at their anal area
- Foul-smelling discharge or odor from their anal area
- Straining to defecate or urinate
- Redness, swelling, or inflammation around the anal area
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to have your dog checked by a veterinarian to see if they need an anal gland expression.
How Often Should You Express Your Dog’s Anal Glands?
The frequency of anal gland expression can vary depending on your dog’s breed, size, and overall health. Some dogs may only need their anal glands expressed once or twice a year, while others may need it done more frequently. It’s important to talk to your vet about your dog’s specific needs and to keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort or infection.
Low-cost anal gland expressions
There are several low-cost options available that can help you save money while still getting your dog the care they need.
1. Do it yourself
One option is to express your dog’s anal glands yourself. This should only be done if you are comfortable with the procedure and have been trained by a veterinarian or professional groomer. If done incorrectly, you can hurt your dog or cause further problems.
2. Visit a self-serve dog wash
Another option is to visit a self-serve dog wash. Many of these facilities offer anal gland expressions as part of their services, and the cost is usually much lower than a full-service groomer or veterinarian.
3. Look for low-cost veterinary clinics
Finally, you can look for low-cost veterinary clinics in your area. Many of these clinics offer discounted services, including anal gland expressions, to help pet owners who are struggling to afford care for their furry friends.
4. Find a mobile grooming service
Many mobile grooming services offer anal gland expressions as part of their services, and they may be a more affordable option than a traditional groomer or veterinarian. Mobile groomers typically have lower overhead costs and may be able to offer lower prices as a result.
5. Use a grooming coupon or deal
Keep an eye out for grooming coupons or deals that offer discounts on anal gland expressions. Many pet stores or online retailers may offer these types of promotions, especially around holidays or special events.
6. Ask your vet about payment plans
If your dog needs regular anal gland expressions, it may be worth asking your veterinarian about payment plans. Some vets may be willing to work with you to create a payment plan that allows you to pay for the procedure over time, rather than all at once.
7. Try natural remedies
If your dog’s anal glands are not severely impacted or infected, there may be natural remedies you can try to help express them. For example, feeding your dog a high-fiber diet or adding pumpkin or other natural stool softeners to their diet may help them empty their anal glands more effectively.
Where can I get my dog’s glands expressed?
Here are a few options for getting your dog’s glands expressed:
This is the most common and recommended option for expressing your dog’s glands. Your vet will be able to examine your dog and ensure that the glands are actually in need of expression, as well as perform the procedure safely and effectively.
Pet grooming salons
Some pet grooming salons offer gland expression as part of their services. However, not all groomers are trained or experienced in this procedure, so make sure to research the salon and ask about their experience with gland expression before making an appointment.
Pet supply stores
Some pet supply stores may offer gland expression services, but these services may not be performed by a trained professional. It’s best to proceed with caution and do your research before choosing this option.
While some dog owners may choose to express their dog’s glands themselves, this can be a difficult and potentially dangerous task. It’s best to leave gland expression to a trained professional to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet.
FAQs about dog gland expression cost
We will address some common questions regarding anal gland expression for dogs.
What is the average cost of dog gland expression?
The cost of dog gland expression varies depending on your location, the veterinarian or groomer you choose, and your dog’s size. On average, you can expect to pay between $20 and $30 for this procedure.
Is it possible to express my dog’s anal glands myself?
It is possible to do this at home, but we advise against it. The procedure can be messy, and if not done correctly, it can lead to infections or even injuries. We recommend leaving it to a professional groomer or veterinarian.
How often should I have my dog’s glands expressed?
The frequency of gland expression depends on your dog’s breed, age, and overall health. In general, dogs may need their glands expressed every 3-4 months. However, some dogs may require more frequent expression, while others may never need it.
What are the signs that my dog needs his glands expressed?
The most common sign that your dog needs his glands expressed is excessive scooting or licking around the anus. Other signs include a foul odor, discomfort, and visible swelling around the anal area.
Are there any risks associated with dog gland expression?
As with any procedure, there are risks associated with dog gland expression. These include infections, injuries to the anal area, and discomfort or pain for the dog. However, these risks are minimal when the procedure is performed by a professional.
Can I prevent my dog from needing gland expression?
While it is not always possible to prevent your dog from needing gland expression, there are some things you can do to reduce the likelihood of it occurring. A high-fiber diet, regular exercise, and maintaining your dog’s healthy weight can all help prevent anal gland problems.
Can I negotiate the cost of dog gland expression with my veterinarian or groomer?
It’s always worth asking if your veterinarian or groomer is willing to negotiate the cost of dog gland expression. Some may be willing to offer a discount or a package deal if you have multiple dogs that require the procedure. However, keep in mind that this is a specialized service, and it’s essential to choose a professional who has the expertise and experience to perform it safely.
What should I look for in a groomer or veterinarian who performs dog gland expression?
When choosing a groomer or veterinarian to perform dog gland expression, look for someone who is experienced, knowledgeable, and gentle. It’s also essential to choose someone who uses proper sanitation and sterilization procedures to reduce the risk of infection.
Are there any additional costs associated with dog gland expression?
Additional costs may include a veterinary examination fee, which may be required before the procedure. In some cases, your dog may require medication to manage pain or inflammation, which will also incur additional costs. However, these costs are usually minimal.
What happens if my dog’s glands are not expressed?
If your dog’s glands are not expressed when they need to be, they can become impacted, which can lead to discomfort, pain, and even infection. In severe cases, an abscess can form, which may require surgery to treat. It’s essential to keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and look for signs that their glands need to be expressed.
Is dog gland expression covered by pet insurance?
Some pet insurance plans may cover the cost of dog gland expression, while others may not. It’s essential to check with your provider to see what is covered under your policy.
Can I learn to express my dog’s anal glands myself?
While it’s not recommended, you can learn how to express your dog’s anal glands yourself. However, we advise against it, as it can be a messy and unpleasant procedure, and there is a risk of injury or infection if not done correctly.
How long does dog gland expression take?
The procedure itself only takes a few minutes to complete. However, the time it takes may vary depending on your dog’s size and temperament.
Can I express my dog’s glands during grooming?
It’s not recommended to express your dog’s glands during grooming, as this can be uncomfortable for your dog and may cause them to associate grooming with pain or discomfort. We recommend having the procedure done separately by a professional.
What should I do if my dog seems uncomfortable after gland expression?
It’s normal for your dog to feel a little discomfort or irritation after gland expression, but if they seem excessively uncomfortable or in pain, contact your veterinarian. They may recommend medication to help manage any discomfort or inflammation.