Home Remedies for Anal Gland Problems in Dogs: Tips and Tricks

| Modified on Nov 15, 2023
Posted by Gail (Tennessee) on 08/26/2015

I find using vaseline around the anal area with light movement with your finger has a great effect in helping the glands to empty themselves! Use this even after finding them scooting! Only two vet bills with my third yorkie!

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Stephanie (Douglasville, Georgia, Usa) on 06/18/2012

In response to...."Lorayne from Sun City, Az

I disagree with some of your foods listed. Actually Garlic is not only SAFE for dogs it is good for them. It helps repel fleas, mosquitos and clean the intestinal tract of parasites (worms HATE garlic) We give all three of our pitties one 1000mg liquid-gel every day (regular human vitamins) They love it and actually beg for it. My girlfriend has to sprinkle powdered capsules on her dogs food and some people chop raw cloves for thier dogs. We give the pills to ours straight and can hear them pop the pill and chew it up! Also walnuts are not toxic either. You just limit them because of fat. We give these on occasion when we are snacking on them.

Avocado is controversial, from my research the skin and the pit are toxic, the meat is the controversial part... Some authorites say its perectly safe and even nutritious and others say it is also toxic. There is even a dog food that contains avocado. So to err on the side of safety our family has decided not to give avocados to our dogs. There are too many other options that are known as safe.

I have also given our dogs coconut oil but I suspect a link between it and nail fungus in dogs with a weaker immune system. They get it very rarely as a treat for example with thier monthly worming which is 1 can of tuna fish (if packed in oil I don't add extra oil) 1 capsule of Black Walnut Hulls - Heart Worm prevention (found at health food store or cheaper online) 1 tsp finely chopped raw green pumpkin seed - Intestinal wormer (found at grocery store, health food store or online) 1 capsule of echinacea, 1 capsule acidopholis and 1 capsule of ginger. It does not look appetizing but they gobble it up.

Tuna fish or canned chicken has been the best thing I have found to get anything in them, they always lick their bowl clean. I have three larger dogs weighing an average of 60lbs so adjust to your dogs weight. I learned all of this right here on EarthClinic.com. Thank you to everyone who contributes!

Posted by Liz12962 (Grand Island, Ny, Usa) on 01/30/2012

I have a 3 year old Beagle who has a problem with his anal glands. We have to keep getting them expressed on an average every 2 weeks. I have learned how to do this to cut the cost. I have started him on canned pumpkin. This has been going on for close to 3-4 months.

My vet has talked to me about surgically removing these glands, but surgery is so scary, and I have read about nasty side effects. Does anyone have any suggestions? We would really appreciate them very much.

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Linda (San Francisco, Ca, Usa) on 09/14/2012

I don't think avocadoes are toxic to dogs, and here is why:

One of my family members has an avocado tree in the backyard (It's huge and produces masses of fruit). As soon as those avos are ripe, the dogs (5) will swipe those avocadoes the minute they hit the ground and eat them totally, leaving nothing behind. They wait for them and love them. These dogs have done this for many years, we all have sat and laughed about how they love those avocadoes, and how one has to act fast if you want to get any from that tree.

They eat the skin, the meat, the pit, the whole thing. Entirely. No sign left that there was ever an avocado there.

PS: These are Organically grown avocadoes and are unsprayed with any pesticide nor chemical fertilizers. That may have something to do with it.

Namaste, Linda

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Jaspurr's Mrs. (Usa) on 03/06/2016

I had heard that garlic was toxic but when my cat seemed to be dying, what did that matter? I now use raw garlic regularly as an antibiotic & antifungal & I believe it has been effective. I give him about a dime's size (USA), cut in tiny pieces & mixed into his raw hamburger or raw chicken & often mix in a teaspoon or so of nutritional yeast as well to encourage him to eat all his food.

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Lisa T (Fl) on 09/02/2015

I am 53 y/o and tried Turmeric to loose weight and found it has many AMAZING side effects. I have had horrible irritable bowl since I was 7 y/o. I mean horrible. It will bring me to my knees and make me throw up forcing me to choose which end should be aimed at toilet. The Turmeric not only assisted in loosing weight but stopped my irritable bowel/spastic colitis DEAD IN IT'S TRACKS - NONE. I had never experienced a day without pain in my colon. OMG it was amazing.

Anyway, I have a 18y/o Border Collie that has a fatty tumor on his side that is so bad it is making him fall from the extra weight on that side and of course the pain from arthritis/old age. I have checked with 3 vets with no good solutions because of his age, no one wants to perform surgery.

Well, I thought, if Turmeric breaks down fat why not try it on Murphy. So, I looked up on the web if Turmeric was ok for dogs. It was ok but recommended a certain type of Turmeric. I compared the recommended Turmeric online to the type I had purchased. It was the same kind of Turmeric. Great! I researched online for the best Turmeric and I came up with, Curcumin C3 (Turmeric) w/ Bioperine - 2,000 % More Bioavailable 500mg, as the best on the market for Bioavailable for best utilization in body.

My point is maybe the Turmeric would help your doggie with his tummy issues?

Turmeric helped also my arthritis pain, my irritable bowl, brain function, mood and over all pain. It has been identified to be an Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Antioxidant, reduce risk for heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndromes, Alzheimer's and various degenerative conditions as well as improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases and a Benefit Against Depression.

I am sold. It has made me feels so much better and Murphy seems to move better and happier. The cheapest place I have found the Turmeric was Amazon. The brand I listed above was what I thought was best after my days of researching it.

Good Luck and I hope it makes Doggie better!


Posted by Wendy (Ohio) on 03/04/2016

If you can't easily get pure pumpkin (NOT the pumpkin pie filling which contains sugar & spices! ), get some virgin coconut oil. Start with 1/4 teaspoon added to her food (you do not need to melt it). Too much coconut oil could give her a mild case of diarrhea. So start with 1/4 teaspoon per day for a week, see how she tolerates it. I've given it to my dog and that totally solved her anal gland issues.

Epsom Salt, Silicia
Posted by Diane (Pennsylvania, Usa) on 04/07/2018 3 posts

My dog recently had an anal gland issue, constant licking, swollen gland. It was the weekend and I was at a loss for what to do. A groomer said since the gland was swollen I should take her to a vet, and since it was the weekend, that meant emergency vet with an astronomical vet bill, as well as hours of travel.

I finally found a YouTube video by Deca Khalsa, entitled "Anal Sac Problems and Anal Gland Infections". She said to that there is a 99.9% chance that her suggestions would clear, detoxify and heal the anal glands, so what did I have to lose?

For those who don't have a fast internet connection, her instructions were this:

One tablespoon epsom salts in a half cup or one cup of warm water. Soak cotton balls or cloth in the solution and apply to dog's anal area and glands, for about 10 minutes if possible. This pulls toxins out of the anal glands while healing the tissues. Do this three times a day for a few days up to a week.

Also, give the dog silicia 6x three times a day for one week, then twice a day for for the second week. Insert the silicia in the dog's cheek pouch on the lower lip and let it melt, away from food. This will help the anal sac to empty and heal.

Much easier and so much cleaner, if you know what I mean, than many of the other suggestions I found, and the results were amazing.

Posted by Kathryn4 (Lanham, Maryland, USA) on 03/05/2013

My old beagle mix dog would get this all the time. Drove me crazy. What works finally is always give him 1/2 of a chopped up carrot over his food. I also give a squirt of the salmon oil so he won't scratch anymore. I had tried apple for many eyars but noticed his glands would always get blocked anyway. Switched to carrot and it has been much much better! Let us reduce the vet's salary:).

Pumpkin, Coconut Oil, Epsom Salt Baths
Posted by Gwen (Boulder/Denver, Colorado, Usa) on 09/07/2010

I've dealt with anal gland issues in cats & dogs. I have a little puppy mill dog & we don't know what she is, but is a dog that looks like a cat & licks herself like a long haired kitty. Pumpkin works great for releasing hair balls. She sometimes pucks them or pass it in her stool. Hence the AG problem I think.

I also add coconut oil & coconut flacks for AG abscesses. Coconut oil & flakes also guards against all kinds of ailments, tumors, arthritis, tooth problems & so forth. Check the coconut oil remedies section on EC for people & what you find will also work for your animals! Remember you are working with natural/pure substances, so it is very hard to over dose. Just get close in measurements which a lot of people will post dosages they use. Using common sense should be enough & because it is a natural substance, the most you might have to deal with would be diarrhea if you use too much. Then lower the dosage.

I wanted to add, if you are dealing with an abscess, there are other things you can do. I will put my pet in a sitz bath of Epsom salts to start drawing the infection out & soaking in the warm water brings them relief. Once again check the abscess section on EC for people. Adding Turmeric to food also is a good idea if it is a chronic problem. I picked up a great tip there about telling the difference between boil, abscess, zit, ingrown hair duct, etc. Just put a cotton ball soaked in peroxide. If a boil, it won't do anything, but abscess, or zit or such, it will bring it to a head & drain the pus or infection in the area. I keep peroxide soak going for about 20-30 minutes. By the time I remove the soaked cotton, it will usually drain the infection immediately, or let you know what you are dealing with! Depending on size & length of infection, I may have to add another 20-30 minute soak before it drains, but it will drain & black colored abscesses will turn back to white/natural color. You could also make solution of peroxide, & Epsom in warm water & keep applying with a cloth, if they will let you because it is very painful for them. I like the idea of sea salt solution injection to kill infection, but I would think you would want swelling down before trying to administer. Ouch! Good luck & Many Blessing to You & Your Little Ones!

P. S. Some cures for people are posted in the animal section not posted for people & vise-a-versa. Use common sense as Mother Earth has given us everything we need to heal!

Homeopathy - Silicea 6c
Posted by DL (CT) on 08/11/2020

My elderly dog started having anal gland issues - leakage and was licking his rear end constantly. I recently moved to the area and haven't found a vet yet, so I researched remedies on Earth Clinic and the net and found a great article about Silicea 6c for Anal Gland leakage. I bought it online and promptly tapped 2 pellets into the side of his mouth to dissolve as soon as I got them. (Didn't touch the pellets). I repeated this twice a day.

His issue was better in 24 hours and solved in 3 days. What a fabulous remedy.

Posted by Gabbysue (Haltom City, Texas) on 12/01/2014

My 25 lb. dog, Rosie, has the anal gland issue. The vet has expressed them several times. She is dragging her butt again. I read about the pumpkin. Will the pumpkin take care of the problem or does she need them drained again before I start giving her the pumpkin? I know it's got to be painful for her for me or the vet to do that. I would appreciate any advice.

Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 05/13/2014

Hey Cathi!

Raw is preferred if your dog will accept it.

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by EVELYN (TAMPA, FLORIDA) on 03/11/2009


Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Shelby (Utica, Ny) on 09/29/2015

I just came across your article about your Chihuahua with his anal glands and noticed that you said you started giving him coconut oil. I actually have the same problem with my little chihuahua, We're at the vet literally every month to have them drained. (Which is such a horrible smell) I'm sure you know all about. But I'm just very curious about the coconut oil. Like how much do you give him, how many times a week? Has it made a big difference in his glands? Sorry so many questions just really trying to find a solution for my little man. Thank you so much!!

Posted by Laynie (Lakewood, NJ) on 03/25/2008

I cannot even tell you how thrilled I am to have found the "pumpkin" cure for anal impaction! My dog, a small mixed breed, was at the point where I was taking her at least every two weeks to have her glands expressed! I started her on one teaspoon (she is small) of pumpkin mixed with her food and she has not had to have them expressed in over three months now!! It's a wonderful cure! If you haven't tried it, do so!! THANK you!!!

Dietary Changes
Posted by Keira (Sydney, Australia) on 10/26/2014

Three years ago my 8 yr old female cat Missy developed anal scent gland discharge. The vet gave her 2 courses of antibiotics to no avail, & it was back & forth to the vet for the gland squeezing till the vet taught me how to do it. The vet wanted to do surgery on her, I declined. I'd never had any problems with previous cats so I figured it had to be something in her diet. There was already one brand of cat biscuits she couldn't tolerate as they would trigger urinary tract infections which I treated successfully with cranberry tablets. Normally she ate cat biccies & tin cat food. I took her off cat biscuits completely- usually she would eat more of them than the tin food. Within a couple of days of no cat biccies the problem completely cleared up & has not returned. A couple of months later a new grain free cat biscuit brand came onto the supermarket shelves, which I tried & which didn't cause any problems. Missy continues to eat cat tin food & the grain free cat biscuits & there have been no more problems.

Posted by Tony (California) on 05/23/2014

The first time I found out about anal glands I went to the vet and the wanted to do surgery. It was so bad that he was bleeding out of his butt. I said no to the surgery and they put him on antibiotic. And then had to see the vet again. It was costing too much and he was not getting better. Some one here mentioned that garlic was bad for dogs. Wrong! In desperation to make him better I cruched and put three cloves on his food, since he would not eat it I called my other dog who was healthy and will eat anything and he cleaned up the ill dogs bowl. The next morning the ill dog did not wait for the competition and cleaned up his bowl. I kept both dogs on this routine of garlic in the morning and at night neither one had any ill effects, and the infection cleared up. I do not do it on a regular basis because I have an inside dog, but I know of people that regularly feed their dogs garlic to keep fleas away.

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Susan (New York) on 07/04/2013

I am having the same issues. My maltese (only about 6lbs) has a burst anal gland. Does he have to be on an antibiotic? I have been giving him royal jelly and raw garlic and keeping the sore clean.

Posted by Maria (San Francisco, CA) on 03/31/2009

One of my dogs (I have 2) has had problems with her anal glands since she was a puppy so, I learned to empty her glands myself. I can't afford relaying on Vets and their assistants for that. They just look after money: Veterinary is a big business. Just that.

Occurred twice that my dog's glands got impacted and when I pressed it, pus came out from there, she was also scooting her but a lot so... I treated her with homeopathy. On the first day: I gave Belladonna 6X , 1 pearl each 2 hours (at least 15 min. apart from meals, water or treats), direct on her mouth. She was kind of quiet but eating normally.

On the follow day I started with Silicea 6 X, 1 pearl each 2 hours again apart meals. Within 3 days she started to come back to herself and in 5 days she's good as "new" but the treatment is supposed last for total 10 days.

When they are nervous or agitated for any reason I give Flowers of Bach, which is usually the "Rescue Remedy" (3 drops on their mouth) Few hours later they're fine.

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Kate (Charlotte, Nc) on 05/29/2012

Lorayne your post about dogs developing Pancreatitis from high fat foods has one error with regard to Coconut Oil. CO is different, it is a healer and likely the best oil on the planet. On The Whole Dog Journal website in an article from Nov 2008, Mary Straus details about Canine Pancreatitis. In the article she discusses how to heal naturally and one snippet is about Coconut oil where she says: "Dogs fed a very low-fat diet may become deficient in the fat-soluble vitamins A and E. Adding fish oil and coconut oil to the diet can help with this. Dogs with damage to the pancreas may also suffer from vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency" Coconut oil has been misunderstood for many years.

For others petalive.com has an herbal formula for topical application with many testimonies. I have it now and am using it with my dog (GSP).

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Nell (Oxford, England) on 03/12/2013

I am here to correct you all, as you have it all so wrong! I am qualified in animal care, canine nutrition and have worked with dogs for 11 years.

It is a total housewives tale that dogs cannot have avocados!! There has been no proof of toxicity for dogs at all, the pip is to be kept away from them purely for choking reasons, avocado however is really rich so it should be given in tiny amounts and gradually to most dogs. Some dogs may always get an upset tummy on it due to its richness.

Coconut and coconut oil again are NOT toxic but they are a natural laxative so it should be avoided for this reason only with dogs.

Turkey skin, meat skins in general in itself CANNOT cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is either commonly specific in some breeds, like spaniels are prone or can be caused by food intolerances/ allergies, or thirdly by feeding FAT trimmings, a little bit of fat that marbles in meat is good, but giving dogs lots of fat scraps/trimmings will cause pancreatitis is most. Dogs shouldn't be fed skin on a regular basis as it is simply a little too fatty for a regular EVERYDAY diet.

It is high time people stop spreading these ill advised rumors about. My dog is currently under a holistic vet who specialises in canine nutrition too, together we are making a great team! He confirms everything I say here today, and on the case of advocado he suggested I try my dog on a little for his dry skin problem, however in my dog's case it was too rich for him even in a spoonful quantity!

Dogs are like people, some foods will just not get on with them for whatever reasons, my dog has colitis, a severe chicken allergy and is allergic to beef, pork and most farm animals! He has low B12 levels and hayfever as well as other allergies. Which is why I am working wit a holistic vet. We do not put pharmaceuticals and toxic things like flea sprays in my dogs system due to their cancer causing chemicals. Also over vaccinating has been proven to cause many conditions like colitis. A vaccination these days stays in their system for up to 3 years.

While you are all worrying about silly little foods, the SLS and sles chemicals in your dogs shampoo and chemicals in flea sprays and household cleaners are the real things to worry about!

The main foods to avoid in dogs are;
- Chocolate (DEADLY ESPECIALLY DARK, theobromine in the chocolate can cause death)
- Macadamia nuts (no one knows why)
- Onions (highly toxic)
- wild growing mushrooms (toxicity levels vary)
- grapes (highly toxic)
- Alcohol
- caffeine
- marijuana!

Again to the people who argue that their dogs have had the above and been okay, all these items have been proven to definitely be toxic AT SOME LEVEL to dogs, like anything or anyone you occasionally have a dog lucky enough to have eaten these items and been okay, also it varies due to the quantity eaten, if a tiny chihuhua eats just one small square of chocolate it will most likely die. If a great Dane did then he probably won't even get a bad belly. My dad told me when he was a kid they gave their dog chocolate ALL the time! Yet I witnessed a small spaniel die from eating half a box of maltesers last year.

Posted by Devlin (Toronto, Canada) on 07/19/2010

Yes you can use pumpkin on a cat 1-2 tablespoons for 15 pounds I use it daily with my cats. One is diabetic/with anal gland problems and the other had constipation issues. They will get the same issues as a gerartic human as they age. . . Chicken Gizzards (RAW)(store bought from your butcher or at the grocery store safe as it's sold to humans - (egg whites will help to strengthen the kidneys), ground up and add to the wet food is a great source of nutrition as they age. . Make sure to add pumpkin daily! Good Luck with your furry friend please give his tail a tug for me. :)

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Elaine (Edmond, Oklahoma, USA) on 06/04/2008

My little chihuahua would yip whenever he would have a bowel movement. His stool was also hard and light in color and hard to pass. Thank God for this site it saved me a vet bill. I remembered reading about coconut oil for people. I went to the kitchen and got a small amount on my finger, pried his mouth open and smeared in his mouth. I thought he would really protest, but he seemed to like the taste. Sure enough the next day he had a very healthy bowel movement. It turned out he had a swollen anal gland. I put witch hazel and hydrogen peroxide on it. It ruptured, drain and his fine now. I LOVE THIS SITE!

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 03/14/2017

Hello Cathy,

The first thing that comes to mind for your situation is diet; the diet you are feeding has been rated by Dog Food Advisor as a below average dry dog food : http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/purina-pro-plan-dog-food-dry/

The first thing to do is to upgrade the groceries to a 4 or 5 star diet and then monitor for 6 weeks and record your results in a journal. Please report back!

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Sue Ann (Beachwood, NJ) on 11/17/2006

I read an article in a natural dog publication I receive about giving a dog with anal gland iissues unsweetened coconut and coconut oil (both can be purchased at a health food store). The coconut bulks up the stool with fiber and the coconut oil softens the bulked up stool a bit. For a dog about 30 lbs., you work up to 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil, and work up to 2 teaspoons of the unsweetened coconut. The coconut has to be soaked in water until its wet so it can be digested more easily. I only began this remedy 2 weeks ago, but don't notice my dog "scooting" as much as he used to.

Warm Bath
Posted by Anna (PA) on 02/19/2021

Hi. I am using these remedies. Also Vets Best hairball treats are great for AG issues in my cat. Bulks up her stool and has slippery elm to sooth the tract. But I also found if she is having issues, I sit her in a warm bath for while and then pat around her butt area and the water softens the AG liguid and I see it come out in the bath water. So the bath works well for serious blockage.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Cm (Colorado) on 09/06/2018

My dachshund gets impacted anal glands and the sooner you have them taken care of the better. You don't want them to get infected. After years of this I discovered my dog is allergic to all meat proteins with the exception of fish. When she get some beef or chicken in a product like a treat or dental chew with meat proteins she has anal symptoms. I have to read the packaging very carefully to ensure there is no meat proteins. It's not always evident by the packaging. If your dog has a chronic issue check with your vet to see if they can be on a fish diet instead of a land animal protein diet like beef, lamb, chicken etc...

1 2 3