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Dog Still Smells After Glands Expressed? 5 Reasons + 5 Tips

Dog Still Smells After Glands Expressed

How pungent is that smell?

And why is it still bothering your nose when you already have Fido’s gland expressed?

Moreover, should you be worried?

I’ll provide the answers to those and give you tips in avoiding such again.

Continue reading to discover:

  • How to tell if your dog needs another anal gland expression.
  • 5 reasons why your dog still smells after having their glands expressed.
  • 5 tips when your dog still gives off a stench despite just having their glands expressed.
  • And much, much more…

Why does my dog still smell after his glands have been expressed?

Your dog still smells after his glands have been expressed as it’s normal. Within 24 hours of expression, the smell won’t fully go away. If he still smells after that, his glands aren’t expressed properly. Or his glands might be filling up too fast. Other times, it’s an anal gland problem.

Dog still smells after glands expressed: 5 reasons

#1: The smell won’t totally go away

So, you sent your pooch to the vet to get their anal glands expressed…

It’s about time as they’ve had this smell for a while.

Fast forward on the way home, and a smell still lingers in the car.

You scoff it off as the windows are down for your pooch. So you assume that it’s just something smelly that you pass by.

But when you got home…


The terrible scent is still there…

So you look at your pooch. Then, you examine them…

And that’s when you realize that it’s them that you’ve been smelling.

“How can this be?

You just had your glands expressed?”

Wait, cut your fur baby some slack…

That’s because it’s totally normal for them to smell for a while after the procedure.

Yep, they’re still bound to reek within 24 hours of having their glands expressed.

So, be patient, and after a while, they’ll lose that pungent odor.

But wait…

You might still have a question in mind…

“Why do their anal glands smell at all?”

And let me answer that question with an explanation…

The function of a dog’s anal glands

First of all, what are anal glands in dogs? 

Those are 2 sacs on each side of your dog’s anus.

Now, those glands are assigned to produce some fluid. And that liquid is the bearer of the bad smell that bothers you.

But, for your pooch, the odor is bearable. 

So you might be troubled by the stink, but your pupper surely doesn’t mind.

Moreover, the smell of that fluid is actually valuable for the canine community.

How so?

According to AKC, that terrible aroma is unique to each dog.

For you, it’s just one fishy and pungent smell…

But for your pooch, the scent differs from every dog they meet.

That’s why experts believe that:

Dogs use the fluid to mark their territory. 

Moreover, canines use this smell as their calling card.

As I said, the smell is different for each dog.

With that, it becomes some kind of identification between doggos.

Continue reading: 15 Reasons Why Your Dog Suddenly Smells Like Fish + 17 Tips

#2: They’re not completely emptied

Dog Still Smells After Glands Expressed Because They're Not Completely Emptied

Unfortunately, the professional didn’t do the gland expression thoroughly on your pup…

With that, their anal sacs still contain some of the fluid.

So what you’ve been smelling are those leftovers.

“How did that happen?”

Something like this can occur when the person that did it lacks experience. 

With that, they’re less knowledgeable of the proper execution of the gland expression.

And it leads to leaving some fluid in your dog’s anal sacs. Therefore, your pooch will continue to be smelly.

#3: Because of the ‘splash zone’

Most dog parents prefer that a professional does this procedure to their dog.

Not only because that ensures a more effective expression of the glands…

But let’s be honest…

Some will find the procedure to be yucky.

That’s because it’ll involve being close to the dog’s butt that smells so unpleasant. 

Then, you’ll have to squeeze on the canine’s anus to let the fluid out. And that fluid is gonna smell more foul.

So even though you can do this procedure at home, you can choose to have a vet do it.

And it’s no worries about that. It’s actually the better choice for your dog’s welfare.

That aside, I mentioned that the vet would need to squeeze the dog’s anus. Doing so will empty the glands out.

So, that fluid will flow from your dog’s anus.

And with that, the nearby area around your canine’s butt won’t be safe from the fluid.

That smelly liquid can stick on the fur around your pupper’s bum.

After the sacs are emptied out, the vet should use a deodorizer. They use it to kill the strong odor from the fluid that the sacs release.

But, if Fido doesn’t receive such…


That’s going to be bad news for you.

Your pooch is definitely bringing that fluid’s gross smell home.

As long as the fluid’s sticking on their fur around the butt…

You’re gonna have to endure it.

#4: Their glands fill up too quickly

Just like humans, dogs are unique from each other.

They can differ personalities, and even on their body’s inner workings.

An example is this specific situation…

You see, some dogs won’t need any anal gland expression in their lifetime.

Yep, you read that right…

Then, some dogs will need a few. Those that only need it from time to time.

As for other canines, they might require frequent anal gland expressions. They’re the ones who need it regularly.

And if your pooch is the latter, then their anal sacs are easily filled up…

That even after a few days of expression, the fluid will be back on their glands.

With that, they’re gonna smell unpleasant again.

How to tell when your dog needs their anal gland expressed

So your pooch is the type that needs their anal gland expressed regularly.

But how regular do they need it?

There’s no definite answer to that…

That’s because of their varying requirements.

So all you’re left with is monitoring your dog and being mindful of their needs.

The only thing left to do is watch out for signs that they need the procedure.

And the first indication is when they’re leaving brownish spots on areas they sat on.

That means that the fluid from their glands is leaking.

Such will leave spots and definitely the gross smell.

Another sign is when they start licking their rear end a lot. 

And of course, the most tell-tale sign is when they start smelling again. Some dog parents report a fishy or metallic smell when this happens.

With that, they’re due for another expression from the vet.

#5: Anal gland problem

In this case, the expression is done well on your pooch…

You’re also sure they’re not the kind that always needs their glands expressed.

And they’re definitely cleaned up after the procedure…

Despite all of that, your fur baby still smells.

“Right? What went wrong?”

It’s something that isn’t your or anyone’s fault…

Unfortunately, your pooch might be suffering a condition on their anal glands.

Anal sac disease in dogs

Anal Sac Disease In Dogs

It’s a common condition. According to research, this condition has a 12.5% prevalence in dogs.

Despite that, it’s not a straightforward one…

According to VCA Hospitals, anal sac disease happens when the sacs become impacted.

And that occurs due to inflammation.

With that, the glands become thick and swollen. Such can cause extreme pain when your dog tries to poop.

Moreover, the swollen area becomes habitable for bacterial growth.

Thus, it can also cause an infection.

When that happens, abscesses begin to form. And it fills up the sacs, along with pus and blood.

How do you know if your dog has this?

Apart from the stinky smell, these are the signs of anal disease in dogs:

And of course, how can I forget to mention the most famous sign of this condition?

“What is it?”

It’s none other than seeing your dog scoot or drag their butt on the floor.

Like what these dogs are doing:

It’s an entertaining sight, isn’t it?

But sadly, the reason behind it is a painful disease that your pooch is suffering from. 

And they could only be doing such an action to help relieve themself from the discomfort.

Moreover, where did this condition come from?

Vets say these are the causes of this disease:

  • Obesity.
  • Allergies.
  • Chronic skin dermatitis.
  • Lack of fiber in their diet.
  • Constant soft or loose stools.

You might also want to know: Home remedies for dog scooting

Dog still smells after glands expressed: 5 tips

#1: Monitor them

Sometimes, all you have to do is wait and see for yourself…

Such is applicable in this case.

As I said earlier, your pooch will still smell within 24 hours after the procedure.

So, just monitor them patiently within a day.

Sooner or later, they can lose the smell. And your nose will finally be free from the pungent odor.

But what if it doesn’t go away?

That after 24 hours, your pooch still smells the same…

Then, I advise that you proceed with tip #5.

#2: Clean ’em up

This one’s a sure way to see if you should be concerned with your pup’s smell.

You can also do this within 24 hours of having your dog’s glands expressed.

If you wanna get rid of the smell…

Then, you gotta clean ‘em up.

You can do so by wiping their butt with a wipe or wet cloth.

And if you wanna go the extra mile, you can bath them.

That should do it…

And your pooch shall emerge fresh and not smelling like a stinky butt anymore.

And if ever this doesn’t work, continue waiting within the day. If your pupper continues to stink even after that, go on with tip #5.

#3: Ensure proper nutrition

Ensure Proper Nutrition

This one’s more of a long-term solution to this problem…

I mentioned earlier that obesity could cause anal sac disease in dogs.

So to avoid that disease, you must give your canine proper nutrition.

And it won’t only help prevent anal sac disease in them.

Just like you need proper nutrition, your dog needs it as well. And such can go a long way for their health and longevity.

But what is considered proper nutrition in dogs?

Oh, the answer isn’t simple…

Your dog’s nutrition

Just like you, your dog’s an omnivore. Meaning they eat a combination of meat and plants.

Did you know? Vets tell us that dogs can handle a well-balanced vegetarian diet. 

But, they can’t react the same way with an all-meat diet. That’s because such won’t meet your dog’s nutritional requirements.

See? The answer really isn’t easy to say.

Luckily, there are many years of development that tackle this. And as a dog parent, you’re not alone in learning all of those.

First, be familiar with the real nutritional requirements for your pooch. Those are:

  • Fats.
  • Water.
  • Proteins.
  • Minerals.
  • Vitamins.
  • Carbohydrates.

So, how can you provide those for your pupper?

The number one piece of advice I could give is to go for the best.

Pick the highest-quality food that you can afford for Fido.

Premium dog foods are packed with nutrients. They also have fewer additives, which do nothing but make your dog feel full.

Moreover, add functional foods to their diet.

What are those?

I’m talking about fruits and vegetables.

Your dog still needs such in their everyday life.

And it’ll be the best thing to do for their health.

Take it from this research

They say that functional foods can affect your dog positively. In ways like:

  • Modifying GI physiology.
  • Improving brain functions.
  • Minimizing the risk of developing diseases.

And if your dog receives their nutritional needs, they won’t become too obsessed with food. Therefore it all leads to the prevention of obesity. 

#4: Supply enough dietary fiber

Why didn’t this appear in the previous section instead?

You see, many dog food products overlook fiber in a dog’s diet.

Plus, it needs a separate section as its contribution here is specific.

But let me explain all of that one by one…

So, fiber is beneficial to your dog’s health.

AKC says that it helps aid your canine’s digestion.


Fiber does wonders in one’s digestive tract.

Once in the intestine, fiber gets fermented. There, they turn into fatty acids that prevent the spread of bad bacteria.

It can also help with managing your canine’s weight. That’s because fiber makes your dog feel full.

With that, they’re less likely to ask for a snack after snack…

Most of all, it allows your dog’s stool to harden.

Now, why is that helpful?

As I mentioned before, their anal glands are located on either side of their anus.

And those sacs could be squeezed when your dog’s passing stool.

So when their poop is hard, that can help with the secretion of the fluid from the sacs.

With that, they’ll express their glands every time they poop.

All in all, it contributes to your dog needing fewer gland expressions. It can also reduce the instance of full or impacted glands.

So, what are you waiting for?

If you don’t know where to start, I got you…

Giving your dog the fiber they need

As I put it earlier, fiber is underrated when it comes to dog foods.

That’s why you’d have to exert more effort in giving it to Fido.

The first way to do so is by feeding them vegetables. That’s because such is high in cellulose, a type of fiber.

And nope, veggie straws don’t count at all…

Instead, opt for any green and leafy vegetables. An example is the veggie kale, which is good for your dog in moderate amounts.

Note: I mentioned the word moderate, and it’s important to practice it.

I say so as too much fiber can be bad for your pooch. It can cause the following:

  • Flatulence.
  • Loose stools.
  • Increased frequency in pooping.
  • Pooping more (volume) than usual.

#5: Bring them back to the vet (more frequently)

As always, their vet will give the best advice.

Moreover, they’ll assess your dog’s specific situation.

The vet can redo the procedure if Fido’s glands aren’t emptied out. This time, they’re gonna make sure that the glands are indeed cleared.

Or they can also check if any impactions’s been causing the smell.

Lastly, they can also inspect if your pup is the type that needs more frequent expression.