Do Dogs Empty Their Anal Glands When Scared?

Your pup has two glands in his anal area called anal sacs. These sacs contain a thick, smelly fluid that's usually released when a pooch defecates or becomes frightened. If your pooch smells a little stinky in scary situations, it's likely because he's released some fluid from his anal glands.


Anal Sacs

Your pup has two anal sacs, in the 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock positions of his anus, according to WebMD. These pea-size glands contain a thick, oily fluid with a foul, somewhat fishy-smelling aroma, unique to your dog. The glands serve as a method of communication between dogs. When your pup defecates, the stool pushes against the anal glands and expresses them. This coats the feces in scent, allowing Fido to mark territory and communicate other things. Unfortunately, when Fido becomes excited, upset or frightened, he will forcefully contract his anal sphincter, expelling a small amount of the smelly fluid inside the anal glands.


If Fido is constantly expressing his anal glands, have your vet or groomer manually express the glands regularly to reduce the amount of fluid inside for him to emit. You can give your dog more fiber in his diet to bulk up his stool so that it puts more pressure on the glands when he defecates to empty them. If your pup doesn't express the fluid inside his anal glands, they can become blocked and impacted. Impaction of the anal glands can lead to infections, abscesses and the need to surgically remove the glands.

By Susan Paretts

About the Author
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, crafts, television, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared in "The Southern California Anthology" and on Epinions. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.