Dogaspet is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases.

Do Groomers Express Glands And Is It Different Than A Vet?


Do Groomers Express Glands And Is It Different Than A Vet?

We all know that when our pup’s anal sacs are full of fluid and causing discomfort, a visit to the vet is in order. But what if your pup dislikes car rides AND vet visits? Does something else exist…

Something else that can help with those misunderstood little organs known as anal glands? That’s right, there’s another solution! Enter, the beloved groomer with the desired ability to safely express the dog’s anal glands.

Let’s explore whether this mysterious service really exists and how it differs from a trip to the veterinarian.

Table of contents

What is gland expression in dog grooming?

Dog groomers seem to perform a little bit of magic when it comes to expressing anal glands. How do they do it? They typically use their special skill of external anal gland expression, which involves putting pressure on the outside of the glands to push out the fluid.

While this method can partially empty the glands, some of that pesky fluid might still be hanging around. This can come with problems if the dog’s glands don’t get completely emptied, leading to a recurring cycle of fluid-filled discomfort.

So dog groomers aren’t quite a miracle workers, but their unique method of gland expression can bring some much-needed relief to your pup.

Note: Some groomers have done the training to perform the internal expression of dog anal glands, but most groomers still prefer to do the external expression.

How is a groomer’s dog gland expression different from a vet’s?

Unlike dog groomers, vets use a much more complex method of anal gland expression. They actually insert their finger into your dog’s rectum and manually release the fluid that’s built up inside the glands. This is called internal anal gland expression and it can be uncomfortable for your dog and a bit of a smelly task for the vet.

The benefit of an internal gland expression is that it can empty the dog’s glands completely, preventing any recurrence of fullness or infection. Additionally, the vet can feel for any anomalies in the dog’s anal glands like inflammation or infection, something a dog groomer cannot do.

Why do groomers express glands externally?

For dog groomers, expressing anal glands is a task that comes with its fair share of challenges. No one really wants to get close and personal with your dog’s backside, after all! It’s understandable why dog groomers prefer to take the less smelly route by using external gland expression.

Jokes aside, the main reason is that groomers aren’t qualified to do an internal anal gland expression. It’s a difficult and unpleasant task that should be left to trained veterinary professionals. So dog groomers stick with the external method, though they can only provide mild and temporary relief this way.

Should groomers express your dog’s glands or a vet?

So who would you rather have to express your dog’s glands, a dog groomer or a vet? The answer depends on the situation. If your dog’s anal glands are full and are experiencing any discomfort, your dog should be seen by a vet as soon as possible.

The vet can provide much more comprehensive relief than a dog groomer, and they’ll be able to tell whether any further action needs to be taken like antibiotics or surgery. If your dog’s glands don’t become full often and are generally healthy, dog grooming can be a great option for dog owners who don’t want to make another trip to the vet’s office.

Should groomers express your dog's glands or a vet?

Vet charge to express glands vs a dog groomer

If dog owners want to save a few bucks, the choice between a dog groomer and a vet for expressing anal glands is clear.

Price vet: $20-50 (depending on the area)
Price Groomer: $15-$35 (Often included in the total grooming price)

A trip to the vet for gland expression can be a bit of a pricey endeavor, costing up to $50 in some cases. But dog grooming services usually include the dog groomer’s anal gland expression for only $15 to $35 dollars.

Prices often depend on the area, but dog owners can save a lot of cash by taking their pup to the dog groomers for anal gland expression. So for those penny-pinchers out there, be sure to check with your dog groomer for their latest gland expression prices!

Note: the dog owner should not take the dog to dog groomers if dog is having discomfort and should take the dog to the vet instead.

6 Signs your dog needs their glands expressed

According to our vet writer, Dr. Linda Simon, dog owners should be aware of a few signs that might indicate their dog needs their anal glands expressed.

These include:

  • Bum Dragging
  • Quickly Looking Behind Towards The Tail
  • A Fishy Smell Coming From The Anus
  • Visible Discharge Around The Home
  • Swelling Or Redness Near The Anus
  • Ruptured Skin And Pus Draining

The last 2 signs could indicate that your dog’s anal glands are infected, and in this case, you should take them to the vet right away.

Does Petco express glands?

Petco does indeed offer dog grooming services which include anal gland expression services. Every Petco location is slightly different, so it’s best to check with your local store for their specific dog grooming services and prices.

Their services are priced based on the size of your dog’s breed. If your dog is on the small side, a grooming service generally will cost you around $38 – $47. However, if your dog is a bigger breed, you’re looking at a price of $47 – $66. The prices include the dog groomer’s anal gland expression service.

Does Petco express glands?

Does PetSmart express glands?

Same as Petco, Petsmart includes gland expression within their dog grooming services. Prices vary depending on your dog’s breed, size, and length of their coat, but generally speaking PetSmart offers dog grooming services for around $35 – $65.

Gland expression is usually included in the dog grooming package but it’s best to check with your local PetSmart store for their dog grooming services and prices.

Final Thoughts – Dog Groomer vs Vet

In conclusion, dog owners need to decide whether dog groomers or vets should express their dog’s anal glands. The answer depends on the dog’s current situation, but dog owners can save some money and time by taking their dog to the groomers for anal gland expression. But if you dog’s glands are infected or they become full too often, it’s best to take them to the vet.

Written by

Tim Smith
With years of experience writing about dogs, this author is a go-to source for insights on the furry friends. A lover of all animals, this writer's work has been published in many respected publications.
The Ideal Dog Routine Written By Vet
Add Years to Your Dog's Life With Our Free E-book!

Not only does this routine build their confidence and reduce the likelihood of behavioral disorders, but it can also result in a longer, healthier life!