The History of French Bulldogs

The History of French Bulldogs

The History of French Bulldogs. The French Bulldog also known as the Frenchie is a small breed of domestic dog. Frenchies were the result in the 1800s of a cross between bulldog ancestors imported from England and local ratters in Paris (France).

The History of French Bulldogs

In 2014, they were the fourth most popular registered dog in the United Kingdom[4] and in the U.S. the ninth most popular AKC registered dog breed.They were rated the third most popular dog in Australia (for 2017)

The origin of the modern French Bulldog breed descends directly from the dogs of the Molossians, an ancient Greek tribe. The dogs were spread throughout the ancient world by Phoenician traders. British Molossian dogs were developed into the Mastiff. A sub-family of the Mastiff were the Bullenbeisser, a type of dog used for bull-baiting.

Blood sports such as bull-baiting were outlawed in England in 1835, leaving these “Bulldogs” unemployed.[8] However, they had been bred for non-sporting reasons since at least 1800, and so their use changed from a sporting breed to a companion breed. To reduce their size, some Bulldogs were crossed with terriers, while others were crossed with pugs. By 1850 the Toy Bulldog had become common in England, and appeared in conformation shows when they began around 1860.[citation needed] These dogs weighed around 16–25 pounds (7.3–11.3 kg), although classes were also available at dog shows for those that weighed under 12 pounds (5.4 kg).

At the same time, lace workers from Nottingham, displaced by the Industrial Revolution, began to settle in Normandy, France.[9] They brought a variety of dogs with them, including miniature Bulldogs.[10] The dogs became popular in France and a trade in imported small Bulldogs was created, with breeders in England sending over Bulldogs that they considered to be too small, or with faults such as ears that stood up. By 1860, there were few miniature Bulldogs left in England, such was their popularity in France and due to the exploits of specialist dog exporters.

The small Bulldog type gradually became thought of as a breed, and received a name, the Bouledogue Francais.[11] This Francization of the English name is also a contraction of the words “boule” (ball) and “dogue” (mastiff or molosser). The dogs were highly fashionable and were sought after by society ladies and Parisian prostitutes alike, as well as creatives such as artists, writers, and fashion designers.[11] However, records were not kept of the breed’s development as it diverged further away from its original Bulldog roots. As it changed, terrier and Pug stock may have been brought in to develop traits such as the breed’s long straight ears, and the roundness of their eyes.

The history of the French Bulldog is an interesting and long-running story. The true beginnings of the French Bulldog reach all the way back to ancient Greece. An ancient Grecian tribe known as the Molossians bred massive dogs for labor and war, known as the Molossus breed. From the Molossus breed came a whole host of sub-family breeds. These sub-families resulted in countless breeds including St. Bernards, Great Pyrenees, Rottweilers, Pittbulls, Newfoundlanders, and a breed known as the Bullenbeisser. The Bullenbeisser, now extinct, was used for bull-baiting, a vicious blood sport where dogs would attempt to immobilize a bull by latching it’s strong jaws onto the bull’s snout. These dogs would give way to the modern day breeds we know as “bulldogs”; there are the Olde English Bulldogges, English Bulldogs, American Bulldogs, and our beloved French Bulldogs.

In 1835, Britain outlawed the brutal blood sport of bull-baiting. Unemployed, bulldogs were resigned to a simpler life, including less stringent breeding laws. Breeders began crossing the massive Bullenbeisser to create the modern bulldogs we know, including the breeding of terriers and bulldogs to create smaller version of the bulldog. By 1850, London was littered with miniature Bulldogs. These bulldogs hardly resembled their Bullenbeisser ancestors, sharing only the famously short muzzle and broad facial structure. They had become companion dogs, rather than sporting dogs. Before arriving in France, the bulldog was crossed with terriers and pugs to achieve the compact French Bulldog size we’re familiar with today.


By 1860, miniature bulldogs weighing around 16-27lbs could be found in conformation shows around England. During the same time, lace workers from Nottingham, forced out by the Industrial Revolution, began moving to France to search for work in Normandy. The lace workers brought along a variety of dogs, namely, the miniature bulldog. The miniatures became very popular amongst the French and new importing lines were created for the miniature bulldogs between England and the Normans. Bulldogs that the English deemed unfit for breeding were shipped straight to France. The English were happy to sell the dogs to the French since there was little market left for them in Britain. The French loved the characteristics of the bulldog that the English deplored, including being small and having ears that stood up. The French lace workers loved the bulldogs with erect ears and soon, the breed was named the Bouledogue Français. The dogs instantly became a fashion symbol of Parisian life, from prostitutes, madames, and the social elite. The companion Bouledogue Français became a required addition to any socialite’s lap.

Changes in Eating Habits in Dogs

Changes in Eating Habits in Dogs

Changes in Eating Habits in Dogs. Thinking about changing dog food brands or types because it is less expensive? Or maybe your dog has been sick to his stomach and you want to try out a new food. It may even be that your vet thinks your dog is allergic to lamb. Whatever the reason for the change in dog food, you must take it very slow to allow your pup’s tummy to adjust to its new food.

Changes in Eating Habits in Dogs

So, the best way to go about changing your dog’s food is to have some of the current food still on hand when making the change so that you can feed like this for at least 5 days to allow for the digestive transition needed to avoid sickness:

Day 1: Feed 75% of the current (old) food and mix in 25% of the new food in each serving to start the adjustment period for clean digestion.
Day 2: Adjust to feeding 60% of the old food and mix in 40% of the new food in each serving.
Day 3: Feed 50% of the old food, mixed with 50% of the new food per serving.
Day 4: Feed 40% of the old food, mixed with 60% of the new food per serving.
Day 5: Feed 25% of the old food, mixed with 75% of the new food per serving.
Day 6: Feed 90-100% of the new food as you should be very close to a clean digestive transition period.

Anytime a dogs eating habits change, we want to hear about it. All dogs are individuals, and what may be normal for one dog would be completely abnormal for another. Only you know what is normal for your dog, and only you can tell us when something changes.

Changes in food consumption can be complex. Even eating more can be a sign of illness. Dogs experiencing the early signs of some metabolic disorders, such as Cushing’s Disease or Hypothyroidism may suddenly start to eat more and gain weight. Increased stress, changes in exercise patterns, illness and/or infection can all lead to decreased appetite.

Here is a ‘short’ list of things that can cause dogs to decrease or stop eating:

-Dietary indiscretion aka “I didn’t know a dog could/would eat that!!”

-Valley Fever


-Food Allergies

-GI upset or GI blockage

-Transient viral infection

-Tick Fever or other tick born illnesses

-Ingestion of a toxic substance

-Mouth or throat pain

-Disease in any one of the internal organs

ANYTIME a dog stops eating altogether it is a medical emergency. Puppies experiencing decreased appetites should be seen immediately as their reserves are small and they can get into trouble quickly.

Vaccinations Dog

Vaccinations French Bulldog Puppies

Vaccines help prepare the body’s immune system to fight the invasion of disease-causing organisms. Vaccines contain antigens, which look like the disease-causing organism to the immune system but don’t actually cause disease. When the vaccine is introduced to the body, the immune system is mildly stimulated. If a dog is ever exposed to the real disease, his immune system is now prepared to recognize and fight it off entirely or reduce the severity of the illness.

Vaccinations French Bulldog

How Important Are Vaccines to the Health of My Dog?

Bottom line-vaccines are very important in managing the health of your dog. That said, not every dog needs to be vaccinated against every disease. It is very important to discuss with your veterinarian a vaccination protocol that’s right for your dog. Factors that should be examined include age, medical history, environment, travel habits and lifestyle. Most vets highly recommend administering core vaccines to healthy dogs.

What Are Core Vaccines?

In 2006, the American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Task Force published a revised version of guidelines regarding canine vaccinations. The guidelines divide vaccines into three categories-core, non-core and not recommended.

Core vaccines are considered vital to all dogs based on risk of exposure, severity of disease or transmissibility to humans. Canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies are considered core vaccines by the Task Force.
Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi and Leptospira bacteria.

Parasite Prevention Dogs

Parasite Prevention Dogs

Parasite Prevention Dogs, Halloween isn’t the only time for creepy crawlies. As the weather gets warmer and you spend more time outside, your pets are more likely to be exposed to sometimes-serious infections and parasites. Each year, many pets are diagnosed with diseases carried by insects and parasites. Cost of treatment can be expensive and some diseases can lead to serious illness. Just as bad, many of these diseases can be transmitted to people the very same way our pets get them.

Parasite Prevention Dogs

Pet Health Network and are looking out for your whole family with tips for parasite and disease prevention, ways you can test your preventive-health prowess, questions to ask your veterinarian about preventive-health screenings and prevalence maps of some of the most-common pet-health infections. Check out these quick parasite prevention tips from the Companion Animal Parasite Council and Dr. Ruth MacPete, then learn more about parasites A-Z below:

  • Deworm your pets according to your veterinarian’s recommendations
    Keep your pets on monthly year-round parasite preventatives
    Take your pet to the veterinarian annually for routine parasite screenings
    Wash your hands after any exposure to soil, sandboxes, and raw meat
    Don’t let children eat dirt or food that has fallen to the ground
    Pick-up after your pet and keep your yard free of feces
    Cover sandboxes and play areas

5 Warning Signs of Bloat That Could Save Your Dog’s Life

Bloat in dogs is unfortunately a common and often fatal emergency, but there is a way you can prevent it happening.

Bloat in dogs is one of the most soul destroying medical emergencies we see in our vet clinics. One moment the owner has a healthy, happy dog. The next we are trapped in a life and death battle, where the odds are stacked against us.

What is dog bloat? 

In the medical world, dog bloat is referred to as Gastric Dilatation Volvulus or GDV.

Bloat is where a dog’s stomach first rapidly expands with gas and fluid, and then rotates on itself, twisting off both ends of the stomach. The gas and fluids then start to ferment, pressure builds up and blood supply to the stomach is cut off and a portion or all of the stomach may die.

This triggers a cascade of other problems which can lead to death in just a few hours if left untreated.

Sadly, even with emergency treatment, up to 50% of dogs will die if their stomach has twisted.

Which dog breeds are most susceptible to bloat?

Some dog breeds are more likely to get bloat than others. Generally these are the larger chested dog breeds including:

  • Great Danes (studies show 42% will get bloat in their lifetime)
  • Standard Poodles
  • German Shepherds
  • Blood Hounds
  • Irish Wolfhounds
  • Weimaraner
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Rottweiler
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Boxer
  • St Bernard
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Collie
  • Basset Hound
  • Shar-Pei
  • Dachshund

Symptoms of bloat in dogs

Bloat develops very suddenly, and occurs more in middle aged or older dogs. Often the dog may have just eaten a large meal, drank a large amount of water or been exercising vigorously before or after eating when the first symptoms of bloat appear.

Five early warning signs of bloat in dogs may include:

  1. Your dog is drooling more than usual
  2. Your dog is trying to be sick, but not able to vomit
  3. Your dog has a tight or swollen stomach
  4. Your dog is tired but restless
  5. Your dog appears to be uncomfortable or in pain and may groan, whine or grunt – particularly if the stomach is touched or pressed

As the problem progresses, your dog may go into shock, with pale gums and tongue, rapid heart rate, weak pulse, problems breathing and collapse.

If there is any suspicion of bloat, take your pet to the nearest vet hospital. If the stomach has twisted, then emergency surgery is the only option.

Bloat prevention – non-surgical

Unfortunately there is no clinically proven cause for bloat in dogs. There is debate in the industry about genetics, temperament, stress and a host of other factors.

Some of the things you can do to try to prevent your dog from getting bloat include:

  • Feeding a few times a day rather than just one big meal.
  • Slowing a speedy eater down, using a Slow Feeding Bowl
  • Not feeding from a raised feeding station or bowl
  • Not only feeding dry food (or making sure you soak the biscuits first)
  • Not letting your dog drink too much water at one time
  • No heavy exercise just before or just after eating

Bloat prevention – preventative Gastropexy

If your dog is one of the “at risk breeds” for bloat, has a close family member that has had bloat, or who has a history of stomach bloating, it pays to consider preventative surgery.

Gastropexy is a surgical procedure where the side of a dog’s stomach is stitched to the abdominal wall to prevent the stomach from twisting.

Preventative Gastropexy is performed on a healthy dog before they have a bloat incident. It is not an emergency procedure.

Up until recently, preventative Gastropexy in dogs was a major surgical procedure. However, there is now another option: Laparoscopic Gastropexy.

Commonly called keyhole surgery, Laparoscopic surgery is very common in human operations because it is minimally invasive, is faster and has better healing results. It is now available for pet surgery for selected issues, including bloat prevention.

Benefits of Laparoscopic Gastropexy

  • Less invasive & minimal scarring. It only needs a few 0.5 to 1 cm incisions compared to 10-15 cm incisions
  • Shorter surgery and anaesthesia time
  • Overnight procedure – your dog can come home the next day
  • Much less pain
  • Faster recovery
  • Less expensive than open surgery
  • More reliable than open surgery

When should preventative Gastropexy be done?

Most dogs undergo Laparoscopic Gastropexy at the same time as they are being neutered or spayed. However, if you have an older at risk animal then a standalone surgical procedure can also be performed.

As with any surgery, there are risks and complications that need to be discussed with your vet prior to the procedure being undertaken.

Can a dog still get bloat after Laparoscopic Gastropexy?

A Gastropexy simply stops the stomach from twisting, which is the cause of the life endangering symptoms. However, your dog can still get bloat after the surgery, although they will be able to burp and pass excess gas which means you have more time to get to your vet for treatment. It turns a life-threatening emergency into something with significantly less risk.

How to Avoid Heat Stress in Your Pet this Summer

Temperatures are set to soar in Eastern Australia over the next few days, and as pet owners its important that you are aware of the risk of heat stress in your pets.

Certain breeds, especially those with long coats and short snouts (brachycephalics, such as bulldogs, pugs and persians) are particularly prone to heat stress, but all breeds and coat lengths may be affected, especially during heat waves!

It is important to implement measures to keep your pet cool on hot days, as heatstroke can be life threatening.


Unlike humans, who are able to sweat to lose heat, dogs and cats cannot regulate their temperature in this way and rely mainly on panting and external cooling to lose heat from their bodies. This limits their ability to thermoregulate, which is why pet owners need to take action to minimize the risk of heat stress.

Some things you can do include:

  • Ensuring your pet has access to shade when outside, and the freedom to move into shaded areas;
  • Ensuring your pet has access to fresh drinking water inside and outside the house (ensure they are placed in a shady spot if outside and consider placing an extra bowl or two if you are leaving the house);
  • Avoiding excessive exercise / avoiding exercise during the hot parts of the day / avoiding exercise entirely on very hot days;
  • Not leaving pets in the car, even with the windows open.


Being aware of signs of heatstroke may allow you to act quickly and prevent internal organ damage. These signs may include:

  • Excessive panting progressing to breathing distress;
  • Drooling, salivation;
  • Very red or very pale gums;
  • Vomiting and/or or diarrhea;
  • Restlessness, delirium, agitation;
  • Seizures;
  • Collapse / comatose.


If you are concerned that your pet is suffering from heat stress, remove your pet from the hot environment, wrap him or her in a wet towel or spray him or her with cool water onto the skin and fan to maximize heat loss and take him into your nearest veterinarian as soon as possible. If you are unsure of what to do, or would like more information, please contact us on 1300 568 738 for advice.

Why Your Pet Needs To See The Dentist Every 6 Months

Eighty percent of dogs and cats over the age of three suffer from dental disease. That’s a lot of pets with painful mouths! And if your furry friend hasn’t seen the dentist in the last year, chances are they’re one of them.

Colorado State University postdoctoral fellow Willana Busuki examines Caroline Dennington’s French bulldog puppy Bruce in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s Dentistry and Oral Surgery section, June 11, 2015.

What does your mouth feel like if you don’t brush your teeth for a couple of days? Pretty horrible, right? Well, for pets that don’t brush their teeth, this feeling gets worse and worse. All that food, bacteria and plaque solidifies to form hard calculus.

Over time, gums become red and bleed and the ligaments holding the teeth in the jaw weaken, causing permanent damage to the teeth themselves, as well as root abscesses. And the infection doesn’t just stay in the mouth: all those bacteria can end up in the bloodstream and cause heart and kidney problems too.

At Love That Pet, we hate pulling teeth out. Unfortunately, we see so many pets (sometimes very young ones too!) who haven’t had their teeth looked after, and who need lots of extractions because they are in so much pain.

What we absolutely LOVE is pets that are happy and healthy – and one of the most important things you can do as a pet owner is to clean your pet’s teeth.

Brushing your pet’s teeth

The best way to keep you pet’s mouth healthy is daily brushing. Most pets (even cats) can be trained to enjoy brushing.

If your pet doesn’t seem keen to start with, just start out gradually for a minute a day using lots of treats or a chicken flavoured toothpaste.

If your pet has red gums, avoid brushing and check in with your vet to get those teeth assessed. Those gums are painful, so it’s not a good time to try brushing for the first time.

Taking your pet to the dentist

Regular dental assessments every 6 months by your vet will help you work out which teeth need extra attention, since not all teeth develop problems at the same rate.

Similarly, not all pets develop dental problems the same way. Breed, genetics, chewing behaviour, saliva flow and nutrition all play a role. Some pets need a Scale and Polish every 6 months, while others may only need a quick check-up to ensure their teeth are still in tip-top shape.

What else can you do to keep your pet’s teeth clean?

Apart from regular dentist visits and daily brushing, your vet may also recommend swapping to a dental diet, such as Hill’s t/d. This specially formulated pet food is recommended by the Veterinary Oral Health Council and:

  • Uses special size kibble pieces to scrub those teeth clean
  • Reduces dental plaque and tartar
  • Improves bad breath
  • Prevents build-up of plaque after a dental clean at your vet
  • Includes Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat

If your cat or dog has had a dental recently, your vet may also recommend Healthymouth, which is a safe dental care product that is added to your pet’s drinking water. It has been clinically proven to reduce plaque, keep teeth and gums healthy whilst reducing germs and bacteria in the mouth.

Chocolate Toxicity: What To Do If The Dog Finds Your Stash

Despite what our Nannas might insist, we all know Easter is all about the chocolate. Unfortunately, it can be very dangerous for pets. How much is too much and what should you do if your dog eats chocolate?


One of the common questions we receive after a suspected chocolate raid is how much is safe?  So long as you know how much was eaten and what sort of chocolate it is, it is relatively easy to work out if your pet is in danger.

The general rule is the darker it is, the more dangerous it is. Dark, bitter baking chocolate can be up to 8 times as toxic as milk chocolate. Milk chocolate is not as toxic as dark chocolate, and white chocolate contains very little of the chemical of concern, which is theobromine.

For a great chocolate calculator visit here. Of course, we need to add in a disclaimer: the calculator is a simplified tool and does not account for any individual variation in sensitivity. In particular an older pet with a heart condition, pancreatitis or kidney problems could be more sensitive to smaller amounts.

When such calculators work out the toxic dose, it is based on the LD50, or the fatal dose that causes 50% of canine patients to suffer a fatal outcome. So if your pet is even close to the dangerous level, err on the side of caution and get them to the vet as soon as possible.

Other factors that may impact your pet include whether there were any other ingredients such as caffeine, sultanas, macadamias and xylitol (also toxic to pets and used as an artificial sweetener). Many pets are very sensitive to rich and fatty foods and will get a nasty bout of pancreatitis or gastroenteritis from overindulging. Also, pets that gobble the whole lot so quickly that they eat wrappers, foil and plastic are more susceptible to a foreign body problem as well.


Chocolate contains theobromine which is a methylxanthine that stimulates the heart and nervous system while relaxing smooth muscle. The low grade signs of poisoning often include vomiting, diarrhoea, panting, restlessness, hyperactivity and increased heart rate.

At higher doses neurological signs such as tremors, seizures, coma and death can occur. Often it takes a few hours to develop the dangerous symptoms and as theobromide has a long half-life it can take a few days for pets to improve even with treatment.


If you have reason to suspect your pet has eaten chocolate, get them to the vet immediately. If there is a chance that the chocolate is still in the stomach, inducing vomiting quickly is cheap, effective and safe. Usually if the consumption was within an hour, inducing vomiting solves the problem. Insider tip: vets don’t mind making chocolate-eaters vomit – it smells so much nicer than the usual vomit!


There are many ways we have heard of to induce vomiting. Unfortunately, some are almost as dangerous as the toxin itself. Get it wrong and you could end up in an even worse situation. So while we don’t recommend inducing vomiting yourself, if there is no way to get to your vet, here are a few precautions:

  • Never try to induce vomiting if your dog is not fully awake and able to swallow properly.
  • Never induce vomiting in a dog having seizures.
  • Never induce vomiting if your dog has eaten anything caustic that will cause damage on the way up. If you are unsure, ring Poisons Information on 131126.
  • Never give salt water or hydrogen peroxide. These can be very dangerous to pets.
  • Never give anything orally to a vomiting dog (sounds obvious, I know!).
  • Never try to get a cat to vomit at home, save that for the vet.
  • If you try washing soda crystals (advice below) and your dog doesn’t vomit after one dose of crystals, do not administer more.
  • Inducing vomiting is really only a good option if you are more than an hour from your vet or emergency centre and you know for sure what your pet ate.
  • Once you have induced vomiting, avoid giving any food or water for a couple of hours at least.

How to Keep your Dog Cool this Summer

The weather has been pretty warm lately (and our furry friends are noticing it, too). It’s probably a good time to be thinking about ways we can help keep our pets cool.

Dogs are more susceptible to heat stress than humans as they can’t sweat and often have coats that are not suited to warmer climates (particularly double-coated arctic breeds).

Staffy’s and dogs with snub-noses are also inclined to overheat and then develop breathing difficulties, which is often compounded by a desire to obsessively fetch that ball until the point of collapse!

So we have put together a few tips to keep your dog cool this summer:

  • Provide a shallow pool, like those clam-shell sandpit creations that kids use. The quickest way for your dog to cool down is by standing or lying in some water.
  • Provide multiple stainless steel water bowls in shady areas rather than plastic bowls and change at least once daily.
  • Use an elevated dog bed such as a trampoline bed.
  • Provide a fan (one that can’t be knocked over, and with a cord that is protected from chewing if your dog is so inclined!).
  • Avoid walks during 10-4pm, on really hot days walk at dawn and dusk.
  • Never leave your dog in the car, even for 5 minutes, the temperature inside a car can increase rapidly to fatal temperatures.
  • Freeze some 2L water bottles, wrap them in a tea towel and place them near pet resting areas.
  • Make some pupsicles (you can use many food items such as salt reduced (onion free) stock, dog food or peanut butter and freeze in anything from an old icecream container to a muffin tin.
  • Use a sprinkler on a timer to come on in the middle of the day.
  • Hang some wet towels to create a simple air conditioner.
  • Allow your dog to dig a hole to lie in if the garden can stand it.

Enjoy the summer! We hope these tips will keep your dog cool over those long summer days.

Anal Glands: What Are They and Do I Need to Express Them?

As a dog lover you should be aware of these glands and how to care for them to keep your dog healthy.

Anal Glands: What Are They and Do I Need to Express Them?

As a dog lover you should be aware of these glands and how to care for them to keep your dog healthy.

Most dog owners have no idea what anal glands are, and judging by how unappetising the name sounds, most don’t want to know. But it’s a good idea to find out, as anal gland problems can plague all types of dogs.

Anal glands, also known as anal sacs or scent glands when found in dogs, are little glands located close to the anus. Many mammals such as cats and dogs have anal glands. Dogs employ their anal glands in marking territory, as well as recognising other dogs by smell. At some point in a dog’s life, the anal glands often need to be expressed for health and hygiene reasons.

Why do anal glands cause problems?

Anal glands are often problematic, especially in small dogs. In an ideal situation, anal glands are expressed naturally whenever the dog has a bowel movement. The movement of the faeces causes the anal glands to be automatically expressed.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and often small dogs find that their anal glands are not being fully expressed. Larger dogs with loose stools or low fibre diets can also face problems with expressing their anal glands.

How do you know if your dog is having anal gland issues?

The symptoms of anal gland problems are not pretty, and you can be sure you’ll notice your dog’s discomfort soon enough.

If you’ve been spotting your dog scooting his rear end all over the place, whether on the carpet, in bed or in your own lap, there’s a good chance he is suffering from anal gland problems. Dogs often scoot their butts in order to try to relieve an itch caused by irritated anal glands.

Another tell-tale sign is when your dog just can’t stop licking its anal area. Swelling can also be spotted around the anus if the glands have become impacted. Obviously, this is going to be very uncomfortable for your dog. If you spot any swelling, that’s a sign that you need to call the vet immediately.

What to do if you notice anal gland problems

While anal gland problems can look and sound scary, they are no cause for panic, and a great many dogs will experience them at some point.

If this is the first time your dog is experiencing such problems, take them to the vet for a checkup to ensure your pet is suffering from no other issues.

If the vet recommends that your dog’s anal glands be expressed, request to be shown how to do this at home. This doesn’t sound like the most pleasant thing to do with your pet, and involves squeezing the glands at suitable intervals. But knowing how to do it yourself can save you from the inconvenience of having to call a vet or groomer should the problem recur.

Take care not to express your dog’s anal glands unnecessarily, as excessive expression can lead to discomfort. If your dog appears comfortable, does not seem overly smelly in that area and shows no symptoms of anal gland issues, there is no need to express.

Some dogs unfortunately encounter recurring anal gland issues. If that is the case with your pet, you will need to express its glands on your own, or have a groomer do it for you.

Do not be tempted to ignore an anal gland problem in hopes that it will go away. When left untreated, anal glands can become impacted or infected.

If you are one of those brave souls who choose to express your dog’s anal glands on your home at home, suppress the urge to keep your eyes closed. If you observe that the fluid appears thick or pasty, or if nothing is coming out, call a vet. Likewise, if your dog yelps or appears to be in pain as you express its anal glands, that could be a sign that the glands have become impacted, and that your pet should be treated by a vet immediately.

If your dog seems to suffer from chronic anal gland problems or infections in that area, that could signal that it’s time for a switch to a more fibre-rich diet, or surgery to have the anal glands removed.

To prevent anal gland problems, it’s a good idea to put your dog on a fibre-rich diet from the get-go, as it is a lot easier to prevent anal gland problems through diet than to get rid of an existing one. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight and ensuring he gets sufficient exercise are also keys to preventing anal gland problems.

Many first-time dog owners welcome their new pets home without knowing what anal glands are, or that these can become a source of problems in future. If your dog exhibits signs of anal gland issues, don’t panic. Learning how to express the glands on your own is not difficult once you get over the ick factor, and can go a long way towards relieving your dog’s discomfort, although of course if you notice anything is amiss you should contact a vet immediately