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How To Stop A Dog Expressing Its Glands On A Couch?

As you will be aware if your dog expresses its glands on the couch, this is not a glamorous part of pet ownership, and it can be very frustrating if you have new furniture or anything that you wish to protect.

If this has started to occur, you may wish to contact your vet to discuss whether there are any health implications, as well as to get advice on how to deal with the issue. It’s important not to just ignore this problem, as it can be unpleasant and may indicate that your dog has a health issue.

There are a number of things that can cause this problem, so don’t immediately get too concerned, but do pay attention to this occurrence and get it checked out by a professional so you know what’s going on and the proper action to take.

You may also want to put a towel or other protective barrier on your couch to prevent any damage from occurring.

This expression will result in an unpleasant smelling liquid, and if your couch isn’t easy to wash, you’ll want to get the liquid on a rag or piece of old fabric instead.

Some dogs may never do this, while others will do it often, so in this article, we’re going to cover how to deal with this issue, and what can lead to it.

Obviously, the best long term outcome is to prevent this from happening, so you don’t end up having to constantly clean your couch.

What Causes A Dog To Need To Express Its Glands?

There are multiple different things that can cause a dog to need to express its glands, including overly soft stool, an infection, or badly positioned glands, among other issues.

Usually, a dog’s glands will naturally express a small amount of the liquid that they contain every time the dog defecates, and this helps to keep the glands at a comfortable level.

However, if your dog does not do this properly, the glands may end up uncomfortably full, and this can lead to problems where the dog expresses them at other times – such as on your couch.

Your dog’s anal glands may not express themselves naturally when the dog poops if the poop is very soft, because this will not trigger the glands as it should, even though their purpose is to add scent to the feces.

Some dogs also have badly positioned anal glands, which may result in them not functioning properly even if the feces are the right consistency. In other situations, an infection can lead to this issue. 

Regardless of the source of the problem, this will lead to overly full gland sacs. Your dog may then start to feel uncomfortable, and will probably try to express its glands itself, often by rubbing its rear end on something like the floor.

Often mistaken for a symptom of worms, this is intended to release some of the liquid and make the glands more comfortable.

Why Does Your Dog Express Its Glands On Couch?

In some cases, your dog will choose your couch rather than your floor, and this may simply be because it’s comfier and easier for them to rub the glands on the couch than on the floor.

Alternatively, it is possible that the dog is scent marking its territory, but this is a less common explanation. In general, a dog doing this will simply be trying to remove the pressure it is feeling, and using your furniture to do it.

Your dog may do this on the couch if it falls asleep there, as the muscles that control these glands will relax when the dog dozes, and therefore liquid is allowed to spill out. Alternatively, a dog that is awake may rub the glands until they release the liquid, relieving some of the pressure that it is feeling.

Neither of these are pleasant, but it is important to remember that your dog is just trying to make itself more comfortable, and is not deliberately damaging your couch.If your dog makes a habit of expressing its glands on soft furnishings, make sure you have covered your couch with some old fabric while you deal with this problem.

This should protect your couch and may even deter the dog, as the fabric is likely to slip around and may not be as easy for it to rub against.

How To Stop A Dog From Expressing Its Glands On The Couch!

Obviously, owners do not want their pets to do this, and you have a couple of options when it comes to solving the issue.

One is to get your dog to stay off the couch, but the better option is to help your dog relieve the pressure in its glands in a controlled environment, with your assistance. If you are shown how to do this by a vet, it is relatively straightforward to continue to do it at home.

You need to use latex gloves and some kitchen towels, and you can then gently pressure the anal glands to release some of the liquid inside.

This is not a very pleasant job, but it will prevent your dog from being uncomfortable and trying to do this itself on your couch. You may find it useful to have someone to help you.

This will need to be done every few weeks if your dog has an issue with its anal glands. It’s a good idea to talk to a vet about whether the issue can be resolved. However, some dogs will need this to be done throughout their lives.


Nobody wants their dog to express its anal glands on their couch, and if your dog keeps doing this, take it to get checked out by a vet to see if something is wrong. An infection or the wrong consistency stools may be treatable conditions that could solve the issue in the long term, but if the anal glands are badly positioned, you may have to help your dog deal with this problem by manually expressing the glands yourself every few weeks. Keeping on top of the issue will prevent your dog from expressing its glands on the couch.