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How To Get Rid Of Dog Gland Smell On Furniture [All The Options]

There are many amazing things about having a dog. However, trying to get dog anal gland smell off your sofa is not one of them! Anal glands are a natural way for dogs to communicate because they secrete an odor that helps dogs to mark their territory. But how can you effectively get rid of the pungent anal gland scent from your furniture? Read on to find out.  

So, how can you get rid of dog gland smell on furniture? You can remove dog gland smell from furniture by sprinkling an absorbent substance, like detergent powder or baking soda, on the stain. Alternatively, you can use an enzymatic cleaner or a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar to remove the odor. 

If I can offer you a word of warning and advice, always test a small amount of fabric first.  

Especially if you have never used the cleaning substance before.

Besides, you don’t want to stain or permanently ruin your furniture or add to the problem.

With this in mind, let’s continue to explore what you need to do before turning to how to prevent this situation from arising again in the future.

But first, let’s explore why dog anal glands smell, as it could be something you can address to rectify the issue going forward…

Why Do Dogs’ Anal Glands Smell? 

Dogs’ anal glands smell because they secrete a substance that dogs use to mark their territory. They also use this scent to communicate with each other, which is why you will often see dogs sniffing each other’s butts!

When your dog poops, the anal gland secretion is passed too.

By sniffing the poop, a dog will be able to pick up on a range of factors, including the previous dogs’ age, sex, health, and sexual status.  

Dogs have two types of anal glands; anal sacs and colognes.

The anal sacs are small glands that are situated on either side of a dog’s anus.

They produce a secretion that can be very unpleasant to humans. Cologne glands are larger and located in a dog’s groin. 

The scent of anal glands is naturally pungent.

However, it can get significantly worse when the anal glands become full or impactful.

It’s important to regularly check your dog’s glands to prevent this from happening. Signs to watch out for include: 

  • Dragging their rear end on the ground, also known as scooting.  
  • Licking or biting the anus.
  • A foul, fishy smell.
  • Pain or discomfort when defecating.
  • Excessive tail chasing.
  • Not wanting to eat or drink.
  • Swelling or redness around the anus.

Many dogs go their whole lives without having any issues with their anal glands.

They are naturally expressed when your dog goes to the toilet.

Some dogs may also express their own anal glands when stressed or excited.

However, there are times when your canine companion may need a bit of assistance. 

There are a few reasons why your dog’s glands may not be functioning properly, including an imbalanced diet, parasites, and obesity.

Furthermore, certain dog breeds are prone to developing anal gland problems, including Miniature Poodles, Lhasa Apsos, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, and Basset Hounds. 

If the consistency of your dog’s poop changes, the anal glands may not be naturally expressed.

Especially if your dog has runny poop, if they are not expressed regularly, the liquid in the glands can thicken.

This can lead to inflammation, infection, irritation, and even impaction.

If you are concerned about your dog’s anal glands, it’s best to seek the advice of a vet.

They may suggest that you leave the anal glands alone, or they may express them depending on the severity of the issue. 

It’s worth mentioning that if a dog starts to have issues with their anal glands, they are likely to have life-long issues with them.

If this is the case, you will need to express their glands once every 3-4 weeks.

You can either do this yourself if you’re confident with the procedure.

Otherwise, they can be expressed by your vet or a qualified dog groomer. 

How Can I Get Rid Of Anal Gland Smell On My Furniture? 

There are many effective and simple ways to remove anal gland smell from your furniture. However, before you start scrubbing, you will need to vacuum the affected area. This will remove any hair, dirt, or other debris that may be contributing to the smell.  

Then, there is a range of products that you can use depending on the fabric of your furniture. These include: 

Remember to always test a small area of your furniture first because some of these products can stain certain fabrics. You also need to be extra careful with expensive or antique fabrics as these tend to stain very easily and can be costly to repair. Moreover, if you have a leather sofa, you will want to avoid using any ‘wet’ or liquid solutions. Instead, use dry substances such as talcum powder, baking soda, or cornstarch.  

Baking Soda

This is perhaps the simplest way to remove anal gland smell from furniture.

Just sprinkle baking soda generously over the affected area and leave it to set overnight.

Alternatively, you can mix baking soda with a little bit of water and rub this mixture into the fabric.

The next day, vacuum the area.

Make sure you keep any pets away from the furniture until the baking soda has been removed because it can be toxic if ingested.

Baking soda is very absorbent, so it’s able to pull fluids from most fabrics.

Saying that, it may not work as well if the anal fluid is already worked into the furniture.  

Commercial Pet Odor-Eliminating Products

Pop into any pet shop, or even search online, and you will find a range of sprays and powders that are specifically designed to remove dog smells, including anal gland secretions.

Bear in mind that efficiency varies between brands, so a little bit of trial and error may be needed.

Some of these products also have quite intense scents themselves, which can be off-putting for pet owners.

These products contain naturally occurring enzymes that break down odor molecules.

They are also generally non-toxic and safe to use around pets.  

This is the product I swear by from Amazon.

Biological Washing Powder

This works in a very similar way to baking soda, but it contains enzymes that break down odor molecules.

This is a good option to use if you have a particularly stubborn stain.  

Use A Steam Cleaner

There are a variety of steam cleaners on the market that can be used to remove anal gland secretions from any surface.

These products work by heating the scent molecules, allowing them to be released from the fabric.

Steam cleaners can be expensive but may be worth it in the long run.

Steam cleaners just use water, so they are safe to use around pets.  

This is a good mid-tier priced option from Amazon.

Pineapple Juice

Surprisingly, this popular beverage is effective at removing odors from furniture.

However, bear in mind that it has its own strong scent, and it can stain certain fabrics. 

Vinegar and Detergent Powder

Simply mix a teaspoon of detergent powder with ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to create a cheap but effective odor eliminator.

You can also use a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar and spray the solution onto your furniture.

Leave it to set in for around 10-15 minutes, then vacuum up the liquid and wash the area with warm, soapy water.  

Hydrogen Peroxide

Scrub your furniture with this substance to remove stubborn anal gland odors.

This chemical is mildly reactive, so it can help to break up other chemicals. 

How To Stop Your Furniture From Smelling Like Your Dog’s Anal Glands In The Future 

To prevent your furniture from smelling like your dog’s anal glands again, you will need to ensure your dog is on a high-quality, high-fiber diet and control their portion size to prevent obesity. This will ensure your dog’s anal glands remain healthy. Check their glands regularly for any abnormalities, and contact your vet if you are concerned. 

All dogs have anal glands that secrete a foul-smelling substance. However, the smell can be a lot worse if the anal glands become impacted or infected.  

Other ways to stop your furniture from smelling like dog anal glands are: 

Restrict Your Dog’s Access To The Sofa

Use positive reinforcement training to teach your dog to stay off the sofa.

One of the best ways to do this is to give them their own comfy bed or crate to curl up in.

Every time your dog visits their new bed, offer a treat or fuss.

If your dog jumps on the sofa, use a firm ‘no’ command.

Remember that training times time, consistency, and patience, but it will be worth it in the end! 

Offer Your Dogs Probiotics

Speak to your vet about dietary supplements such as Omega-3 to promote gut health and digestion in your canine companion.

This will help to reduce foul odors associated with unhealthy anal glands and impaction.  

Check Your Dog’s Poop Regularly

Look at the consistency and shape. If it starts to become runny, it could impact your dog’s ability to express their own anal glands.

This is a good habit to get into because any change in their poop could be an indication of an underlying health problem.  

Exercise Your Dog

Regular exercise can help to promote healthy digestion and a healthy weight which will prevent any further development of the anal gland smell.  

Use Removable Furniture Covers

Although this won’t prevent the smell, it will allow you to remove and wash the covers every time your dog secretes on the sofa whilst protecting the sofa itself.  

Express Your Dog’s Anal Glands

If you know your dog is susceptible to anal gland problems, it may be worth learning how to express their anal glands.

However, it’s always worth speaking to a vet first to ensure you are doing it correctly.

Here is an overview of the procedure: 

  • Wear gloves  
  • Lift the tail 
  • Gentle squeeze the anal glands, which can be found on the left and right sides of the anus.  

In severe cases, anal gland removal surgery can be performed by your vet.

This involves the creation of an incision near the anus and dissecting the anal glands from the anal sphincters.

Just like all surgeries, this does come with some associated risks, so speak to your vet for advice.  


If your furniture has acquired that foul dog anal gland smell, thankfully, there are different options to help remove it.

But do not panic.

Be careful and concise with your cleaning agent of choice.

Test first.

Use sparingly.

Remember, you can always add more/try another.

You can’t remove it once it’s there, and damage can be done quickly.

So give those options a try, and you should find the smell dissipates!

Perhaps even quicker than you might have hoped.

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