do dogs lick and clean them selves like cats sometimes?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


I am to cute.
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '08 5:44pm PST 
I know this is a silly question but sometimes when I give my dog a bath in the tub or she plays in water outside, she will lay there and lick herself in certain spots like mostly the side of her legs where it is or was wet. So my question is, do they really clean themselves like that? Also, how often are you supposed to have your dogs anal glands expressed?

I solemnly swear- that I am up to- no good
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '08 5:45pm PST 
Gunner licks himself clean after he's been fed. He cleans off his paws and then wipes his mouth on the couch shock laugh out loud

I'm not too sure about the anal glands question, but I know that it's best for your vet to express the glands, isntead of getting them expressed regularly at the groomers (if you do get groomed).

Rudy sin- barreras
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '08 5:47pm PST 
Not his whole body but if he feels dirty, he will. We had been in a field for an hour and his leg feathers were full of burs. He doesnt exactly enjoy me pulling them off so I was letting him cool down and rest first. I walked into the room to find him pulling the burs out himself! It was really interesting how meticulously he was doing it. He even placed them in a pile on the pillow part of his bed! laugh out loud I did the rest for him but it was cute for sure.

Maggie CTL1 RE CGC

Bar Hoppin'
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '08 5:56pm PST 
Mags' is a self cleaner like the cats...but the unfortunate thing is that she's not very good at it, so she has to get baths on occasion.

Some dogs are very good at keeping themselves clean. I have a friend with a Shiba Inu that has only had one bath ever (that was after a brush with a pig pen). Otherwise this little guy is very clean and he is very thorough in his laundry.

Mommy's adorable- shadow
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '08 6:19pm PST 
wow, i wish my kids would clean themselves! I guess its just too much fun to be dirty! Sal sometimes wipes his mouth on the rug after eating, but I cant be sure thats what it is....lol. Especially when i give them raw, I WISH they would do some clean up! oh well!!

As for anal glands, not all dogs need them expressed. Dogs express a tiny amount of the stuff when they go #2 but sometimes, especially in smaller dogs, they dont express enough, or it gets a little clogged up, and needs some help being expressed. You should have your vet do it --some may even teach you to do it yourself, if you can bear the smell.

How often? Well, let me tell you, YOU WILL KNOW. bol!!! When the dog starts scooting (rubbing or dragging his butt around the floor or carpet, chews on his butt, or you get this special (in the bad way) kinda smell, it is time to call the vet for an expression!!!

We used to get expressed all the time--coco needed it a lot. However I will say since we switch to a premium grain free food I havent had to have her expressed not even once yet (and its been about 4-5 months, and she used to need an expression at least once every month or two). I dont know if it is the premium food, or the grain free, but either way, we are THRILLED!

Good luck!

I am to cute.
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '08 9:12pm PST 
but what if the dog has had her glands expressed say last month close to the end of the month? Would she be doing the butt dragging again cause she she has been dragging a little bit not sure if its time though. eek
Pooch ~ I- miss you ~

love forever
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '08 9:37pm PST 
I hardly ever have to express my dog's anal glands but it really depends on the dog, and some dogs may have problems which require them to be done often.

As for bathing, my dogs do lick themselves especially their legs and feet. Not excessively, but for cleaning the way a cat does. My terrier will even lick the side of his paw and then wipe his face!
Roswell,- CGC, NPC

Cancer sucks :(
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '08 11:56pm PST 
My Chihuahua grooms herself all the time, just like a cat. big grin She rubs her face, then licks her paws clean. Some dogs are more fastidious than others.

Some dogs have more problems with anal glands than others. When you had them done last time, did they say if the material was pasty at all? Or was is clear and fluid like? If it's sort of thick and pasty, sometimes this can lead to an infected anal gland, so you really want to be watchful for any swelling in that area. Most of the time, dogs can empty them on their own when they have a bowel movement. If they're chronically a problem, you might want to talk to your vet about possible changes to the diet so that they are released naturally, or you may want to learn how to manually express them yourself.

Edited by author Sun Apr 6, '08 11:58pm PST


I am to cute.
Barked: Mon Apr 7, '08 7:15am PST 
she is doing better today haven't caught her licking her paws yet. She seems to like to sleep a bit in the morn guess thats normal? I mean I keep her in a crate at night and let her out when we get up.