A dog’s adrenal glands are located next to the kidneys and near the liver and spine. Adrenal glands, which are flat and very small, are part of the endocrine system and help maintain a dog’s hormonal balance, energy and body processes.
Canine adrenal glands include a medulla and a cortex. The medulla secretes epinephrine, or adrenaline, and norepinephrine. These hormones are produced to help dogs during stressful periods. The cortex, which is essential to a dog’s life, produces steroids such as cortisol. Steroids maintain sweat glands, transport sodium and potassium and affect the immune system. They also secrete sex hormones.