Dogs usually don’t smell like they just got out of the shower. As a dog owner, you know this best. The faithful companions smell a bit stronger, especially when they are wet. But sometimes dogs stink and that can have a variety of causes. Here you can find out what they are and what you can do if your dog stinks.
Why does a dog smell like a dog?
Every dog has its smell, just like humans. The body’s scents are extremely important for the four-legged friends: They can use them to tell, for example, whether another dog is male or female. Fragrances are excreted in the animal’s feces, urine, and, of course, the animal’s body glands in the form of sebum (fat). They then settle in the dog’s fur. When the coat is dry, the scents are not overly noticeable. When it’s wet, however, you notice that the dog suddenly stinks. When the moisture evaporates and rises into the air as a gas, it takes the fragrances with it. Only then do people begin to notice the typical smell of a wet dog.
This characteristic canine odor is completely normal and will usually “disappear” once the coat is dry again.
Tip: Rub your dog’s fur dry with a towel after it rains or bathes. Then your dog will not smell so extremely “like a dog”.
My dog’s fur stinks – what can be the causes?
If your four-legged friend notices an unpleasant odor even with dry fur, there can be various reasons for this. If you think your dog is extremely smelly, the following causes should be considered:
- Your dog has rolled in the dirt: excrement, liquid manure, carrion – all smells that people find unbearable is magically attracted to dogs. A thorough bath will quickly remedy this. But watch out: After bathing, many animals can’t wait to bask in the dirt again!
- Dead skin cells, hair, dirt, and bacteria have settled in the coat: If the coat is not brushed regularly, it will start to smell, especially in long-haired dogs. If your dog smells and scratches, you should check the skin. Careful grooming protects your dog from unpleasant vapors.
- Skin diseases: Allergic reactions, parasites, or inflammation of the skin can lead to strong odors. Watch your dog for symptoms of such diseases and consult a veterinarian.
- Inflammation of the anal sac: If your dog licks his anus more often and/or “goes sledding”, inflammation of the anal sac can be the cause of the stench. You should have this checked out by a veterinarian.
Tip: Too frequent bathing and especially shampooing of the fur can damage the natural protective layer of the dog’s skin. You should therefore bathe or shower your four-legged friend as seldom as possible and only as often as necessary.
My dog stinks of decomposition – what can I do?
Every dog is plagued with a certain bad breath, especially after eating. If the dog stinks from the mouth, you should check your animal’s teeth. There are many reasons for bad breath in dogs:
- Leftovers of food stuck between the teeth or in the lips
- Tooth infections
- Other serious diseases
If the problem lasts longer than two weeks, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian.
Dogs have also a smell from their ears. The reason can be an ear mite infestation; then the ear secretes a dark, dry secretion that smells very unpleasant. In this case, too, you must consult a veterinarian.
Tip: Regular dental care can prevent bad breath. Strong and persistent odors can be a sign of various diseases in dogs. That’s why you should take your dog to the vet in such a case.