My dog smells even after spending half an hour bathing him and another half an hour clearing up the mess and drying him. He looked so lovely, all clean and fluffy – and I congratulated my self with a job well done! Have you ever been in that position? Your sitting down to relax with a well-deserved coffee after bathing your dog? Only for your dog to sidle up to you. Sniff! With a pounding heart, you inwardly curse ‘my dog smells even after a bath!’
Ok, I’ve made that scenario up, but it does happen as statements from many dog owners will verify. So, what can you do?
WHAT DOES YOUR DOG SMELLS OF?
First off, we need to determine what your dog really smells of. Remember, all dogs will have some form of smell or scent about them. It’s often called a doggy smell, which is ‘essence of dog’ to some people and an awful pong to others. So, which one are you? Do you try to eradicate all smells whether they are natural or not? In that case, you will have a problem with even a normal smelling dog.
‘ESSENCE OF DOG’ KIND OF PERSON
If you find the natural smell of a dog ok to live with, you’ll be able to identify the difference between a normal dog smell and a stink that needs investigating.
CAUSES THAT MAKE YOUR DOG SMELL
So, if you’ve bathed your dog and within hours that familiar pong starts to greet your nose, you need to start asking yourself questions. A dog shouldn’t smell other than that normal dog smell, which to be honest I rather like. Let’s start off trying to find what can cause a dog to smell even after a bath.
IS IT HIS SKIN?
SKIN FOLD PYODERMA
The condition Skin fold pyoderma is a skin infection that occurs within the dog’s skin folds, causing a powerful musty smell. Dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds can get it, but it’s more common in overweight dogs. Particular breeds are more susceptible to the condition, and they are the ones with rolls of skin, such as pugs, English bulldogs, and Shar-Peis. Infection occurs when the bacteria, naturally found on a dog’s body, overgrows between, moist, warm folds of skin, VCA Hospitals.
(Atopy is the tendency to produce an exaggerated IgE immune response to otherwise harmless environmental substances, while an allergic disease can be defined as the clinical manifestation of this inappropriate IgE immune response)Wikipedia
Seasonal and food allergies can cause skin inflammation. This then leads to an excess of oil from certain glands in the skin being secreted, producing that awful, pungent, musty smell.
Poor diet is a possible contributor to this condition and is the cause of other problems, including yeast infections, which also give off a foul odour. These are usually caused by a high carbohydrate diet, along with too much processed foods. A change in diet to a high-protein, non-processed dog food or trying dog allergy tablets will often help with this problem.
If your dog’s skin gives smell a bit like rotting fruit, it is probably related to a skin disease, including Mange. Whether it happens year-round or seasonally, pets with skin conditions, like allergic skin disease and parasite infestations, and the secondary bacterial and yeast infections
IS IT HIS EARS?
Why Do My Dog’s Ears Stink?
Most dogs will collect dead skin cells, ear wax, dirt, and debris in their ears which can start to build up inside the ear canal.
Without regular cleaning of the dog’s ears, those sorts of things remain stuck in the ear canals for too long. If they’re not being pushed out naturally over time, a strong odour will start to form inside the ears.
The size and shape of your dog’s ears determine how likely your pet is to have stinky dog ears or even routine ear infections.
Exceptionally long and/or narrow ears canals, a lot of ear hair, or exposure to water from regular swimming or bathing can all make it harder for the ears to push wax out of the ear canal. In these cases, ear wax and other detritus can build up, making for a more potent smell. ~PetMD
Yeast is the most common type of bacteria to build up inside a dog’s ears and cause smelly dog ears. But there can also be other underlying causes of dog ear odours, including:
- Bacterial infection
- Parasites or mites
- Ruptured eardrum
- Tumour or polyp within the ear canal
- Trapped object
If your dog smells even after a bath and you can locate it to his ears, it may be a sign of an ear infection. Most ear infections in dogs are caused by bacteria or yeast, which results in a discharge, redness, pain, and an awful smell.
IS IT HIS TEETH?
MY DOG’S BREATH STINKS
- Has your dog’s smelly breath been going on for a while?
- Bad breath is often due to dental disease, but can also be caused by other, more serious conditions.
- Bad breath isn’t normal and should always be checked by your vet.
- Contact your vet if your dog has bad breath. Make a same-day appointment if their symptoms have come on suddenly, and they are in pain or seem unwell.
CAUSES OF BAD BREATH
Bad breath in dogs can be caused by:
- Dental diseases such as tartar build-up, gum infections, and tooth root abscesses
- Airway infections in the lungs, sinuses, or windpipe.
- Stomatitis (inflammation inside the mouth) which can be caused by infections, allergies or eating something that irritates the mouth.
- Something stuck in the mouth, such as a piece of bone or stick.
- Gut problems, such as infections, vomiting bugs.
- Diet, for example, fish-based diets.
- Kidney disease can cause the breath to smell like ammonia (like bleach).
- Liver disease can cause foul, sweet, musty breath.
- Diabetes can cause the breath to smell sweet (like pear drops or nail polish remover).
- Lumps/masses in the mouth often become infected and smell.
BRUSH YOUR DOG’S TEETH
Once you’ve established the cause of your dog’s bad breath doesn’t require your vet’s intervention, you should start his oral hygiene. However, this is best to start at an early age to get used to the procedure.
The best way to eliminate your dog’s bad breath is to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. If there’s a lot of plaque build-up already, and his gums look red and sore take your dog in for a professional doggie dental for further advice at the vet’s office.
IS YOUR DOG GASSY?
Flatulence is a common problem in dogs, and if yours can clear the room after passing gas, it is often an intolerance to an ingredient in their food. Working with your veterinarian to change to a different diet, whether that be grain-free or fish-based, can often help the problem. However, excessive wind can sometimes signal an underlying medical issue so if the air around your pet remains whiffy, continue to consult your veterinarian until the problem is resolved.
DOES HE SMELL OF FISH?
The anal glands are often the most common causes of why your dog smells. Every dog, whether male or female are the proud owners of anal glands. They are two smalls sacs situated on each side just inside the dog’s rectum. They are a means of communication by the dog who uses them to mark his territory and is the reason why dogs sniff each other’s butts when meeting. If the glands are impacted, they can become infected, causing pain and distress for the dog and an awful pungent secretion leaks out on to the fur. A sign your dog is having problems with his anal glands is when he starts dragging his bottom on the ground, or “scooting.” If your dog smells and is scooting, you’ll need to make an appointment with your veterinarian.
IF MY DOG SMELLS IS IT UNHEALTHY?
The answer is, yes, it’s a strong possibility, especially if the smell isn’t what you would call a normal dog smell. A smell that makes you wince will need investigating. Here are just a few medical problems that usually have some very distinctive smells attached to them.
- Skin infection or allergy. The oils that dogs secrete to keep their hair soft can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Dogs with a skin allergy tend to scratch frequently, which can damage and irritate their skin. This irritation can lead to a bacteria or yeast infection, and will then result in a foul odour reminiscence of rotting fruit as mentioned earlier.
- Eye tearing. Dogs who have a lot of drainage from their eyes and brown tearing stains below will often be hosting bacteria in the moist fur under the eyes. The staining is more obvious on dogs with light coat colour, and it will often lead to an unpleasant smell.
- Dental problems. As discussed earlier, bacteria, plaque, and tartar can build upon a dog’s teeth, resulting in him having a smelly breath. If left untreated, dental issues can cause problems with eating, tooth loss, or serious infection.
- Kidney problems. A smelly breath is also a possible sign of the build-up of toxins we associate with kidney problems; the owner often states that they suddenly notice their dog smells. They describe the dog’s breath as smelling like urine.
- Diabetes. Your puppy may be a little sweetie, but his breath shouldn’t smell sweet in any way. As often found humans a sweet-smelling breath, or one that has a slight pear drop scent is often indicative of diabetes. One in four dogs will develop this condition which is caused by an insulin deficiency.
- Yeast infection. Dogs’ most often yeast infections, occur within the ear canals. Yeast infections are found between the dog’s toes and inside folds of skin. Dogs that often succumb to yeast infections nearly always have a food allergy.
- Parvovirus. All poo stinks, but when your pup has a runny stool that’s remarkably foul-smelling, it could be a sign of a serious viral infection called parvovirus. It’s highly contagious and should be addressed immediately to improve your dog’s chances of survival, says PetMD.
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) Although each dog smells differently with a UTI, it usually a pronounced odour that’s notably different from their normal urine scent. Other symptoms include increased thirst and urination, peeing in the house, bloody or cloudy urine, whimpering during urination, and genital licking.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT WHY YOUR DOG SMELLS
- Start dental hygiene early to prevent problems. This can include annual dental cleanings, brushing your dog’s teeth at home, and even certain dog chews can help reduce dental build-up.
- Keep folds in the skin and ears clean and dry. Check your dog’s ears periodically and be sure to dry them after swims or baths.
- Feed a healthy diet. If you suspect your dog’s diet might be the culprit, try a diet with different ingredients. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations.
- Brush and groom your dog daily, removing dander, excess oil, and allergens from your dog’s coat. All of which will contribute to a stinky dog.
- Bathe your dog As and when he needs it, an obvious, but often neglected solution!
MY HOUSE SMELLS OF DOG!
I think most dog owners worry at some time about their homes smelling of dogs. Although, some find the smell comforting.
There are several things you can do to reduce that dog smell.
- Investigate any unusual dog smells. And get it sorted.
- Groom and brush your dog daily.
- Bathe him when he needs it.
- Clean his feet and butt when he enters the house from outside.
- Make sure to potty-train, and check for any relapses.
- Get rid of any carpets if you can, they retain the doggy smells for longer.
- If not, vacuum as often as you can, daily if possible.
- Steam clean your carpets monthly and get a professional steam clean twice a year.
- Let plenty of fresh flow through your house.
CLEAN FLOORS AND WASH BEDDING
- Mop hard floors and tiles as often as possible, daily if you can.
- Wash all your dog’s bedding, toys, and gear such as harness, and collars at least weekly, and after his bath. Wash bedding regularly
- Use air fresheners; however, do make sure they are dog safe.
- Wash everything the dog lies on, for example, all the cushion covers, your bedding, sofa throws and wipe over any rugs with a steam mop.
- It’s also possible to remove any dog smells using a natural deodorizer. For instance, baking powder does the job and doesn’t leave a smell your dog may object to. Sprinkle it over the dog’s coat, massage it in and then brushes it well out. All the excess oil and skin flakes will brush out along with the smell. You could also use baking powder to sweeten your carpets, sprinkle it on, rub it in and then vacuum it off—a sweeter house and dog without the worry of using products that may cause your dog harm.
FEAR OF WATER
There’s one reason we’ve not talked about in this article on why your dog still smells, even after a bath. And that is, you’ve not managed to bathe your dog because of his fear of water! For a dog owner with a smelly dog, this problem can become huge. For help with tackling this situation go to my post MY DOG IS AFRAID OF WATER, HOW CAN I BATHE HIM? Here is the link
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Here is a list of Products you may find helpful against the war of a smelly dog