Why Does My Dog Smell?

Why Does My Dog Smell?

There are many reasons your beloved dog may be giving off some 'not great' smells, shall we say. If you've ever wondered what they are, how to combat them or even how to prevent them, then look no further. We have just what you need.

The 'Dog Odour'

Dogs sweat a little differently to the way we do. They mainly sweat from their paws, but there is a slight perspiration than they secrete to their hair, alongside an oil that keeps the skin and hair healthy. They also create a yeast-like smell in their ear glands, but again, this is beneficial to your dog.

Sometimes these functions can smell a little, but this is normal. It's that 'dog smell' we here everybody talking about.

Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to prevent this happening. Even if there was, it would be pretty cruel to stop your dog doing something that makes it healthy. The main thing we can do to combat these odours is to give your dog regular baths and washes. You can also deodorise the places your dog frequents to keep the 'dog smell' to a minimum.

Bacteria and Fungi

When bacteria and fungi interfere with these bodily functions, that's when smells can become really bad. More importantly, it makes life for your dog uncomfortable too! The most common form is bacteria infecting the ear glands, creating a pungent odour. This mainly affects dogs with hairy or floppy ears.

To prevent this happening, have your dog regularly groomed, where they can take away hair around the ear so it can't harbour harmful diseases. Or, if you feel confident, tackle your dogs ears yourself. Just make sure you have a steady hand or you could have a whole new problem on your hands! You can also take away ear wax with some cotton wool and dog-friendly ear cleanser.

Anal Sacs

We heard you snigger there. Grow up.

Dogs have scent glands in there anal sacs, which they use to secrete an individual odour, allowing other dogs to identify them  (and you thought they just like the smell of other dogs' bums). This musky odour is beneficial to your dog, so please don't try and prevent this.

If there is a blockage in this area, your dog will not be able to release this odour. Fortunately for you, there are other ways of noticing this problem than smelling your dog's backside. They will tend to bite the area and lick it a lot. If you see this happening, you need to consult your vet immediately, before your Dog gets an infection from abscesses.

If your dog has a healthy behind, but the odour still bothers you, spray around the house with some pet-friendly deodorising spray, preferably one that kills bacteria also, to prevent your dog from getting infected in the future, should something go wrong.

Dental Problems

These problems are common amongst dogs. Dental problems can be sore gums or infected teeth. Your dog may drool more with a sore mouth, which may get into the fur and make you think the problem isn't stemming from their mouth.

It may be worth improving your dogs dental hygiene through specific products that can be bought at a pet store. However, once the problem arises, consult your vet immediately. Even if you aren't sure where the odour is coming from, visit your vet. They will be able to tell you what it is and the appropriate steps.

Intestinal Problems

Dogs have gas just like you and I, and we know it doesn't smell great. However, if your dog is creating more 'unnatural' smells from their behind, it may be due to an intestinal problem. In this case, you should visit your vet immediately.

Preventing these sorts of problems is primarily through diet. A low amount of fatty acids is usually a cause of intestinal problems, so increasing this should increase your dog's health.

Skin Irritations

Certain breeds are more susceptible to skin irritations than others. Those with folds of skins, such as bulldogs, can retain too much moisture in their folds. Other dogs may scratch too much and irritate their skin.

This can cause too much of the oil mentioned in "The 'Dog Smell'", meaning a stronger odour. Whilst bathing may get rid of this odour, it can cause too little oil to be secreted by your dog, reducing its health. You should bath your dog no more or less than once every month. Taking in some more general provisions mentioned below can help prevent these odours and illnesses occuring.

General Advice

  • Make sure your dog is getting enough fatty acids in their diet.
  • Use gentler shampoos and grooming methods to allow your dog to do his bodily functions.
  • Bath no more or less than once a month.
  • Kill harmful bacterias in the area that may infect the cause of the odour (visit the Pet Fresh range for 50% off your first order).
  • If in doubt, consult a vet. They will almost always know what to do.


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