Why Does My Dog Smell?

One of the best parts of dog ownership is the cuddles you can get after a long day. A hectic day at work is best topped off with a game of fetch followed by some time bonding. But being so close to your dog might have you asking, “Why does my dog smell?”

Just like with that “new baby smell,” many puppies have a “puppy smell” too that many people seem to like. Older dogs, or dogs in poorer health, can sometimes smell badly. Furthermore, the bad smell is not indicative of a lasting problem, but you should seek to fix your pup up. Your dog, and your nose, will thank you.

Below we list some common causes for a bad smelling dog and some easy ways to fix the problem.

Why Does My Dog Smell?

There are several reasons why your dog might smell. It is very important for you to track down the cause. Here is a list of possible reasons why your dog might smell and what you can do about it.

Something Stinky Is on Your Dog

This might be the most obvious reason your dog smells. Sometimes if a dog finds the remains of another animal or another animal’s feces, their response might be to roll in it. This behavior is common for dogs and harkens back to pre-civilized days. Your dog might be trying to mask their own sent to make themselves better hunters. Or your dog can simply be trying to let everyone know what they’ve been up to.

Either way, if your pooch rolled in something gross, that’s not going to be good for anyone and your first step would be a good bath. Use a gentle cleanser and start to lather up. Take note of any spots where your dog might have solids pushed into their coat and be sure to work it all out. With just a little elbow grease, your dog will smell great again.

A Stinky Mouth and Bad Breath

Sometimes bad breath can just be caused by something they ate. If they got into something they shouldn’t have, this can linger on their breath. If your dog constantly has bad breath, it might be more serious.

Odor on your dog’s breath is caused by a buildup of bacteria. This bacterium multiply in your dog’s mouth, lungs, or gut. This can mean they need better dental care, or it can be a sign of something else.

Step one to clean up your dog’s breath would be to clean up their mouth. Grab yourself a dog toothbrush and start cleaning. Don’t go overboard since your dog probably won’t enjoy that. But give their teeth a nice gentle brushing. If your dog doesn’t particularly enjoy the experience, you can consider some dog toothpaste. It’s usually made in flavors that are a bit more exciting for dogs, so they might be a little more willing to cooperate.

Be sure to check your pet’s mouth health while brushing their teeth as well. Bad breath can also be caused by mouth ulcers or tumors, so now’s a great time to check to see if your pet has any abscesses.

If their bad breath doesn’t go away after a proper brushing regimen, it might be time to head to the vet because bad breath can be a sign of kidney failure or diabetes.

Bad Gas

If your pet is passing rather foul gas, it could be a sign that their diet needs reworking. Of course, occasional gas is normal, but we’re talking about constant, “blame it on the dog” type gas.

Many dog foods are high in carbohydrates because they are cheap. In most cases a dog’s food is packed with grains like rice, corn or barley. A small amount of grain isn’t a problem, but many food producers us a lot of grain because it’s a great filler.

If your dog is suffering from bad gas, switching to a more natural dog food might be in order. Grain-free dog food is now rather abundant at most pet stores, so give it a try. You should also consider reducing or removing the amount of soft foods you give your dog as well as it doesn’t do a great job of “scrubbing” a dog’s teeth.

Impacted Anal Glands

Dogs have a pair of glands in their rear that is used to mark their scent. This is the reason you sometimes see dog sniffing at another dog’s rear end. The scent of your dog contains a lot of information for others like their sex, health, and approximate age.

But these glands can become impacted. When this occurs, it can cause a smelly and painful secretion that sticks to your dog’s fur. If you notice that the cause of your dog’s smell is coming from their rear (and you’ve given them a proper bath just to be sure) a trip to the vet might be in order. A vet can show you proper technique for emptying these glands at home.

If you’ve been asking yourself “why does my dog smell,” Here are a few reasons. As with any smelly problem, cleanliness is usually the answer. If you cannot cure the problem with a good scrub, it might be time to visit your vet.