We all want our dogs to smell heavenly all the time, but the reality is, sometimes they smell bad. Most dogs have the occasional “doggie smell”, especially when the weather is hot and humid, and that is quite normal.
But some dogs seem to give out a bad odor all the time. When the dog odor persists and does not go away even after a thorough cleaning, then we need to look for a possible underlying cause.
Almost always, persistent dog odor is caused by an underlying health problem that needs to be addressed and dealt with.
So, what may cause a dog to smell bad? Here are some possible reasons:
External Causes That Make A Dog Stink
If your dog suddenly has become smelly, first check for external causes. For example, has he been rolling on something stinky, such as dead fish, feces, etc.?
Another possibility is that he has been skunked! If that is the case, you need to handle your dog carefully and remove the skunk odor before your dog has the opportunity to spread the odor to your whole house.
Possible Health Problems That Make A Dog Stink
If you are sure that your dog’s bad odor is not caused by an external problem, then check your dog carefully to see if you can identify any physical problem that may be causing the odor.
Check your dog’s mouth, ears, skin, and rear end:
Does your dog stink because of his breath? Examine your dog’s mouth. Look for signs of infection, injury, or bleeding. These tend to be the main reasons for bad breath.
Infections can be treated by antibiotics and, once treated, the odor can fade away rather quickly.
It may even be something more serious such as oral cancer.
Does your dog stink because of his ears? Examine first his external ears for wounds or lacerations. Infected wounds are a common source of foul ear odor.
If there is no external wound, use a flashlight to examine the inside of the ears.
Ear infections can cause discharge such as pus with quite offensive smell. Dog ear infections can be caused by allergies, ear mites, bacteria, fungi, and so on.
The best way to prevent ear infections caused by mites and bacteria is to check and clean your dog’s ears regularly.
Does your dog stink because of his skin? Take a look at his skin and see if there are signs of injury and/or infection.
If there is a wound on the skin and it has become infected, the wound will give out a bad odor. Clean and dress the wound if it is not so serious.
Otherwise, leave it to your vet.
If there is no external wound, check the condition of the dog’s skin. Is it dry and flaky, or does it feel oily but still flakes and smells? If so, this could be the result of seborrhea.
Unless the smell is really offensive, seborrhea can be treated using special shampoos and the odor should disappear in a week or so.
Does your dog stink because of his rear end? Dogs with anal gland problems such as impacted anal glands give out a very distinctive, foul “fishy” odor. You may also see your dog scooting on the floor from time to time if he has an anal gland issue.
If your dog’s anal glands are impacted, you need to have the glands expressed – either by yourself or by a groomer or a vet.
Sometimes the odor may be due to gas (flatulence), which is mainly caused by digestive problems, such as indigestion, constipation, bloat, etc.
Other Health Problems
As you can see, dog odor can be an indication that your dog has some form of underlying health problem. If you cannot identify the problem yourself and the odor persists, be sure to take the dog to your vet for a check-up.
Try These Natural Products for Dog Odor
If your dog is healthy but has the occasional “doggie smell”, try out these great natural products:
- Earthbath All Natural Shampoos: These shampoos are all 100% natural and biodegradable, and the fragrance is subtle and not overpowering.
- Earthbath Between Bath Spritzes: These spritzes contain colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera and vitamin E (all good for the skin and coat), plus different fragrances, such as vanilla and almond. These spritzes naturally eliminate pet odors between baths.