When dogs smell bad, there are several causes to consider: skin problems, bad breath, digestive problems, etc... We will detail the reasons why dogs can smell bad as well as the solutions at your disposal to make them smell good!
What causes bad odor in dogs?
First of all, dogs can smell bad after rolling in something, bathing...
It also happens that dogs present a strong smell after a stressful episode (visit to the veterinarian for example) after having released the contents of their anal glands which is very smelly.
Digestive conditions that cause flatulence and diarrhea can cause odor.
Dogs also often have bad breath, the most common cause of which is dental plaque and tartar. We invite you to read our Bad Breath Fact Sheet for more information.
Certain diseases can also cause bad breath in dogs.
Among these diseases, we distinguish ear infections: it is an inflammation of the ears of bacterial, fungal, allergic, parasitic origin... Even if the affection is localized, it can have a strong impact on the general smell of the animal. Do not hesitate to consult our sheet on ear infections in dogs.
All the conditions responsible for urinary and fecal incontinence are also often responsible for a bad smell.
Pyometra, found in unspayed bitches, results in malodorous purulent vulvar discharge.
Finally, strong skin odor may be related to a common problem in dogs called seborrhea. Seborrhea is a disorder of sebum secretion by the sebaceous glands: dogs often have greasy hair, a strong smell and dandruff.
This excessive seborrhea can occur on its own but it can also be caused by other underlying skin problems such as :
- allergies: allergic dermatitis to flea bites, food allergy...
- a skin infection (bacterial, fungal...)
- hormonal disorders (hypothyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism, ...)
- skin parasites (scabies, demodecia, etc.)
How to get rid of this bad smell?
First, if your dog smells bad, don't hesitate to wash him with a shampoo specially designed for dogs. If he has been bathing or rolling in something, this should greatly improve his smell. In general, it is recommended to wash dogs every 2 to 3 months.
In the case of more localized soiling, dog wipes or dry shampoos are very practical, as they avoid getting the animal completely wet.
It is also very important to take care of your pet's oral hygiene from a young age in order to limit tartar formation and guarantee fresh breath. For this, several solutions are available: brushing teeth, chewing strips, solutions to put in water...
The cleaning of the ears is also important: it is done with an auricular solution for dogs. A cleaning is insufficient during otitis, the ears are again quickly dirty. A treatment prescribed by the veterinarian is necessary.
In the case of urinary or fecal incontinence, pyometra or seborrhea, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian for the implementation of an adapted treatment.