Funky Fur: Why Does My Pet’s Fur Smell Bad? 

The odors emitted from your pet aren’t a wonderful bouquet of smell. Most pets smell exactly like you might expect them to smell, sort of like that all’s well doggie- or kitty-cat smell.

But if your pet has such a pee-yew to them that it makes you hold your breath, there may be trouble on the skin, coat, or other areas of the body.

The team at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates is here to answer the question of why your pet’s fur smells bad, and what you can do to treat the odor.

That Normal Pet Smell

If you have bathed your pet and they still smell, the problem could be explained  by the skin. Skin contains glands that release oils and perspiration secreted through the paw pads. As your pet scratches, the oils are released into the fur. Unfortunately, these oily odors are common among all pets and nothing but good grooming and acceptance can remedy the issue.

The other normal cause of a pet’s bad odor are environmental substances. If your pet has been out wandering through weeds, rolling in dirt or mud, and exploring gross things, like animal feces, then they will smell like these things (probably awful). 

Other Causes of Bad Odor in Pets

Health issues could appear on the skin and through your pet’s scent. If the odor is especially bad, it may be a sign of something to seek veterinary care for.

  1. Anal Glands. Your pet has two small glands, about the size of peas, located inside of the rectum. These scent markers are used to communicate with other animals, but they are unpleasant to smell.  
  2. Atopy. If your pet has been scratching nonstop, it may mean they have allergies. These seasonal and environmental allergies (atopy) often manifest as itchy skin and other skin related problems. The smell could mean your pet is experiencing dryness, bleeding, scabbing, and other skin issues that can lead to infection (and smelly skin).
  3. Gas. If your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have, or have food allergies, they may experience flatulence. Aside from the humor of it, it can cause them to generally stink.If it is an ongoing problem, an examination is in order. 
  4. Ear infection. Your pet’s ears are typically healthy and clean, but some forms of bacteria and yeast can develop therein. Ear infections among pets is something many pet owners deal with, and these infections can not only be painful, they can be stinky. Look for brown or black waxy substance in the ear canals, along with an odor, and follow up with your vet if this is the case.
  5. Dental disease. Your pet’s mouth may be the culprit behind their smelly self. Dental disease is unfortunately something a great percentage of our cats and dogs deal with. Signs of dental disease include pawing at the mouth, inflammation of the gums, loose or missing teeth, discoloration and decay, and yes, a foul smell. 

Does Your Pet’s Fur Smell Bad?

If your pet has surpassed that normal pet smell and is particularly smelly, please call us. There are a number of health problems that can cause your pet’s fur and body to stink. We’re here to help with this, or any other pet health questions or concerns.