Smelly Dog: Why Does My Dog Stink? 

Unless they’ve just had a bath, most dogs will smell, well, like a dog. That hairy dog scent is almost unmistakeable and is usually nothing to worry about. But some stench might be a sign that there is a problem occurring on the skin or with your pet’s health. 

The team at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates wants to get to the bottom of these smells and their possible causes.

6 Reasons Why a Dog Smells Bad

No one ever said your dog would qualify for the ‘best smelling’ award, but there are times when a normal smell gives way to a malodorous one. Dog smells are a common concern we hear about. What can an owner do beyond giving them a bath?

First, a smelly dog has a reason for their stench. That is why figuring out the cause must come before the treatment. 

  1. Atopy – Dogs who suffer from environmental allergies will often have skin conditions. Atopy can create not only dryness but also hives, inflammation, scabbing, discharge, and other problems that cause odor. If your dog has been scratching excessively, or biting at the skin and paws, they may be dealing with allergies.

  2. Ear infection – Most dogs will have a slight musty or yeasty smell in their ears, and this usually can be remedied by cleaning them regularly. But if the smell is intense or foul, it may be a sign of an ear infection. Not only are ear infections painful, they are also a serious issue that must be treated right away to avoid hearing loss and damage to the ear canal.

  3. Halitosis – Many dogs have unpleasant or bad breath. This is unfortunate because halitosis is due to periodontal disease or other dental diseases that are common among pets. In fact, up to 85% of all cats and dogs over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease.

  4. Gas – Yes, that’s right, some pets are more prone to gaseous outbursts which may have something to do with that smell. Stomach gurgling, passing gas, burping, etc. can occur if your pet has ingested something that is hard to digest, such as people food. If your pet has more flatulence than normal, it could have something to do with what they’re eating or underlying food allergy, or something like inflammatory bowel disease.

  5. Environment – If your pet has  been outside, they have been exposed to all of the scents on the ground. Many pets enjoy rolling around on these scents, much to our chagrin. Naturally, if your pet has been traipsing through mud, murky water, and other places, they will bring home some of these bad odors. A good bath with help solve the problem of phew.

  6. Poor grooming – If your pet is older or not in good health, they may stop self-grooming. This is especially true of older cats. Without the occasional bath, your pet will develop that doggie or kittie smell that is as a result of a buildup of oils, dander, etc. 

My Pet Stinks…

If your pet doesn’t smell like they should, we encourage you to make an appointment. Some of the issues presented above can be resolved through good grooming, but infection and other more serious health concerns need to be treated with urgency. 

For more information about pet odors, or to schedule an appointment with our friendly, compassionate team, please call us.