Why Does My Dog Smell?

December 21, 2023

Written By: Earth Buddy Team

Woman wincing at the smell of her Rottweiler licking her face. Read this article to learn why your dog smells.

Encountering an undesirable odor when settling in beside your canine companion can be both perplexing and a cause for concern. The persistent question, “Why does my dog smell so bad?” indicates a need for a thorough investigation into the potential causes. Unpleasant odors in dogs can originate from a myriad of sources, from not tending to their basic grooming needs to underlying health conditions that need to be checked by the vet. Either way, if you have a smelly pet, it’s time to determine the root cause and address it accordingly.

Why Does My Dog Smell So Bad?

There are a few reasons your dog may smell bad. Your dog could have bad breath, that wet dog smell that comes from any wet dog’s fur, issues with yeast or bacteria, or just need some simple grooming done. We’ll discuss each of the potential smells along with helpful supplements so you can hug your pup again.

Why Does My Dog Smell Like a Wet Dog?

Brown Bernese Mountain Dog running in grass. Read this blog to learn how to get rid of wet dog smell and skin infections

The unmistakable wet dog smell that emerges after your dog gets wet is due to the release of microorganisms from their skin and fur. Dogs have various natural oils and microscopic organisms on their skin and in their fur. When these get wet, the moisture evaporates and releases these organic compounds into the air, creating that distinctive odor that we know as the ‘wet dog smell.

If you have dogs that haven’t been bathed recently or a dog with a thicker coat than others, it could make the smell worse, as they tend to trap more moisture. Regular grooming and bathing with appropriate dog shampoos can help reduce the intensity of this smell. However, it’s important to thoroughly dry your dog after a bath or swim to prevent the lingering of this odor, as well as to promote a healthy coat and skin.

Bacteria and Yeast May Cause Dog Odor

Alterations in your dog’s skin environment, including changes in natural oil production, can significantly disrupt the delicate balance of microorganisms that typically reside on the skin. This disruption can result in an overpopulation of yeast and bacteria, organisms which, under normal circumstances, coexist harmoniously on the skin’s surface. An excess of these microorganisms can lead to the production of unpleasant odors.

Specifically, an overgrowth of yeast is often associated with a distinct musty smell. Understanding and managing these changes in the skin’s ecosystem is crucial in maintaining not only the health and comfort of your dog but also in preventing the emergence of these undesirable odors. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper skin care play a vital role in promoting the natural balance of your dog’s skin microbiome.

Get Rid of Bad Breath If Your Dog Stinks

Australian Cattle Dog laying in grass with tongue out. Read this blog to learn how to prevent dog smell & bad dog breath

Should your dog’s breath exhibit a particularly offensive odor, it may understandably cause some reluctance in engaging in close interactions. Often, the root of bad breath can be traced back to gastrointestinal health and dietary factors. However, it’s important to make sure you inspect your dog’s teeth for any trapped debris before going further.

Dogs are prone to chewing on various objects, and occasionally, foreign materials can become lodged in their teeth, contributing to foul breath. Additionally, the accumulation of food particles in the mouth can add to their horrific breath. To help keep your dog’s breath smelling good, and teeth healthy and clean, regular oral hygiene practices, including brushing your dog’s teeth with canine-specific toothbrushes and toothpaste, is recommended. This not only supports healthy teeth and gums but also in promoting normal periodontal health overall.

To learn about more reasons your dog could have a foul odor coming from their mouth, check out our article about bad breath in dogs.

An Unpleasant Smell From Your Dog’s Anal Glands

Dogs have anal glands which can sometimes emit a strong, unpleasant smell. Normally, these glands empty themselves when the dog defecates. However, if the glands become overfilled or blocked, pet parents may begin to smell the compounds found in the gland’s fluids. If your dog is bothered by their anal glands, you may notice them scooting their butt along the floor or excessively licking the area.

If you notice your dogs’ smell is from their anal area, it’s important to consult a veterinarian. The vet can manually express these glands if they need to. You should never try to do this yourself unless specifically instructed by your vet. Maintaining a healthy diet and ensuring regular bowel movements can also promote the appropriate functioning of your dog’s anal glands.

Dog Smells In Their Skin Folds

Black Neopolitan Mastiffs are prone to skin infections due to their skin folds. CBD oil for dogs used topically may help

Dogs with skin folds, like Bulldogs and Shar-Peis, can often experience issues with odor due to these folds. These areas create a warm, moist environment ideal for bacteria and yeast growth, leading to unpleasant smells. Regular cleaning is key to maintaining a healthy coat in these breeds, ensuring dirt, moisture, and skin oils don’t get trapped in their folds.

Diet Affects What Your Dog Smells Like

Your dog’s diet plays a significant role in how they smell. Certain foods can cause bad breath or body odor in dogs. For example, foods that are high in fish oils, while beneficial for a dog’s coat and skin health, can sometimes lead to a fishy smell. Additionally, dog food diets lacking in essential nutrients or those that are hard to digest can contribute to poor gut health, which can make your dog a bit smelly.

A well-balanced diet will provide nutritional support for healthy coats and supports normal GI health and function. Many animals can benefit from additional vitamins like A, D and E as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These can help maintain the general health of all ages and breeds.

How Full Spectrum Hemp Extract May Help If Your Dog Smells

Hand holding a hemp leaf in front of white jack russell. CBD drops for dogs with hot spots or smelly dogs works great.

The utilization of full spectrum hemp extract, particularly CBG or CBD for dogs, has been noted in supporting a normal inflammatory response associated with bacterial overgrowth. These properties can be beneficial for dogs that are on the smelly side. Full-spectrum hemp extract, like CBD oil or CBG for dogs available at Earth Buddy Pet, can also help by:

  • Supporting normal stomach pH
  • Helping maintain a healthy intestinal tract
  • Supporting normal bowel function
  • Enhance dog gut health

Promoting Calm Behavior May Help a Foul Smelling Pup

For dogs exhibiting nervousness, hyperactivity, discontentment or responding to

environmentally-induced stress, full spectrum hemp extract can help animals maintain a normal and relaxed disposition. This may help curb destructive behavior like the excessive licking and chewing that’s resulting in a dog that smells like something not so grand. Full spectrum CBG or CBD oil for dogs may also provide help for restlessness by:

  • Providing a calming effect on nerves
  • May reduce hyperactivity and promote relaxation
  • Balance serotonin, which is primarily made in dogs’ gut
  • Helping maintain contentment during separation, travel, motion sickness and tension caused by changes in your pet’s daily routine

Adding Probiotics to Promote Dog Gut Health

An imbalanced gut microbiome, or dysbiosis, in the digestive system of dogs, could be a contributing factor to their foul odor. Dysbiosis is characterized by an imbalance in the intestinal bacterial population, not necessarily an overarching bacterial issue. This condition can arise due to various factors including antibiotic use or a poor diet.

Probiotics support the proper balance of normal intestinal flora. These supplements contain live, naturally occurring microorganisms that bolster dog gut health. The benefits of probiotics include:

  • Supporting beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract
  • Nourishes natural gut bacteria
  • Provides enzymes and factors necessary for proper digestion

Your Dog May Have Better Breath With Colostrum

Colostrum benefits for dog gut health include helping defend against dog odor, bacteria and yeasty paws, and dog breath.

Colostrum could be a beneficial supplement to consider, especially if your dog has bad breath. Earth Buddy’s Gut Health for dogs comprises 1460 mg of colostrum per scoop, which includes 14% Immunoglobulins. Additionally, it contains 6 mg per scoop of full spectrum hemp extract, encompassing cannabinoids and terpenes, amounting to a total of 300mg. To enhance its appeal to dogs, freeze-dried blueberries are incorporated for flavor and antioxidants.

Colostrum for dogs is rich in natural immunoglobulins, known to enhance the immune response and support gastrointestinal health. Colostrum benefits play a key role in balancing good and bad bacteria, particularly in supporting overall gut health for dogs.

The inclusion of whole plant hemp extract for dogs in the formulation provides a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes. The combination of colostrum benefits and Kief CBD is specifically designed to promote a healthy inflammatory response within the gut, an area known to have a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors.

The colostrum supplement used in our Gut Health for dogs is sourced from Canadian cows that are grass-fed, with a strict policy against the use of antibiotics or growth hormones (rBGH). This ensures the highest quality of colostrum, which is also noted for its high content of healthy fats.

Look at the Whole Picture to Gid Rid of the Smell

To get rid of the smell, it’s important to look at the whole picture. It is essential to emphasize that while health supplements, including those like full spectrum hemp extract, may provide various health advantages for your dog, they should not be considered as replacements for fundamental care practices. Regular grooming and consistent veterinary care play a pivotal role in maintaining your dog’s cleanliness and overall well-being, contributing to keeping them smelling fresh and looking their best.

Incorporating supplements into your dog’s health regimen can be a holistic approach to their care. When used alongside regular grooming and veterinary check-ups, supplements for your dog may promote overall health. Do some research about your dog’s coat, take a drive over to the pet store, and grab the necessary grooming supplies to promote coat health.

Ultimately, if you want your dog to smell like themselves, it’s important to get to the bottom of what’s causing it. If you’re concerned about underlying conditions, make sure you bring your dog to the vet before taking any further action. They can go through the process of the well check and may be able to let you know fairly quickly what the problem is.

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