Oh, those doggy smells. From the routine “Guess what I just rolled in?” to wet dog smell to the truly disgusting and stomach churning whiffs of “What IS that?” – here’s why you need to pay attention to Fido’s funk.
1/ Stinky after a bath or a swim is usually normal – there are bacteria and yeast that live on your dog’s skin that are generally odorless until you get Fido wet. Water releases the full force of the bacteria smell that is normally contained. If the odor persists when your dog is clean and dry, there may be an underlying skin condition. See your vet to be sure.
2/ Death breath – so the days of sweet smelling puppy breath are long gone. If getting up close to your pooch leaves you reeling, it’s something that you need to address. Brush your pet’s teeth regularly to help keep tartar build up at bay. Bad breath can also be caused by an underlying infection in the gums or teeth. It can also be a sign of even more serious health problems like kidney disease and diabetes. Get to the vet, stat!
3/ Certain dog breeds are more susceptible to skin diseases. If you have a Pekingese, Pug, Spaniel, Bulldog, or wrinkly Shar-Pei, there could be all kinds of bacteria and other microorganisms lurking in their skin folds, and the smell is definitely nasty. These breeds are highly prone to developing skin fold dermatitis, so pay careful attention to hygiene. Baby wipes or special cleansers can help you keep irritation and odors away. However, all dogs can develop skin problems due to allergies, hormonal disorders or infections. Best to get checked by the vet!
4/ Smelly ears can indicate an underlying yeast or bacterial infection. If your dog has long droopy ears, or loves to go swimming, they’re more at risk for becoming a bacterial breeding ground. Dogs with allergies also tend to get more ear infections. See your vet.
5/ Foul smelling flatulence – there’s a wonderfully funny children’s book series based around Walter the Farting Dog. The character Walter was inspired by a real dog whose owner fed him donuts and beer – definitely a no no! To date, the 5 book series has been translated into more than a dozen languages, so it’s a global problem. Poor diet and low quality grain-based foods are the most common causes of severe flatulence. If the problem persists, see the vet to make sure there are no underlying health conditions.
6/ Anal glands/sacs. Yes, like you, we’re not thrilled to know that they exist or that they may need expressing, but when anal sacs are full or infected, there is no ignoring the stench. Anal sacs are located on either side of your dog’s anus, and the fluid inside is usually expelled when your dog poops. If your dog is scooting across the floor, or constantly licking their posterior, they’re trying to relieve itching, so their anal sacs need to be emptied. Don’t ignore the problem – if the pressure on the anal sacs is not relieved, the anal glands could become infected or impacted, and as the saying goes, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Your dog’s anal glands can be manually expressed by your groomer or at the vet’s office.