Why Does My Dog Smell So Bad?


Being a good pet owner, you may be worried with the question – Why does my dog smell so bad – worry not, just read this article. Bad odor persisting in your dog may indicate that your dog either has a health issue or is not receiving sufficient nutrients through its food.

You want your dog to smell good. Don’t you? Dog odor is something that anybody wants to get rid of. However, many of us do not know how to get rid of it. There are many dog shampoos, sprays, and air fresheners available in the market that can help you make your stinky dog smell good. However, if the smell is causing from the inside of your dog, using spray or perfume does not offer any solution. The odor will not go away.


But, you do not need to live with it. All you have to do is identify the cause of your dog odor and find out the remedies to get rid of it.

Possible Causes Of Dog Odor: Why Does My Dog Smell So Bad?

If you think that the odor is coming because of internal problems, you need to understand that it can be due to malnutrition or chronic disease. You need to take proper care to determine the underlying cause behind the odor, and if you cannot do it by yourself, you can visit a veterinarian to help you in this regard. Following are some of the possible causes of dog odor.

1. Dog Halitosis (Bad Breath)

Mostly, your dog may smell bad because of his bad breath. It can be a result of dental problem such as gingivitis, indigestion, or constipation. His breath does not need to be too stinky. Usually, healthy dogs have fresh breath. The right way to avoid bad breath in your dog is to feed him a healthy and balanced nutrient diet.

The bad breath can be also due to dental problems in your dog. If you do not brush your dog on regular basis, plaque, tartar, and bacteria will start to build up around his teeth. If you leave it untreated, the pet can be prone to issues such as tooth loss, consumption of less food, or severe infection. Make it a habit to brush your dog every day.

2. Ear Infection

If the odor is coming from his head, make sure to check his ears by lifting his ear flaps. It may be because of a bacterial infection caused in the ear that discharges unbearable odor. Hence, it is very important to frequently check his ears for debris, dirt, mites, and any possible infection. Also, you need to clean your dog’s ears regularly.

3. Flatulence

The odor from your dog may be sometimes because of his rear end. Yes, it can be because of gas. Flatulence of a dog is too stinky that you can be knocked out. There are many reasons for flatulence in your dog – from his eating habits to allergies to constipation. A poor diet is also a cause for dog flatulence. Also, it is a sign of parasites, so make sure to take him to the veterinarian for a check-up in case of constant odor caused due to gas.

4. Anal Gland Problems

Anal gland issues such as anal gland abscess or impacted anal glands are very common in dogs. If your dog has any of these issues, you should notice a powerful, distinct odor coming from his rear end. Also, your dog will scoot often on the floor if he has anal gland problem. If his anal glands are impacted, it needs to be expressed either by a vet or a dog groomer. Otherwise, you can try doing it by yourself.

5. Skin Diseases

Yeast or bacterial infection, allergies, and seborrhea can also be causes for bad odor in your dog. You need to use your nose for early detection of the cause of odor. Usually, such odor is associated with skin diseases that occur in tandem with some symptoms such as skin lesions, flaking, itching, or greasy coat. However, most dog owners notice the odor and complain that, ‘I give him bath and the smell persists the very next day. Why does my pet smell so bad?’ In case you believe that the odor is because of skin infection or disease, take him to the veterinarian immediately.

6. Eye Tearing

Some dogs get a brown tearing around their eyes, and they have so much of drainage from their eyes. This is called eye tearing. The bacterial growth in his moist fur under his eyes can cause a very unpleasant odor. The tearing is a sign of health issue, and you need to consult a veterinarian to get your dog treated.

7. Kidney Problems

Bad breath in a dog can also be due to build up of toxins linked with kidney problems. Dogs that develop kidney problems usually smell very bad. So, you need to take your dog to the vet in case you are not able to find out the cause behind the odor.

8. Improper Diet

Low-quality dog foods are generally high in starches (carbohydrates) and low in essential fatty acids. This can often lead to bad smell and skin problems in your dog. Make sure to feed him a high-quality healthy and natural diet, and also supplement him with EFAs (such as fish oil, flaxseed).

9. Other Problems

Other than the above mentioned causes, the bad odor in your dog can be due to some other medical problems such as cancers, kidney failure, diabetes, or infections. Of course, the bad smell can also come from the external side of your dog. For instance, he might have been sprayed by a skunk, or he might have laid down in something smelly.

Grooming Tips for Your Smelly Dog

Other than regular visits to the vet to treat your dog for his bad smell, you may also need to follow the dog grooming tips to get rid of bad odor in your dog:

  • Bath your dog once in a week. Use a mild shampoo. Bathing a dog too often can cause bacterial accumulation, irritation, scratching, dry skin, odor, and yeast.
  • Consider using a medicated shampoo
  • Clean dog’s tearing eyes every day
  • Brush his teeth daily
  • Clean his ears regularly

You will definitely come out of the problem of bad odor in your dog as long as you understand the cause behind the odor and follow the right tips as suggested in this article.