Why Does My Dog Stink?

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Oh, my. What’s that scent? In case your canine is within the room, it could possibly be actually dangerous breath, dreadful flatulence, leaking anal glands, skunk residue, malodorous dandruff, contaminated ears, moist canine odor, urine from scent marking, vomit, diarrhea, or one thing your pup just lately rolled in, like manure, lifeless fish, or well-rotted mammal components.

Some offending fragrances might be sprayed or washed away, however for others you’ll want greater than a deodorizing air spritz. Right here’s a take a look at what may help your canine, yard, home, and kennels scent higher, with an emphasis on safe-to-use merchandise that take away disagreeable odors at their supply somewhat than people who cowl disagreeable smells with perfumes or different sturdy scents. 


In case your canine appears to scent dangerous on a regular basis, schedule an appointment together with your veterinarian to rule out medical circumstances that contribute to disagreeable smells.

For instance, canine physique odors might be warning indicators of most cancers, urinary tract infections, parvovirus, or infections brought on by micro organism, yeast, or parasites. 

One apparent candidate for change is your canine’s weight loss program. Switching to a higher-quality meals – which often means upgrading to higher high quality protein – could also be all that’s wanted. WDJ is legendary for guiding readers via the world of uncooked, cooked, recent, frozen, dried, dehydrated, canned, home-prepared, and industrial pet meals and treats. It doesn’t matter what your price range, you’ll be able to enhance your canine’s general well being and physique odor by feeding one of the best you’ll be able to afford. Search the archives or click on on “Canine Meals Info” at wholedog-journal.com.


Probiotics are “pleasant” intestine micro organism that make up the canine’s microbiome and type a primary line of protection towards pathogens (see “A Higher Biome,” February 2018). Prebiotics nourish probiotics and assist preserve wholesome populations of helpful microorganisms. Enzymes corresponding to protease, bromelain, and papain (which break protein into amino acids), amylase (which digests carbohydrates), and lipase (which breaks down fat) assist forestall foul odors by aiding digestion. 

Researchers disagree about whether or not these dietary supplements are essential, however customers of probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes typically report a discount in signs like itching, scratching, dangerous breath, physique odors, extreme shedding, dry or flaky pores and skin, recurring ear infections, diarrhea, and free or malodorous stools. (See “We’re ‘Professional’ Probiotics,” March 2012; “Reward for Prebiotics,” April 2012; and “Enhancing Digestion: Digestive Enzyme Dietary supplements,” Might 2012.)

Chlorophyll, a inexperienced plant pigment that grew to become common within the Nineteen Fifties as a whole-body deodorizer stated to work from the within out, might be added to a canine’s meals as a liquid or powdered complement derived from chlorella, spirulina, wheat grass, or different inexperienced crops (observe label instructions), or add finely minced recent wheatgrass, parsley, mint leaves, or dandelion greens in small quantities, steadily rising to 1 teaspoon per 20 kilos of physique weight. (Parsley isn’t really useful throughout being pregnant.) 

Coconut oil, which has confirmed anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties, has been promoted as a deodorizing complement for canine. Whereas no scientific trials have examined these claims, coconut oil fans report improved pores and skin, coat, and breath odor in canine who obtain small quantities of their meals. 

Begin with 1/8 teaspoon per day for small canine or puppies and 1/2 teaspoon for big canine. Regularly enhance the quantity each few days to the optimum dose, about 1 teaspoon per 30 kilos of physique weight day by day, or 1 tablespoon per 100 kilos. 

Introduce coconut oil in small quantities in divided doses, and scale back the quantity or cease feeding it in case your canine appears uncomfortable or has diarrhea. For extra, see “Loopy about Coconut Oil,” WDJ October 2005.


Whereas long-haired canine want extra frequent brushing than canine with quick coats, brushing distributes the pure oils and releases dust in any coat. Every day inspections make it straightforward to take away burrs, weed seeds, and parasites corresponding to fleas or ticks. Examine with a extremely really useful native groomer to seek out the suitable combs or brushes on your canine. Eradicating tangles as quickly as they develop helps forestall matting, which, if uncared for, contribute to physique odors by trapping skin-infecting micro organism.

Spraying your canine with a coat deodorizer or utilizing deodorizing pet wipes might make a distinction, particularly after swimming. Dozens of merchandise bought for residence and salon use are described as “between tub” therapies that assist your canine’s coat look and scent higher. Some are referred to as dry shampoos or waterless bathing sprays, and whereas most are scented, a rising quantity are fragrance-free. 

Most product directions say to spray or wipe a canine’s coat beginning behind the ears (keep away from the eyes) and work towards the tail. Therapeutic massage to distribute, repeat if essential, let dry, after which brush. 

When your canine rolls in one thing terrible or is simply due for a shampoo, it’s time for the bathtub. The frequency of your canine’s want for bathing will depend on her actions, coat situation, and physique odor. For greatest outcomes, groomers advocate diluting shampoos and conditioners, utilizing extra water than product. Repeat, then rinse totally.

The quicker a canine’s coat dries, the higher he’s prone to scent. Brief hair can dry rapidly with towel rubbing and recent air, whereas lengthy, dense coats may have an expert groomer’s high-velocity dryer. Once you’re by yourself, use a big provide of essentially the most absorbent towels accessible. 


An estimated 80 p.c of companion canine develop periodontal illness by age 2, and ensuing toxins that drain from the mouth to the remainder of the physique contribute to systemic illnesses of the kidneys, liver, and coronary heart. 

You are able to do loads to forestall gum illness by brushing your canine’s tooth day by day with a toothpaste formulated for canine (by no means use human toothpaste). In case you can handle just a bit brushing, consider the outer surfaces of the canine’s molars, the place a lot of the tartar accumulates. 

Many canine house owners swear by the observe of feeding uncooked meaty bones to their canine. “I can typically inform at a look whether or not a canine chews on uncooked bones,” says Tia Nelson, DVM, in Helena, Montana. “Bone-chewing canine typically have higher oral well being, higher smelling breath, and more healthy gums. I consider it’s from the stimulation of the whole oral cavity that happens when canine chew bones. They need to be acceptable to the canine’s dimension; and bones which might be sufficiently small for the canine to swallow entire needs to be averted.” Word that dried bones, corresponding to these discovered on pet-store cabinets, are by no means really useful, as they’re too laborious and should break tooth.   

Continual dangerous breath might level to gum illness and different oral well being issues however not at all times. See “Dangerous Canine Breath? Perhaps Not!” July 2018, for issues incorrectly assumed to contain dental illness. 

Pet-water components bought as breath fresheners declare to reinforce digestive well being, enhance nutrient absorption, and assist canine scent higher throughout. A small quantity, corresponding to a capful, is added to each bowl of consuming water (however at all times supply plain water, too). Some include probiotics, digestive enzymes, micronized minerals, or elements recognized to attenuate plaque and tartar buildup. 

Sadly, a few of these merchandise include xylitol, a sweetener that’s poisonous to canine. Whereas the small quantities used based on label instructions are thought-about protected for canine, some veterinarians are involved that the day by day ingestion of xylitol might pose a threat. Examine labels and firm web sites for info and keep away from merchandise with xylitol or undisclosed elements. Oxyfresh is an instance of a product that lists its elements and accommodates no xylitol.  

Success with consuming water components typically will depend on how they’re launched to your canine. Begin with smaller-than-recommended portions and respect your canine’s preferences. 


Along with smelling dangerous, canine ear infections are painful and deserve a go to to your veterinarian for assist. However by checking your canine’s ears often and maintaining them clear with a protected ear rinse (see “Stop Ear Infections by Cleansing Your Canine’s Ears,” April 2021), you can also make your canine’s ears inhospitable to yeast and bacterial overgrowths. Keep away from probably painful ear rinses that include vinegar or alcohol when treating power inflammations or ulcerated ear canals.

Right here’s an ear rinse that’s protected, efficient, and straightforward to make: Mix 1/8 teaspoon therapeutic-quality lavender important oil with 3/4 cup distilled witch hazel, 1 tablespoon powdered boric acid, and 1/4 cup pure aloe vera juice or gel. Shake nicely earlier than making use of. 

One other is Jake’s Treatment, an aromatherapy product designed to deal with itchy pores and skin and paws, sizzling spots, dry pores and skin, hair loss, fungus, and ring worm. Jake’s Treatment works nicely as a soothing ear flush when utilized with an eye fixed dropper.


Skunk-spray odor ranks as certainly one of our most-disliked odors and it appears to final without end. That’s as a result of the spray’s thiols and thioacetates, that are pure sulfur-containing chemical compounds, bind to different molecules, making them straightforward to unfold and troublesome to eradicate. Something your skunked canine touches will get skunked, too.

Canned tomato juice and vinegar are conventional therapies that canine lovers nonetheless use, however neither neutralizes these annoying thiols and thioacetates. Along with not working nicely, tomato juice can change the colour of white or light-colored coats, and vinegar has its personal distinctive odor.

Fortuitously, there’s a house treatment that does the job. Combine 1 quart of three% hydrogen peroxide (the sort that’s bought in grocery shops and pharmacies) with 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon liquid dish cleaning soap. The combination is chemically unstable, so it may’t be made prematurely (closed containers can explode), so preserve a provide of the elements readily available for skunky occasions. 

Sporting protecting gloves and avoiding your canine’s  mouth and eyes (it stings!), therapeutic massage this soupy combination into your canine’s coat. As a result of the chemical response is instantaneous, and since extended publicity can bleach darkish coats, materials, wooden, and different porous surfaces, don’t depart it in your canine for greater than a minute or two. Rinse nicely, shampoo, and rinse once more. Generally, a single therapy is all you’ll want, however repeat the process if essential.

Different merchandise really useful for de-skunking pets embody:

• Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover. The corporate says this product “binds with and removes odors utilizing a bio-enzymatic method.”

• Skout’s Honor Skunk Odor Eliminator. The corporate says it “breaks down odor molecules with a plant-derived surficant and molecular deodorizer.”

• Alpha Tech Pet Skunkaway. The corporate says that when mixed with water, the product “creates a series response that disassembles odor molecules and reassembles them in an odor-free matrix.”

Ingredient Info

Many dog-deodorizing merchandise declare to be product of pure or naturally derived elements, however whereas all-natural merchandise could also be safer for canine and puppies, they don’t essentially work higher than merchandise containing artificial elements.

And what does “pure” actually imply? Polysorbate 20 could also be listed as a pure ingredient, however it’s an FDA-approved artificial flavoring agent. DMDM hydantoin is an natural compound present in hair care merchandise, the place it acts as a preservative by releasing formaldehyde. Sodium cocyl gluamatae and different cocyl elements are derived from coconut oil, although they’re very completely different from that supply materials.  

Extra controversial are elements like sodium lauryl sulfate, petroleum-based fragrances and phthalates, artificial dyes, parabens, and isothiazolines, which have been criticized for being harsh on pores and skin, probably poisonous, disruptive to hormones, or damaging to marine environments. 

Some labels listing what merchandise don’t include, corresponding to sulfate-free, alcohol-free, xylitol-free, detergent-free, paraben-free, no triclosan, no mineral oil, no petrolatum, no drethanolalamine (DHA), no phthalates, no chlorhexidine, no propylene glycol, or no added colours or dyes. 

By itself, the presence or absence of man-made or natural elements doesn’t decide whether or not a product will work nicely on your canine, so examine product opinions, seek the advice of groomers and different specialists, and preserve notes as you experiment.

A lot of the producers talked about right here welcome buyer questions, present instructional info, and supply money-back ensures. The dog-deodorizing business, already monumental, continues to develop.


Among the most attention-grabbing and versatile deodorizing merchandise are fragrance-free odor removers derived from pure sources. Learn labels fastidiously as a result of some merchandise are designed to be used on pet bedding or different surfaces however not for utility on pets. Most of them dry odor-free however might include a quickly evaporating tracer perfume to assist customers establish handled areas.

Natures Odor Management or N.O.C. merchandise include amino acids, nutritional vitamins, and hint minerals derived from a tradition of blue-green algae. Liquid N.O.C. merchandise develop into lively for eight hours when blended with water. Really helpful purposes embody the therapy of vomit, urine, feces, and different disagreeable odors. N.O.C.’s dry granules will also be used to neutralize odors. Its Pet Powder is brushed or massaged into the canine’s coat for improved physique odor; it’s additionally indicated for eliminating skunk spray. 

Odor-B-Gone merchandise eradicate skunk scent on animals, urine odors on concrete flooring, and odors trapped in carpets, upholstered furnishings, and bedding, utilizing an extract derived from yucca crops. Its Spot Stain and Odor Remover releases and removes powerful stains, even outdated ones. 

Zero Odor says its spray merchandise “use molecular expertise to bind with odor molecules within the air and on surfaces, remodeling them into odorless molecules.” Whereas the corporate says these merchandise are protected to be used on canine beds, collars, and different gear, they don’t seem to be really useful for direct utility on canine.

Bac-Out Stain and Odor Remover by Biokleen combines dwell enzyme cultures, citrus extracts, and plant-based surficants to deodorize pet accidents and extra. Apply, let stand for not less than 5 minutes, then blot with a clear material. Not really useful for direct utility on pets.

Easy Inexperienced Outside Odor Eliminator makes use of pure enzymes to eradicate odors at their supply on grass, turf, gravel, concrete, and outside carpets. The bottle encompasses a hose attachment for simple outside spray utility. It is a scented product. It isn’t really useful for direct utility on pets. 


No matter you do, don’t simply resign your self to enduring your canine’s foul odors; lots of them are brought on by well being circumstances that may be improved, so take motion!

Jokes apart, flatulence may end up from gastrointestinal issues, so if the issue is power, examine together with your veterinarian, in case it outcomes from meals sensitivities, irritable bowel syndrome, parasites, pancreatic problems, or different sources of irritation. 

Sweetening your in any other case wholesome canine from the within out takes us again to weight loss program. Strive upgrading protein sources, experimenting with meat-based, low-carbohydrate meals, and staying away from often blamed elements like soy, corn, wheat, and dairy merchandise. As well as, including probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes to meals can scale back flatulence by enhancing your canine’s digestion. 

Deodorizing dietary additions corresponding to chlorophyll dietary supplements or finely minced inexperienced herbs might assist, as can “carminative herbs.” Ingesting the latter relaxes abdomen muscle tissues and relieves intestinal gasoline. Ginger, fennel, dill, cayenne, thyme, and peppermint are broadly used examples of carminitive herbs. Sprinkle small quantities of dried or freshly minced carminatives in your pet’s meals to see in the event that they make a distinction. 

In case your canine eats all the things in a rush, she might swallow air alongside together with her dinner, which worsens the issue (and may trigger bloat). Gradual her down by inserting a big impediment in her bowl, or strive feeding her from a specifically designed canine dish, snuffle mat, or different association that slows meals consumption (see “Savor the Taste,” November 2020 for a evaluate of slow-feeder merchandise). In multiple-dog households, strive feeding canine in separate rooms to scale back competitors that ends in gulping. 

And when gasoline occurs, be able to spray the air with a fragrance-free odor eliminator.


Now there’s an unforgettable perfume. Canine who scoot on, lick, and even chunk their hind ends could also be attempting to alleviate the warmth, irritation, swelling, and ache of impacted anal glands in addition to the abscesses (bacterial infections) they will produce.

Obese, sedentary, and small-breed canine are extra often affected by anal gland issues, however the situation can develop in bodily lively, slender, and in any other case wholesome canine of all breeds and sizes. In case your canine seems to be in ache or is obsessive about licking below his tail, make an appointment together with your veterinarian to verify your canine doesn’t have a ruptured or contaminated anal gland.

Some veterinarians and groomers contemplate guide expression (urgent on each side of the anal glands to launch their contents) a routine therapy whereas others discourage that method. Whether or not you do or don’t categorical your canine’s anal glands,preventive measures like rising his lively train and dietary fiber consumption might assist. Deodorize bedding and different affected surfaces with acceptable merchandise, a few of which (examine labels) are protected for direct utility to your canine’s anal space. 

Merchandise Talked about In This Article

• Alpha Tech Pet Odor merchandise, alphatechpet.com; (800) 222-5537

• Bac-Out Stain and Odor Remover, biokleenhome.com; (800) 477-0188

• Jake’s Treatment, FrogWorks, frogworks.us; (877) 973-8848

• Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover and different pet odor merchandise, naturesmiracle.com; (800) 645-5154

• Nature’s Odor and Germ Management pet merchandise, nogc.com; (888) 884-6367

• Odor-B-Gone Odor Eliminator merchandise, odorbgoneproducts.com; (800) 433-9039

• Oxyfresh Pet Dental Water Additive, oxyfresh.com; (800) 333-7374

• Easy Inexperienced Outside Odor Eliminator, simplegreen.com; (800) 228-0709

• Skout’s Honor Skunk Odor Eliminator and grooming merchandise, skoutshonor.com; (877) 805-0399

• Zero Odor Deodorizing Merchandise, zeroodor.com; (800) 526-2967

The put up Why Does My Canine Stink? appeared first on Entire Canine Journal.

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