Why Does My Dog Stink? 6 of the most common reasons

We love our dogs. We love how they wag their tails when they see us, and the cute way they beg for dinner. Do you ever find yourself asking, why does my Dog stink? We don’t always love it when they trot home smelling like dead squirrels or horse poop. While some reasons for your dog smelling are obvious, may take a little sleuthing to figure out why dogs smell the way they do. Here are 6 reasons your dog smells, and how to solve the problem.

Poor Quality Food

Foods that are made out of mainly grains or other non-animal based compounds can leave your dog with dry skin. Dry skin might not seem so bad, except for that it is more vulnerable to skin infections, bacteria, and funguses—all things that can cause your dog to smell very bad, all the time. Bette quality food that contains animal protein, and more importantly animal fat, can help hydrate the skin. A fish oil supplement can also be added to help moisturize a dry coat.

Anal Glands

Does your dog ever smell…well…sort of fishy? That smell may not be from rolling in some gross dead thing on his last romp. It may actually be his anal glands. These strongly scented glands located at the base of the tail are what dogs sniff when they smell each other’s rears. Most dogs express their anal glands naturally when they go to the bathroom. Other dogs, especially those who aren’t very fit, can have trouble expressing their own glands.

When that happens, the glands can build up to where they rupture (a dramatic and painful veterinary visit) or they can simply leak, leaving your dog with a fishy smell, and an uncomfortable sensation. Dogs that need a little help with their glands will often like their anus excessively, scoot on the carpet, and yes, smell.

Luckily, fixing the problem is easy. Simply take your dog to a local groomer and ask them to check his anal glands. They’ll express them for you for a small fee, and you will be smell free until next time.


Dental Issues

Has your dog ever given you a poof of “Doggie Breath” that has left you gagging? That smell isn’t just a normal part of owning a dog. A dog with no issues in his breath shouldn’t have anything stinky going on in its mouth, it should smell very little. Warm and moist at best. When bad breath starts to leak out of your dog’s mouth, it’s a sign there is something very wrong going on.

If your dog’s breath smells bad, schedule a visit with your veterinarian to have his teeth checked. Your vet will be able to tell you if your dog has enough tartar build up to warrant a dental cleaning. If he or she says your pet needs a cleaning, it will be put under anesthesia and all the tartar will be scraped off your pet’s teeth. Any broken or loose teeth will be removed, and your pet will wake up feeling better and smelling fresher too.

Dental care is extremely important for your pet, so if you smell a suspicious odor coming from his mouth, don’t ignore it. Have your pet see a vet today. A good Dog toothpaste and regular brushing is also a good idea.

Ear Infections

Is that nasty odor coming from your dog’s ears? If you lift up an ear and discover a foul odor coming from them, it’s time to schedule a vet visit. That nasty odor could be from an ear infection and are often symptoms of a larger problem. Ear infections may seem like an odd source of odor for your pet, but they can leave a lingering scent that sticks to your hands (and the dog’s ears!) for long after they have been cleaned and cared for.

Skin Problems

If your dog has a “Doggie odor” that doesn’t go away, the source is probably some kind of skin trouble. This could be as simple as the dry skin mentioned earlier, but could also be something more serious, such as chronic allergies, skin cancer, or an infection.

If a good shampoo, medicated soap, and quality food don’t help the situation, it’s worthwhile to check in with your vet to get an idea on how to handle the situation. They can take a skin scraping to figure out what specifically is wrong with your pet, and give you recommendations on where to go from there.

Did he let one rip?

Gas is no joke in dogs. That peacefully sleeping face may have just let loose a silent one that can clear the whole room. Fortunately, if your dog has powerful gas that never seems to go away, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the amount of flatulence going on.

A good place to start is once again to go back to diet and make sure the dog is on a high-quality food. Foods that are filled with grains aren’t digested as readily as foods with meat-based proteins, and the results can be gaseous as the bacteria in your dog’s gut struggles to come to grips with the food.

If he is already on a high-quality diet, you can also add a probiotic to help aid your pet’s digestion. Probiotics are beneficial microbes that live in your dog’s gut and help with the digestion process. A probiotic can help seed your dog’s gut with more of the right types of bacteria and may be the ticket to reducing the amount of gas your pet has.


Dogs can smell funky for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the reason is relatively benign (he found a dead raccoon and decided to “perfume” himself with it.) Sometimes it’s a serious matter that needs veterinary attention.

If you make a habit of examining your dog frequently, it will be a lot easier for you to see what is normal for your pet and what isn’t.

We all love our pets, even if sometimes we wish they wouldn’t do some of the things that make them so very canine in the first place.

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