Woman plugging her nose because her dog smells

5 Reasons Why Your Dog Smells and What You Can Do About It

  • Sep 14

Woman plugging her nose because her dog smells

Owning a dog can be great, but it's not all a bed of roses--especially when it comes to those terrible pet smells. Many dog owners are left wondering, "Why does my dog smell so bad?" They may also worry about the smell left behind in their home and how they can get rid of smelly dog odors. Understanding why your dog stinks can help you eliminate those odors and enjoy a happier relationship with your pooch.

5 Reasons Your Dog Smells

Trying to track down the reason for your stinky dog? These are the five most common causes of unpleasant dog odors. 

1. Problems With Their Teeth

Puppy breath might be sweet, but an older dog's breath can be strong enough to peel paint. Unpleasant dog breath is usually an issue with plaque and tartar build-up. Keeping your dog's teeth clean can help stop the smell. To do that, you can schedule a cleaning with your vet's office. You should also clean their teeth at home yourself, and give them treats and toys designed to scrape build-up off of their teeth and gums. 

2. They Have Digestion Issues

Dogs, like humans, can experience issues with their digestive systems. This might be a more common occurrence with dogs who get table scraps or eat something they shouldn't. But even with their regular diet, some dogs are simply more prone to passing gas. If your dog's gas seems more potent than usual or is happening more often, it's worth talking to your vet about changing their diet.

3. They've Rolled in Something Unpleasant

Dogs love to roll in smelly things, most often traces left behind by other animals such as a fox or raccoon. While no one really knows why this brings dogs so much joy, it may be a hunting instinct to mask their own scent. Whatever the reason, though, they do it with gusto. It's tough to stop the behavior if you walk your dog off-leash, so the only solution is to bathe your stinky dog when you get home.

4. They Have Issues with Allergies

Dogs can experience seasonal allergies, as well as allergies to their environment or to something in their food. When they experience an allergic reaction, it most commonly manifests as issues with their skin. Their skin can become inflamed, which they make worse by scratching. That can lead to infection, which can give off a pretty unpleasant smell. You won't fix the issue with bathing, either, and may actually make it worse. Instead, you'll need to find the allergen and eliminate it.

5. It's Time to Visit the Groomer

Groomers do a lot more than just shampoo and rinse when your dog smells rotten from dog body odor. A dog groomer will also take care of two of the smelliest areas on your dog: their ears and their anal glands. Dog's ears can develop a yeast-like scent if they aren't cleaned and groomed. The anal glands can be particularly pungent, but a groomer can express them and eliminate the smell. That's why a visit to the groomer is a must for all dogs, even those with short hair. 

How to Eliminate Dog Odors

Dog getting a bath at the groomer

Once you know what's causing your dog to stink, you can take steps to put a stop to it. That might include a change in diet, a visit to the groomer, or a chat with your vet. But what do you do about the odors left behind? Eliminating the smell from your dog won't necessarily eliminate the smell they've left behind in your home, but the following tips can help. 

  • Wash your dog's bedding often. If they have a favorite bed or blanket, make it a part of your weekly chore list to wash and dry their bedding. You can also wash any soft toys they love, as these can retain odors in the fibers as well. 
  • Groom your dog at home. Dogs should be bathed once a month, on average, with plenty of brushing sessions in between. Brushing the coat can help eliminate odors along with dead skin and hair. That can help keep dog smells out of your furniture, too. 
  • Clean your belongings with detergent-free, natural cleaning solutions. Detergents can be harmful to pets, and they aren't always effective at eliminating pet odors. Look for natural solutions that actually get rid of pet smells instead of just masking them

With good hygiene, veterinary care, and a cleaning routine, you'll be able to enjoy your dog and the way your home smells. Angry Orange's Pet Odor Eliminator Concentrate can help. This all-natural formula blasts away pet odors from the air, hard surfaces, and soft furnishings with the power of orange oil extracts. It's even effective on urine odors. It's an ideal solution for dog lovers who don't love a stinky dog.