4 Reasons Why Your Dog Still Stinks After a Bath

Why Does My Dog Smell So Bad? 4 Reasons Why Your Dog Still Stinks After a Bath

  • Mar 22

Nothing quite like wet dog smell, ladies and gents. I don’t know what it is, but something about it is so abrasive. It’s stale, stagnant, and stinky. But hey, usually they get dry pretty quickly and go back to their normal, only-a-little-musky dry smell. 

Except when they don’t

Sometimes, a dog will come along that just can’t seem to get clean, no matter how many baths you force upon it. If you feel that your dog still smells after a bath, or just smells all the time, this blog is for you. Also, I’m sorry.

The good news is that there are easy solutions to this problem, and it may actually be indicative of a skin issue or condition that you were previously unaware of and can treat! 

We’re hitting all the big topics in dog grooming this time around - why dogs smell, how much smell is normal, how to keep your dog from smelling after going outside, the 4 reasons why your dog stinks, and what you can do about it.

So, if you find yourself constantly asking ‘Why does my dog smell so bad?’ when he or she comes in for a cuddle session, lean in! 

Does Dog Smell Ever Go Away?

Let’s get something out of the way right now: all dogs have a smell. Why do dogs smell bad to us? Well, having a bunch of fur doesn’t help. If you’re frustrated by your dog’s natural (mild) musk and are trying to figure out how to make your dog smell better when it’s just their natural scent you’re picking up, you may not be ready for a dog.  So, in short, no - there is no odorless dog. BUT, if you find your dog has a lingering, foul, or pungent odor at all times (even after a bath), it’s often indicative of a larger issue that could require medical attention. The sooner you catch it, the better! 


dog smells like wet dog smell after going outside

How Do You Mask Wet Dog Smell (or Any Dog Smell)?

Even if you’re constantly thinking ‘Why does my dog smell so bad?’, that’s honestly better than the alternative, which is ‘Why does my house smell so bad?’ (hint: it’s because of your dog.)

While you can’t have a totally odorless dog (as far as I know), you can get products to cover up the smell that wet dog smell, or any other smell for that matter, your dog may track around the house after a bath or after going outside. We can’t make our dog smell like lovely, clean citrus, but we can make our house smell that way despite having a dog.  Whether it’s just water, or something a little more unsavory than water, the Angry Orange Pet Deodorizer Set is key. Not only does it get rid of tough pet odors (instead of just masking them only for them to show up later), it actually removes pet stains with enzymes. It works on most furniture, turf, wood, and carpet, and best of all, it’s safe for pets! Our deodorizers are safely derived from the oil found in orange peels, making it a natural, non-toxic cleanser.

It should be noted that you shouldn’t spray the deodorizer directly on your pet and is not a solution for how to make your dog smell better, you can spray it on places they’ve been (including the couch they jumped on right after the bath). 


dog still smells after bath

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?

If you find your dog has a residual stink, you may come to the conclusion that washing them more frequently is the solution. However, most times this is not true! Most dog breeds only need to be washed on a monthly basis, as their skin and fur don’t need that much attention.  Even if you find a constant odor coming from your pooch, you should only be washing your dog every other week at most. Any more and you risk irritating their skin or damaging their fur. 


How to Keep Your Dog From Smelling After Going Outside

How to Keep Your Dog From Smelling After Going Outside

Why does my dog smell so bad every time he/she goes outside?

You’re not alone in wondering about this. There are a few reasons dogs can smell a little rank after going outdoors - maybe they rolled in something, maybe they stepped in something, maybe they ate something - who knows.  Here are some of the best ways to get rid of that wet dog smell or gross smell after they’ve been outside, if you don’t have time to wash them or already washed them that week: 
  • Brush their fur 2-5 times a week
  • Pat them down with corn starch
  • Wash your dog’s bedding regularly 


dog having a bath because he smells bad

Why Does My Dog Smell Even After a Bath?

So, you’ve tried all of the above methods, and your dog still smells gross. ‘Why??’ I heard you pleading, ‘Why does my dog smell so bad even still? What am I doing wrong?’ Well, my poor soul, there’s a high chance you’ve done nothing wrong. Your dog may just have an infection or bodily that needs your immediate attention. 

The Top 4 Reasons Why Your Dog Still Stinks After A Bath:

Skin Inflammation or Infection
There are countless reasons why your dog’s skin may be inflamed. External irritants, allergens, burns, or bacterial/viral/parasitic/fungal infections can all be present. If your dog still smells after a bath, is excessively scratching or licking, has a lot of scaling, or is rubbing his/herself on the carpet, take them to a vet as soon as possible. Do not use any pet shampoo or conditioner on your dog until the vet tells you which products to use!

Ear Infection

Noticing a lot of inner ear scratching? How about excessive head shaking? Does your dog become a little aggressive when you touch their ears? If any of these things apply to your dog’s situation, they may have an ear infection! Because of their larger ear canal, dogs are more prone to ear infections than us humans, and need to be cleaned more often. This is also one of the most overlooked methods for how to make your dog smell better - a lot of times, it’s because of their ears! Don’t try to clean your dog’s ears on your own - consult a veterinarian first, and use a mild ear cleaner. 

Dental Issues & Foul Breath

Dog breath is always a little ruff, if you catch my drift. Ahaha. 

Anyway, a big reason why dogs smell is because of dental issues. If you think your dog’s breath is unbearably bad, you may want to give them chew toys! That’s right, just a regular chew toy.

How does this help? Well, chewing is a dog’s natural teeth cleaner. It removes plaque and keeps their teeth healthy. You can also try dental hygiene dog treats!

If you find that these methods don’t work, be sure to contact your vet.

Poor Quality Food & Diet

It is actually shocking how much a dog’s diet affects their smell. A low-quality diet filled with worse-quality dog food can be the main reason why your dog still smells after a bath.  Bad dog food can do some damage to your dog's digestive system, which results in foul odor due to imbalanced gut bacteria.

The hard truth is, if you feel you can’t afford quality food for your pooch, you may not be ready for one. So be sure you have it in your budget before you head to the adoption center! 


How To Keep Your Dog from Smelling After a Bath

How Do You Keep Your Dog from Smelling After a Bath?

For those of us not dealing with the above issues, but still want to get rid of that post-bath wet dog smell, try out these methods the next time you get your pooch in the tub: 
  • Use a lot of towels to dry them off
  • Add a pet-friendly scent neutralizer while they’re wet (Note: Angry Orange is not a scent neutralizer that can be sprayed on pets. Just making sure I mention that one more time. Try this pet deodorizer spray instead!
  • Make sure to thoroughly clean your dog during each bath

Final Thoughts

If your dog still smells after a bath, I hope this blog has helped you figure out why (and what to do about it)! If you’re looking for more tips, check out the Angry Orange blog - and don’t forget to check out our kickass products, too!
Here’s to good smells! 


Contributing Writer: Aurora Detor