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Why Your Dogs Smell


Have you ever noticed that your dogs smell from time to time? It can be confounding, especially if you are the type of dog owner to be on top of your dogs’ hygiene. Even after going through the whole rigamarole of a bath, odors may persist around your dogs. There are five main contributors to your dogs’ stinky scent. They include, but are not limited to, allergies, gas, dirty ears, dental problems, and impacted anal glands.

With that being said, it is important to note that while baths are not the cure-all for dog odor, baths are still a crucial aspect of limiting the odor surrounding your doggos. In fact, baths are great for more topical treatments such as taking care of your dogs’ skin and fur. As mentioned early, allergies may play a surprisingly large role in your dogs’ odors, especially if they’re outside a lot. You may find that seasonal allergies aggravate your dogs’ skin. In turn, this irritation can lead to an over-production oil. If you aren’t regularly washing your dogs, the oil sits on their skin and soaks into their fur, which may make for a stale smell. When not taken care of, the build up of oil can lead to infections. This is why regularly washing your dogs, especially in hotter climates, is so important.

While you have your dog in the bath it might be a convenient time to check their ears. A couple studies have found that a build up of ear wax may also contribute to dogs’ stank. It’s noted that dogs with bigger and/or fluffier ears are more susceptible to various ear infections because it’s so easier for bacteria to get trapped. Most vets recommend cleaning your dogs’ ears at least once a month, with some variance depending on the breed (i.e. if you have a Cocker Spaniel you may want to check his ears twice a month). Similarly, halitosis is another less obvious reason why you may find your dogs smelling even after a bath. To curb this kind of stinky-ness an overwhelming amount of people suggest brushing your dogs’ teeth everyday, some even saying twice a day. This was pretty surprising to me, as someone who typically only brushes my dog’s teeth when I see a buildup of tartar. After research I found that my more lax approach can lead to gum disease.

Lastly, and on a more intimate note, your dogs’ smelliness may be linked to IBS or compacted anal glands. If you notice that your pets are gassy, it may be a reaction to their food. Consult your vet for help deciphering what’s causing the flatulence. You may also notice your dogs dragging their butts across the floor; this isn’t exactly a sign that they have to go number two, but rather it’s a sign that their anal glands are impacted. In addition to enshrouding your dogs in a strange odor, impacted anal glands can also be extremely uncomfortable for your four-legged friends. Because this is a more in depth issue, you should definitely make an appointment with your vet for help.

In short, your dogs’ hygiene routine is just as important and extensive as your own. To curb smells, rashes, infections, and discomfort brush your dogs’ teeth before your own, bath them weekly, and don’t forget to check their ears.

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