Peeee-yoouuuuu … what’s that smell?!
A lot of people tend to overlook their pup’s odors, shrugging them off with the excuse: “Hey, he’s a dog. What do you expect?” But, here’s the thing: Healthy and regularly washed dogs don’t smell bad. Sure, if you stick your nose deep into their fur then you’ll notice a slight aroma. But it shouldn’t be unpleasant.
Often time, stinky smells that linger on for weeks on end are a sign that something is wrong. So, if you notice a stench coming from your canine companion then it’s important to figure out what it is. Here are some common reasons dogs stink.
Smelly Bottom? It May Be Anal Gland Issues!
If you’re noticing a putrid, fish-like smell coming from your pup’s bottom then chances are he’s dealing with anal gland issues.
All dogs—no matter their size or breed—have two small sacs located on each side of their anus, sitting at around 4 and 8 o’clock. You’ll hear them referred to as anal sacs or anal glands. Their purpose? They produce an oily and smelly excretion that is used to identify and mark territory. Get this—each dog’s excretion has its own unique and distinct scent. According to the AKC, this fishy-smelling fluid “tells other dogs such things as your dog’s sex, health, and approximate age.”
Usually, your dog’s anal glands drain themselves when your pooch passes a healthy bowel movement of normal consistency. However, poor diet or an inherited biological problem can cause something called Anal Sac Disease (that’s the term used to describe problems with the anal glands).
When anal glands don’t empty properly, they can become inflamed, impacted, and abscessed. This causes a lot of discomfort for your canine. One of the number one signs your dog has Anal Sac Disease? A strong fishy odor coming from your dog’s rear end.
Smelly Tushy? Those Excessive Farts May Need To Be Checked!
A little toot-toot here and there is completely normal. In fact, the sight of a dog waking up confused by his own fart is quite funny. But, if your pup is constantly passing gas that clear a room then it’s time to get checked (especially if those constant farts are coupled with other GI issues).
There are several reasons dogs create excessive and smelly gas, including:
- Poor diet
- Food allergies
- Lack of digestive enzymes
- Intestinal parasites
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
And the list goes on!
Smelly Mouth? It’s Likely Poor Dental Health!
If you were to rate your dog’s dental health on a scale of 1 being the worst to 10 being the best, what would it be? Unfortunately, the majority of adult dogs would be ranked toward the low end of the scale. In fact, according to Dogs Naturally, more than 70 percent of dogs and cats will suffer from periodontal disease (AKA gum disease) by the time they’re just two years old. Unless you take action early on, your dog’s teeth will just worsen with age.
- If your pup’s teeth don’t get any TLC, they will start to build up plaque. And if this isn’t removed, every time your pup bites down into his food, bacteria will start collecting near the gum line.
- If plaque remains on the teeth long enough to harden, it becomes tarter.
- Since tarter irritates the gums, it leads to inflammation (AKA gingivitis). Swollen, red, and even bleeding gums are not normal and need to be checked by a vet immediately.
This all causes some pretty stinky dog breath and can leave your pooch in a lot of pain. Eventually, if poor dental health progresses, the teeth will rot and likely fall out. But it doesn’t end there.
Smelly Ears? It’s Likely Infection!
Has your dog ever suffered from an ear infection? Coming from a family of poodle-lovers, I’m definitely raising my hand on this one. They’re pretty common, especially for dogs with floppy ears. No matter how many you may have dealt with though, it’s always a horrible feeling to watch your pooch whimper as she feverously scratches away at her ear. Plus, doggy ear infections are usually stinky, messy, cause redness/swelling, and very frustrating for everyone involved.
The thing is, when you lift your dog’s earflaps and take a peek inside, there shouldn’t be anything abnormal down in the canals. They shouldn’t smell, look red, or have any discharge or gunk. If there is then it may be time to get checked by your vet.
Smelly Face? It May Be Tear Stains!
Take a look at your dog’s face. Do you notice rust stains running down his snout? Now, lean in. Do they smell? Here’s the thing: Those rusty and sometimes stinky stains are tears.
In order to keep the eyes healthy and lubricated, the body naturally produces tears. When everything is working properly, tears are produced and any excess fluid drains via the tear ducts. In your fur baby, the tear ducts are located near the corner of the eyes. When they are draining properly, the tears will flow from the corner of the eye to the nose. If the natural drainage pathway is either blocked or obstructed, though, the excess tears will flow from the eyes onto the face. The same thing will happen if excessive fluid is produced – any drainage the pathway can’t handle will flow as tears from the eyes. The medical term for this excessive watering of the eyes is epiphor.
Some dogs are more prone to drainage problems and tear stains. Find out more about tear stains HERE!
Smelly Paws? It’s Likely Bacteria!
So, this smell really isn’t anything to worry about (as long as it isn’t paired with paw gnawing). But I still thought it was worth mentioning!
Have you ever smelled your dog’s paws and noticed a certain aroma? Some people say it smells like Fritos / corn chips. Then, there’s my husband who says our Chihuahua’s paws smell like cheesy popcorn. However you describe it, you likely know the exact smell I’m referring to. Turns out, that smell is bacteria.
There are many types of bacteria living on your dog’s paws. Just think about all the different things your dog’s paws touch on a daily basis. There are many ways bacteria get onto Fido’s paws. But, experts say, when it comes to Frito Paws, one of the biggest culprits is sweat.
You see, unlike people, your canine companions release heat through panting, as well as glands located in their paw pads. That sweat becomes trapped in the hair on your dog’s feet. The combination of moisture and little-to-no air circulation in the toe folds of your dog’s paws creates a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive and grow.
While there are many different types, the particular bacteria that reportedly produces that famous yeast-like smell is called either Pseudomonas or Proteus.