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9 Reasons Why Your Dog Smells – And How To Fix It

9 Reasons Why Your Dog Smells – And How To Fix It

You love many things about your dog but the way he smells isn’t always one of them. If you’re wondering why dog smells have become an unpleasant part of your existence, there are a few reasons. The biggest reasons dogs stink boil down to poor hygiene which creates smelly ears and that strange Frito or corn chip odor, for instance. It also contributes to lingering dog smell in your house and car.

To keep ahead of dog smell you need to pick the right products for the job, learn what causes odors and how to fix any underlying causes of unpleasant dog smells. Whether you choose a top-notch product like Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Shampoo or explore one of the natural DIY solutions to keeping your dog clean, this article will give your nose an edge in the fight against dog odor.

Our Pick
Nature's Miracle Natural Shed Control Dog Shampoo & Conditioner | Chewy

This unique deshedding shampoo helps control shedding before it happens. Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Shed Control Shampoo and Conditioner works to keep your dog fresh and clean. 

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Problem 1: Your Dog’s Breath Smells Like Fish

Bad dog breath has a few causes. Some of them are more serious than others. That’s why, first and foremost, you must let your vet know about any health concerns with your dog.

Some people complain that their dog’s breath has a fishy smell or even a urine odor. Any dog breath smell should be addressed.

Your dog may have smelly breath because of bacteria in his mouth. In this case, he needs a tooth cleaning. If the situation is advanced, bad breath can indicate tooth decay, infection or gum problems. Give your vet a call.

Your dog’s breath may have a fishy smell because of more serious issues like lung bacteria. The same way your breath can smell when you are fighting a cold, congestion can cause stinky dog breath. Check in with your veterinarian if the condition persists.

On some occasions, your dog’s bad breath could signify gastrointestinal problems or even issues with organ function. This problem is harder to diagnose by yourself, which is why it’s a great idea to call your vet about any unusual smells on your dog’s breath.

Diabetes can also cause bad breath in dogs but your vet can explore this through a blood test to rule it out. Unless your dog just ate fishy dog food, they should not have a fishy smell. Ever.

Products To Freshen Your Dog’s Breath

If you get a clean bill of health from your vet but your dog still has offensive breath, there are some products you can use to help.

The truth is, any dog treat or chew will scrape tartar off your dog’s teeth. That means that most healthy chews can help with bad dog breath. They’re not all specialized for the job, but treats like Bandit’s Biscuits are safely abrasive and will manually remove some gunk from your dog’s mouth.

Bandit's Biscuits All Natural Healthy Grain Free Dog Treats Peanut Butter Dog Cookies | Amazon

Bandit's Biscuits contain no Grains which means they are great for dogs with grain sensitivity or allergies.

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Similarly, Greenies Dental Dog Treats can improve your dog’s breath. These treats are specifically formulated to improve a dog’s dental health. Therefore, they are generally more effective than other chews. Take great care to choose the right size Greenies for your dog.

The company that makes Greenies employs a new formula and the treats dissolve far better than they did initially. If you remember reports in the news about dogs choking on Greenies, those treats did have problems dissolving. The issue is resolved and the treats are considered safe by veterinarians and many pet owners.

If you prefer a good old-fashioned wrestle with your dog, try brushing her teeth! Kidding aside, many vets recommend brushing your dog’s teeth frequently. If you can do it daily, that’s best. If you can’t manage a brush everyday, do it as often as you can. Something like the Pet Republique dog toothbrush is shaped in a helpful way so you can reach all of the parts of your dog’s mouth. The company also makes a finger toothbrush that is much easier for some dog owners to work with.

You obviously need something to put on the toothbrush. Never use human toothpaste on your dog. Try something like Sentry that is formulated specifically for dogs.

Pet Republique Dog Toothbrush | Amazon
$5.99 ($2.00 / Count)

The finger toothbrushes are more comfortable for your pets, thus give you an easier process for cleaning your pet’s teeth.

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11/30/2022 07:37 am GMT

Problem 2: Your Dog’s Ears Stink

Do you share your life with a cocker spaniel or a similarly floppy eared dog? If so, you know all about the smell that can come from a dog’s ears. That smell isn’t just gross; it’s a sign of a yeast infection or bacterial infection.

The good news is you can usually fix smelly dog ears with a good cleaning at the first sign of trouble. Start by asking your veterinarian to show you how to clean your dog’s ears. You can use a commercial cleaner like Zymox or EcoEars to make your own dog ear cleaner with one part vinegar and two parts water. Always consult with your veterinarian first to rule out ear infections before taking matters into your own hands.

Some breeds are more prone to yeast overgrowth and need more frequent ear cleaning than others. If your dog swims a lot or has floppy or hairy ears, talk with your vet about how often you should clean them. Keeping them free of gunk and debris can stave off infections. If the smell persists or gets worse, your dog needs the doctor.

Problem 3: There’s Dog Smell In The Car

Even if your dog smells fine inside a large space like your house, you may need to figure out how to get rid of dog body odor in your car. Obviously, step one is to clean your dog. Then it’s time for some products to help rid your car of dog smell.

Febreze makes a formula just for pet odors and a spritz in your car should eliminate odors. Another good idea to keep your car smelling fresh is to wash your seat covers. You can also regularly launder any blankets you keep in the car that your dog sits on.

Febreze Fabric Refresher, Pet Odor Eliminator | Amazon

Perfect to use weekly on soft surfaces including furniture upholstery and rugs/carpets or simply to give your clothing a needed refresh. Add to your regular cleaning routine for whole-home freshness. 

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Toss in some of my favorite pet product: Nature’s Miracle with your pet laundry. It eliminates odors like an expert and comes in different formulas to tackle different smells. I’ll come back to this when we discuss eliminating the smell of puppy accidents.

Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover for Dogs | Amazon
$39.99 ($0.31 / Fl Oz)

This is tough on dog urine, feces, vomit, drool and other organic stains and odors. The bacteria-based formula produces enzymes when in contact with bio-based messes to target spot stains and odors while freshening with a light, citrus scent.

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11/30/2022 07:53 am GMT

Problem 4: Your House Smells Like Your Dog

Wondering how to get dog smell out of the house? If your house smells like dog, bring that Febreze inside and spritz a bit. You can also try products like incense, but heavy odors could irritate your dog. If you are going to use a fragrance to mask dog odor, try to find a pet friendly one and make sure your dog doesn’t seem distressed.

Even better, let your dog out for some time in the yard while you clean and freshen.

Wash any furniture covers in something like Nature’s Miracle and keep your carpet as clean as possible. Investing in something like the Bissell Power Lifter will save you lots of time and keep your home smelling great.

Problem 5: Your Stinky Dog Needs A Bath

As I said earlier, one of the easiest ways to keep your surroundings smelling great is to keep your smelly dog clean. If you can afford to pay a groomer for regular visits to reduce body odor, that’s an easy option. If you can’t or simply like to clean your dog at home where she’s comfortable, you need to pick one of the best smelling dog shampoo brands to help.

The best smelling dog shampoo is good for your dog’s skin. It will also help with dog odors, as you get a good scrub in between the skin folds. Additionally, keeping your dog clean is healthy because it eliminates bacteria and debris that builds up while your dog plays.

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo is an excellent choice because it is hypoallergenic. The oatmeal in it will soothe any skin irritations your dog has, too.

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Conditioning Spray for Dogs & Cats is one of the best dog sprays because it deodorizes and contains a detangler to help with grooming long-haired breeds.

Be sure to dry your dog well after giving him or her a bath. The wet dog smell is another bad odor that hits pet parents right in the nasal cavity. This one, however, is pretty easy to prevent!

Problem 6: Puppy Accidents- Your House Smells Like Pee

Nothing tickles the olfactory receptors quite like pet urine. The best way to clean up puppy urine is to start right away, blot profusely, and then deep clean. As soon as you see your dog pee on the floor, blot or wipe it up. Either spray it with a product like Nature’s Miracle No More Marking Pet Stain & Odor RemoverWoolite Pet Stain & Odor Remover or Sunny & Honey Pet Stain & Odor Miracle, or break out your Bissell and some BUBBA’S Super Steamer Carpet Cleaner.

Diligence and the right products are the keys to a nice smelling home. It’s also a great idea to open your windows for air circulation. If you can’t manage that, try an air purifier or purifier spray! They truly work wonders on dander and keeping the air fresh and clear of urine related odor.

Problem 7: Your Dog Smells Like Corn Chips

If you’ve ever wondered, why does my dog smell like Fritos or corn chips, you’re not alone. A lot of dog owners get the scent of corn chip smells near their dog. This is completely natural.

You have bacteria on your skin and, like humans, so does your dog. Some of the bacteria on your dog, namely Proteus and Pseudomonas, emits a yeasty odor. This makes people think of corn chips and that’s how this legend was born.

This particular smell often comes from dog feet. Regular washes will keep this strange body odor under control.

I can’t help your nose never feels the same way about corn chips ever again though, I’m sorry.

Problem 8: Your Dog Smells Like Poop

It’s time to talk about anal glands.

Your dog has ’em and you have to help out with a bit of maintenance. While most dogs manage to naturally expel any build up in their anal glands, some need regular assistance. Your vet or groomer can manually stimulate the anal sacs to expel these glands.

If you want to learn how to stimulate the anal sacs this yourself, ask your vet to teach you.

Many dog owners notice a slightly skunky smell around their dogs when it’s time for this type of grooming. Others smell fecal odors that get blamed on dog farts.

While we’re on the subject, keeping your dog well groomed will also cut down on any soiled fur that’s potty related. If you’re wondering why your dog smells like poop, it’s because your dog can’t exactly reach to wipe.

Problem 9: Finding Natural Ways To Clean Your Dog

If you’d like to clean your dog without commercial shampoos, you’re in the right place. It’s easy to mix up natural, pet safe cleaner.

Try this recipe for natural oatmeal dog shampoo that only contains three ingredients. Another great DIY dog shampoo uses castile soap as a base. Just be careful with any homemade pet care products that contain essential oils. For example, something like lavender should be safe for your dog but tea tree oil is not.

Natural products, like baking soda, not only help keep the bad smell away, but they can be great for keeping skin infection away, keeping skin healthy and reducing pet dander. The latter is especially important if you have any allergies.

Speaking of allergies, always research any essential oils before using them on your dog. Keep an eye out for any reactions that might be a result of allergies or sensitivities. Keeping your nose happy isn’t as important as keeping your dog safe.

So Fresh And So Clean

Keeping your dog, car, and home clean will cut down on most pet odors. Some dog smells, however, mean it’s time for a trip to the veterinarian. If you aren’t sure, it’s always the safest to call and ask. Your veterinarian is there to help you provide the best care for your dog.

There are many great products on the market for pet odors. My top pick is Nature’s Miracle. I also love those little finger toothbrushes because they’re so darn cute. Try a few of these products because they’ll make it so much easier to keep your life fresh and clean.

Our Pick
Nature's Miracle Natural Shed Control Dog Shampoo & Conditioner | Chewy

This unique deshedding shampoo helps control shedding before it happens. Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Shed Control Shampoo and Conditioner works to keep your dog fresh and clean. 

Check Price
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Whether you use commercial products or things like DIY dog shampoo, keep up with your cleaning chores and use the facts from this article to combat specific dog odors at the source.

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends so they can clean their smelly dogs! Just remember, if your human sense of smell is what it is, consider how bad your dog feels since their sense of smell is that much stronger.

Continue reading:

Best Dog Shampoo for Puppies

Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs Guide

What to Look for in a Dog Groomer

Sleekez vs. Furminator: Which Dog Deshedding Grooming Tool is Better? (Complete Review)

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