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Reasons Your Dog Smells Bad

By: | Updated: October 26, 2019

If you’re wondering why your dogs giving off bad smells, you’re not alone. As cute and fluffy as dogs are, just like many other animals they have the undesirable ability to give off foul smells and odors. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the reasons behind dogs foul smells, and ways you can try to reduce them.

Why Do Dogs Smell Bad?

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question and there’s a variety of different reasons your dog could be giving off foul smells. Let’s jump right in and take a look at some of the possible reasons for your dog’s foul smells.

Wet Dog Smell

This is one of the most common foul smells that occur in dogs, often prevalent after you’ve taken them for a walk. If your dog loves to swim, this is probably a smell that you’re all too familiar with.

So why exactly do dogs smell so bad after they’ve got wet? This is down to microorganisms that live in a dogs coat. When the dog’s fur is dry, they don’t release much of a smell. However, when your dog gets wet foul odors are released.

Bad Breath

Just like us humans, dogs are susceptible to bad smelling breath. The difference between dogs and us is that we’re often conscious of our bad breath, and what might lead to it. This is definitely not the case for dogs.

Some of the common causes of bad breathe can include poor oral hygiene, dietary habits, and even disease. If the smell given off by your dog breathe is cause for concern, we’d recommend getting it checked out by your vet.

Ears and Skin

Unfortunately, infections in your dog’s ears or skin could also be causing odors and foul smells. It’s common for an infected ear to build-up yeast, which has its own smell. Alternatively, dogs can also get bacterial ear infections which can actually smell worse than yeast infections.

If you find your dogs skin is smelling bad, Dr. Michael Dym feels there’s many possible reasons including bacteria build up, allergies or even hormonal disease. With a range of potential reasons for foul-smelling skin, it’s always best to get your dog checked by a professional.


If you find that your dog passing gas that smells awful, this could be down to poor eating habbits. Other tell tale signs include vomit and diarrhea. Unfortunately, it could also be down to an underlying health issue. So if you’re worried about the foul smells your dog is passing don’t ignore it, get it checked out.

Providing your dogs foul-smelling gas isn’t down to an underlying health problem, it could be due to intolerances within its current diet. We’d always recommend talking to your vet before making drastic changes to your dog’s diet.

Reducing Dogs Bad Smells

a happy looking dog

Before trying to implement any preventive measures yourself, always get your dog checked by your vet. As we mentioned previously, foul smells could be the sign of an underlying health condition.

Providing your dogs foul smell aren’t caused by any underlying health conditions, here’s a few tips we’ve got for helping to improve your dogs foul smells:

Regular Bathing & Cleaning

Just like for humans, cleaning your dog is key to maintaining good hygiene. We’d recommend routinely bathing your dog, using a nice smelling dog shampoo can also help to prevent foul odors. Using a dog ear cleaner routinely can also work to prevent infection.

Brushing Your Dogs Teeth

Brushing your dog’s teeth is key to helping it maintain good oral hygiene. We’d recommend you use a toothpaste designed for dogs to help reduce plaque and keeping your dogs teeth clean.

Consider Diet

Your dog may be passing gas and loose stools due to the fact it has a sensitive stomach and reacts badly to an ingredient in its food. Providing you’ve run it by your vet, changing your dogs food for example to a grain-free diet could help with this.


Dealing with foul smells are just part of being a dog owner. That said, they can be the sign of an underlying health condition. Part of being a responsible owner involves getting your dog checked by a vet if you have concerns. By implementing some of the tips above you won’t be able to prevent every bad smell, but it might help you find the causes of some.

About the Author:

Serena is the content publisher for Daydreamdog and a life long dog lover. Between walking them, writing about them and spending too much time liking pictures of them on Instagram, her day literally revolves around dogs! If you want to learn more about Serena click here.