A bad smell is common in dogs, and most people take it to be OK. Most pet owners will confess that they’re used to the bad odor from their dogs' paws and their foul breath. Certain odors are normal and caused by natural body processes.
However, the bad odor could mean that your dog has some serious health issues. Before you take your dog to the vet, here are the probable reasons why your dog smells bad.
1. Dental problems
Just like with humans, dental problems are the prime cause of bad breath in dogs. This is because of the buildup of tar and plaque on teeth. Certain breeds are more prone to bad breath, as their gums tend to hide small bits of food.
2. Skin infections
A bad odor is the first sign of skin infection. The smell is sweet but offensive and coupled with flaking of skin, itching and thinning of hair.
3. Ear infections
The bad smell could also be due to an ear infection. These are mainly caused by allergies or the abnormal buildup of yeast and bacteria in the ear. The recurrence of such infections is more common with breeds that have hairy and floppy ears.
4. Impacted anal sacks
Issues with the dog’s anal glands could cause a really bad smell. Some people associate the smell with rotten fish. The smell could be because of infections of the sacks. The odor is so strong that it is left on every place the dog lies on.
Recurring flatulence is an indicator of intestinal problems. In other cases, it may just be a dietary problem.
Understanding the different kinds of odor
The different scents indicate different issues. A sweet or fruity scent is an indicator of diabetes, while breath that mimics the scent of urine could mean that the dog has a kidney or bladder infection.
When the smell is followed by a lack of appetite and vomiting, it could signal a liver issue.
Tips to prevent bad odors
The bad smell could be because the dog has rolled in something stinky. Bathing it with a cleaner and shampoo will remove the odor. Remember to use shampoos that are specially formulated for dogs. Baths also remove hidden dirt and oils that may cause bad smells.
Daily ear cleaning
This removes dirt and prevents the buildup of yeast.
Brush your dog’s teeth every day
Teeth-brushing removes the plaque that causes bad breath. Make sure to use a brush and toothpaste that are specially formulated for dogs.
Choose a healthy diet
The root cause of excessive yeast buildup is a bad diet. To remedy this, avoid a diet that is rich in carbohydrates. When you suspect that a certain diet is causing the dog to smell bad, change it. For starters, feed the dog high-quality and easily digestible food. A diet rich in plant-based fatty acid works to cure skin infections.
If the smell does not go even after these measures, visit the vet for a professional check-up.