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How to Prevent Dog Body Odor


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Anyone who’s ever lived with a dog knows that dogs often don’t smell like a rose garden. How many times have you crouched down to love on your furry friends only to be knocked back by the cloud of stink that surrounds them. “What in the world have you been up to?” you ask. You plug your nose, your eyes start watering, and you change whatever plans you had because it is bath time!


Dogs stink sometimes; that’s just a fact of life. But it’s important to figure out why your pooch smells as funky as the back of a garbage truck and to do whatever you can to keep that from happening. Your dog may or may not care what he smells like, but you should, and you can be assured that your friends and family care, if you ever expect them to come over for dinner or to watch the big game. In addition, sometimes your dog’s offensive odor is telling you that something’s wrong, uncomfortably or even seriously wrong. So, don’t ignore your dog’s stink. Your dog might need your help.



Causes and Prevention of Dog Body Odor


Accumulated dirt from not having a bath and being brushed or from rolling in something like poop, garbage, or the remains of a dead animal

  • Things to avoid

    • Counterintuitively, you might want to avoid dog shampoos with heavy perfumes. Many dogs find these smells offensive, so they’ll roll in something – dirt, poop, dead animal – to cover up the perfume smell.

    • Don’t let your dog run free if he has a tendency to roll in smelly things.

  • Proactive Steps that Can be Taken

  • Groom your dog on a regular basis. Ask your vet about how often your dog’s breed should be bathed.

  • Keep your dog’s environment clean. On a regular basis, pick up dog poop and anything else in the yard that might be smelly.


Anal glands might be inflamed, impacted, infected, and/or oozing

  • Things to Avoid

    • Foods that cause soft stools or diarrhea in your dog

    • Frightening, stressful situations, which may cause your dog’s anal glands to ooze or empty spontaneously

  • Proactive Steps that Can be Taken

    • Give your dog high fiber dietary supplements. This will help your dog have bulkier, firmer bowel movements, which usually help your dog’s anal glands empty on their own on a regular basis so there isn’t a build up over time.

    • Do your best to keep your dog at a healthy weight as obese dog’s tend to have more problems with their anal glands.


Yeast (fungal) or Bacterial Infection

  • Things to Avoid

    • Prolonged use of antibiotics and corticosteroids

    • Exposure to other animals with fungal or bacterial infections

  • Proactive Steps that Can be Taken

    • Feed your dog food that doesn’t cause allergic reactions. If your vet suggest that your dog may be allergic to wheat, feed a food without wheat.

    • Keep your dog’s favorite blanket, bed, cushion, etc. clean

    • Separate pets with active infections from other pets


Problems with teeth and gums (like gum disease) or bad breath, which can spread odor from the mouth to the dog’s coat from licking

  • Things to avoid

    • Feeding your dog table scraps

    • Allowing your dog access to an area with a cat box as dog’s will often eat cat poop

  • Proactive Steps that Can be Taken

    • Brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis with a veterinarian approved toothpaste formulated specifically for dogs.

    • Have your dog’s dental health checked out by your vet on a regular basis to catch problems early. Dogs sometimes need professional teeth cleaning just like you do.

    • Keep your yard cleaned up and garbage and cat litter box secured, so your dog doesn’t eat poop, dead animals, or trash.


Rarely, some serious illnesses such as kidney disease, cancer, and diabetes can result in a dog having an offensive odor

  • These causes likely won’t be considered by your veterinarian until all the common causes have been excluded as the cause of the odor.


Effects of Prevention

  • Healthier, more comfortable dog

  • Longer lifespan for your dog

  • Preventing routine conditions from becoming serious

  • Lower vet bills

  • You will have a cleaner, healthier, and more pleasant living environment for everyone in your family.



Sometimes dogs just stink. If you were covered in fur, spent a lot of time in the backyard and lying on the floor, and went weeks without a bath, you’d smell too. But there is a lot that can be done to keep your dog from smelly up your car and house. The vast majority of dog body odor can be avoided just by keeping your dog’s environment clean and hygienic and your dog in general good health. Generally a healthy dog, while she may acquire a foul odor from external sources, such as rolling in or eating gross stuff, won’t produce her own odor from within. Foul odor, which actually has your dog’s body as its source, is a sign that something is wrong. So don’t let your dog be the one that stinks up the place. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” even when it comes to your smelly dog.





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