Why Does Your Dog Smell so Bad? How to Get Rid of That Dog Smell for Good

By Amber Smith
Sep 28, 2023 3:00 AMSep 29, 2023 1:04 AM
Pupper Shampoo (1)


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Understanding the causes behind your dog's unpleasant odor is crucial for both their well-being and your sanity. Over 50% of dog owners report that their dogs have a noticeable smell. Dogs can develop a variety of odors, and identifying the source is the first step toward finding a solution. Approximately 85% of dogs have a natural odor that can become stronger with poor hygiene. Several factors contribute to your dog's less-than-pleasant scent, including diet, hygiene, and potential health issues.

A poor diet can lead to digestive problems in dogs, resulting in foul-smelling gas or body odor. The primary cause of dog odor is the presence of bacteria on their skin and coat. Inadequate hygiene practices, such as infrequent bathing or neglecting dental care, can also contribute to an unpleasant smell. Underlying health issues like skin infections or anal gland problems may be the culprit behind your dog's odor. Dogs with skin conditions or allergies are more likely to have a stronger odor.

To ensure that you and your furry friend enjoy a fresh-smelling environment, it's important to address the root cause of their odor.

Products to Get Rid of That Dog Smell For Good

Common causes of a smelly dog

Poor oral hygiene can lead to bad breath and overall body odor in dogs.

Neglecting your dog's dental care can result in some serious stinkiness. Just like humans, dogs need regular teeth brushing to keep their breath fresh and their mouths healthy. If your furry friend has bad breath, it could be a sign of dental problems such as gum disease or tooth decay. These conditions can cause bacteria to build up, leading to an unpleasant odor. So, make sure you brush your pup's teeth regularly and schedule regular check-ups with the vet for professional cleanings if needed.

Skin infections caused by bacteria or yeast are common culprits for foul-smelling dogs.

If your dog has a persistent foul odor that seems to emanate from their skin, it could be due to a bacterial or yeast infection. These infections can occur when there is an imbalance in the natural flora on your dog's skin, allowing harmful microorganisms to thrive. Dogs with allergies or compromised immune systems are more susceptible to these types of infections. Symptoms may include redness, itching, hair loss, and excessive scratching. It's important to seek veterinary care if you suspect a skin infection so that appropriate treatment can be administered.

Certain breeds are more prone to having an odor due to their skin folds or excessive oil production.

Certain dog breeds, such as Basset Hounds and Bloodhounds, are genetically predisposed to having a stronger smell. Breeds with lots of skin folds, such as Bulldogs or Shar-Peis, are prone to developing moisture and bacteria within those folds. This can lead to a distinct smell if not properly cleaned and dried regularly. Regular bathing can help reduce dog odor, but excessive bathing can strip the skin of natural oils and worsen the smell. 

Certain breeds have naturally higher oil production in their skin glands which can contribute to an oily coat and an unpleasant smell over time. Regular grooming and cleaning routines tailored for these specific breeds can help alleviate the odor issue.

To combat the smelly dog problem:

  • Establish a regular dental care routine for your dog, including brushing their teeth and providing appropriate chew toys.

  • Keep an eye out for any signs of skin infections, such as redness or excessive scratching, and seek veterinary care if necessary.

  • For breeds with skin folds, make sure to clean and dry those areas thoroughly during grooming sessions to prevent bacterial growth.

  • Consider using specialized shampoos or wipes designed to control odor and maintain a healthy coat.

Remember, it's essential to address the underlying causes of your dog's unpleasant odor rather than just masking it with fragrances. By taking proactive steps to improve their oral hygiene, treat any skin infections, and provide breed-specific care, you can help your furry friend smell fresh and clean again!

Addressing bad breath in dogs

Regular brushing and dental care can go a long way in combating bad breath in dogs. Just like humans, dogs need proper oral hygiene to keep their breath fresh and their teeth healthy.

Regular brushing and dental care

One of the most effective ways to tackle bad breath in dogs is by regularly brushing their teeth. You can use a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to gently clean their teeth and gums. Aim for at least two to three times a week, if not daily, to maintain good oral hygiene.

In addition to brushing, there are other dental care options available for dogs. Dental chews or treats designed specifically for promoting oral health can help reduce plaque buildup and freshen your dog's breath. Look for products with ingredients like chlorhexidine or enzymes that help combat bacteria.

Dental diseases as a cause

Sometimes, bad breath in dogs may be an indication of underlying dental diseases. Gum infections or tooth decay can lead to persistent halitosis (bad breath) that doesn't go away with regular brushing alone. If you notice severe odor or other signs of dental issues such as swollen gums, bleeding, or loose teeth, it's essential to consult your veterinarian.

Your vet will be able to examine your dog's mouth thoroughly and determine if any dental diseases are causing the unpleasant smell. They may recommend further treatment options such as professional dental cleanings or extractions if necessary.

Professional dental cleanings

For severe cases of halitosis or advanced dental diseases, professional dental cleanings may be necessary. These cleanings are typically performed under anesthesia by a veterinarian who specializes in dentistry.

During the cleaning procedure, the vet will remove tartar buildup from your dog's teeth using specialized tools. They will also check for any signs of gum disease or other oral health issues that require attention.

Professional cleanings not only improve your dog's breath but also play a crucial role in maintaining their overall health. Dental diseases can lead to pain, infection, and even systemic health problems if left untreated.

Tips for preventing foul odors in dogs

Regular bathing with appropriate shampoos is key to eliminating unwanted smells from your furry friend. Not only does it keep them clean, but it also helps to remove dirt, oils, and odor-causing bacteria from their coat. Remember to use dog-specific shampoos as human products can be too harsh for their sensitive skin.

Maintaining good grooming habits is another effective way to reduce foul odors in dogs. Regular brushing helps to remove loose hair and prevents matting, which can trap dirt and odors. Trimming your dog's hair, especially around the ears and paws, can help minimize the accumulation of odor-causing bacteria.

Environmental factors, such as a dog's living conditions or exposure to certain odors, can also affect their smell. Regular grooming, including brushing and trimming, can help remove dirt and debris that contribute to the odor.

In addition to external care, providing a balanced diet with high-quality ingredients plays a crucial role in preventing unpleasant odors. Just like humans, what dogs eat can affect their body odor. Feeding them a nutritious diet that meets their specific dietary needs will support overall health and minimize any unpleasant smells they may emit.

Opt for high-quality brands that use real meat as the primary ingredient. Avoid foods that contain fillers or artificial additives as these can contribute to digestive issues and stronger odors. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet plan for your dog based on factors such as age, breed, and any underlying health conditions.

Proper dental care is also essential in keeping bad breath at bay and preventing foul odors in dogs. Regularly brushing your dog's teeth using toothpaste formulated specifically for pets helps remove plaque buildup and reduces the risk of gum disease or tooth decay. Providing chew toys or dental treats designed to promote oral hygiene can help freshen their breath and maintain good dental health.

While these tips are helpful in preventing foul odors in dogs, it's important to remember that each pup is unique. Some breeds naturally have stronger odors than others, and certain health conditions can contribute to unpleasant smells. If you notice a persistent or unusually strong odor coming from your dog, it's best to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues.

By following these tips and incorporating them into your dog's care routine, you can minimize foul odors and keep your furry friend smelling fresh and clean.

Treating and preventing anal gland issues

Anal glands can sometimes be the culprit behind that funky smell emanating from your furry friend's rear end. These small sacs, located on either side of the anus, secrete a pungent fluid that dogs use for marking territory or communicating with other canines. However, when these glands become impacted or infected, they can lead to strong odors that are hard to ignore.

Impacted or Infected Anal Glands

When a dog's anal glands fail to empty properly during bowel movements, they can become impacted. This occurs when the fluid inside the glands thickens and cannot flow out naturally. As a result, pressure builds up within the sacs, causing discomfort and potentially leading to infection. The odor associated with impacted anal glands is often described as fishy or metallic.

Expressing the Anal Glands

One way to address anal gland issues and prevent odor problems is by manually expressing the anal glands. This process involves applying gentle pressure around the anus to release the fluid trapped within the sacs. While it may sound unpleasant, many groomers and veterinarians are skilled in performing this procedure safely and effectively.

Expressing the anal glands regularly helps prevent impaction and reduces the likelihood of infection. It is especially crucial for dogs who have recurring issues with their anal glands. If you're unsure about how to express your dog's anal glands yourself, it's best to seek professional assistance.

Regular Bowel Movements

Another natural way for dogs to empty their anal glands is through regular bowel movements. When dogs defecate, firm stool puts pressure on the anal glands, helping them release their contents naturally. Ensuring that your dog has healthy bowel movements can play a significant role in preventing anal gland issues and minimizing foul odors.

Dietary Changes

Dietary adjustments can also contribute to preventing anal gland problems in dogs. Adding fiber-rich foods to your dog's diet can promote firmer stools, making it easier for the anal glands to empty properly. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount and type of fiber to include in your dog's meals.

Managing canine skin infections to eliminate bad smells

Skin infections can be a major cause of that unpleasant odor coming from your furry friend. These infections can be caused by allergies, parasites, or other factors that require proper diagnosis and treatment. Here are some key points to consider.

Skin Infections Caused by Allergies, Parasites, or Other Factors

One common cause of skin infections in dogs is allergies. Just like humans, dogs can have allergic reactions to certain foods, environmental factors such as pollen or dust mites, or even flea bites. These allergies can lead to inflammation and itching, which in turn can create an environment ideal for bacterial growth on the skin. Parasites like fleas or mites can also contribute to skin infections if left untreated.

Proper Diagnosis and Treatment

To effectively manage canine skin infections and combat the accompanying bad smells, it's crucial to get a proper diagnosis from a veterinarian. They will examine your dog's skin closely and may perform tests such as skin scrapings or allergy tests to identify the underlying cause of the infection. Once the cause is determined, appropriate treatment can be prescribed.

Regular Bathing with Medicated Shampoos

Regular bathing plays a significant role in controlling bacterial growth on the skin and reducing bad odors associated with skin infections. Your veterinarian may recommend using medicated shampoos specifically formulated for treating bacterial or fungal infections. These shampoos help eliminate bacteria on the surface of the skin while soothing any irritation or inflammation.

Treating Underlying Conditions

In addition to addressing the infection itself, treating underlying conditions like allergies is essential for the long-term management of canine skin infections. By identifying and minimizing exposure to allergens that trigger allergic reactions in your dog, you can reduce inflammation and minimize associated odors.

  • Pro tip: Consult with your veterinarian about potential allergens in your dog's environment and explore options for allergen avoidance or immunotherapy.

  • Pro tip: In severe cases, your veterinarian may prescribe medications such as antihistamines or corticosteroids to help control allergies and reduce inflammation.

By effectively managing canine skin infections through proper diagnosis, treatment, regular bathing with medicated shampoos, and addressing underlying conditions like allergies, you can eliminate those bad smells and keep your furry friend smelling fresh and clean.

Products to Get Rid of That Dog Smell For Good

If you've ever wondered, "Why does my dog smell so bad?" then Pupper Shampoo might just be the solution you're looking for. This specially formulated shampoo is designed to eliminate unpleasant odors and leave your furry friend smelling fresh and clean. With its gentle yet effective ingredients, Pupper Shampoo can help tackle the root cause of that funky smell.


  • Contains natural ingredients that are safe for your dog's skin and coat.

  • Helps to soothe irritated skin and reduce itching.

  • Leaves a long-lasting fresh scent on your dog's fur.

  • Easy to use with a rich lather that rinses off easily.


  • May not completely eliminate strong odors in some cases.

  • Not suitable for dogs with severe skin conditions without consulting a veterinarian first.

Another potential solution to combatting that lingering dog smell is Penguin CBD Dog Oil. This oil is specifically formulated for dogs and contains high-quality CBD extract derived from hemp plants. It offers multiple benefits, including reducing inflammation, calming anxiety, and promoting overall well-being in your furry companion.


  • Can help alleviate skin irritation and reduce excessive shedding.

  • Promotes relaxation and may help calm anxious or nervous dogs.

  • Supports joint health and mobility in older dogs.


  • Results may vary depending on the individual dog's response to CBD oil.

  • It's essential to consult with a veterinarian before introducing any new supplements into your dog's routine.

Our Criteria For Selecting the Best Products to Get Rid of That Dog Smell For Good

Product Effectiveness, Safety, and User Reviews

We take several factors into consideration. First and foremost, we look at product effectiveness. We want to make sure that the odor control products we recommend actually work in eliminating those unpleasant odors. Nobody wants a product that claims to get rid of the stench but falls short of delivering results.

In addition to effectiveness, safety is another crucial criterion for us. We prioritize products that are safe for both pets and humans. Our furry friends mean the world to us, so it's essential that any odor control product we suggest doesn't pose any harm or risk to their health. We thoroughly research each product's ingredients and ensure they are non-toxic and pet-friendly.

To further validate our choices, we also consider user reviews. Real-life experiences from other dog owners provide valuable insights into how well these products perform in real-world situations. Positive feedback from satisfied customers helps build trust in the product's efficacy and reliability.

Quality Ingredients That Neutralize Odors

Quality ingredients play a vital role. We look for products that contain ingredients specifically designed to neutralize odors rather than merely masking them temporarily.

One such ingredient is activated charcoal or carbon, which has excellent odor-absorbing properties. It works by trapping odor molecules within its porous structure, effectively eliminating unwanted smells from your home or your furry friend.

Another effective ingredient is enzymatic cleaners. These specialized enzymes break down organic compounds responsible for odors at a molecular level, ensuring long-lasting freshness without leaving behind any residue or harmful chemicals.

Long-lasting Effects and Ease of Use

We understand the importance of finding an odor-control product that provides long-lasting effects. Nobody wants to constantly reapply or use multiple products to keep the dog smell at bay. That's why we prioritize products that offer extended freshness and odor control, ensuring you can enjoy a clean and fresh-smelling environment for an extended period.

Ease of use is another crucial factor we consider when selecting these products. We want to make sure that using the recommended product is hassle-free and convenient for dog owners. Whether it's a spray, a plug-in device, or a cleaning solution, we look for options that are user-friendly and require minimal effort to achieve maximum results.

By considering product effectiveness, safety, user reviews, quality ingredients that neutralize odors, long-lasting effects, and ease of use, we ensure that the odor control products we recommend will help you say goodbye to that unpleasant dog smell once and for all.


In conclusion, there are several common causes for why your dog may smell bad. These can range from dental issues causing bad breath to anal gland problems and skin infections. Addressing these underlying issues is crucial in eliminating foul odors in dogs. There are various products available in the market that can help get rid of that dog smell for good.

To prevent your dog from smelling bad, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene by regularly brushing their teeth and addressing any dental issues promptly. Regularly expressing the anal glands and keeping an eye out for signs of infection or irritation on their skin is also essential. Moreover, using high-quality shampoos and conditioners specifically designed for dogs can help manage their skin health and eliminate unpleasant odors.

If you're looking for effective products to combat your dog's odor problem, consider our carefully selected criteria when choosing the best ones. Our criteria include effectiveness, safety, ingredients, user reviews, and value for money. By following these guidelines and taking proactive measures to address the root causes of your dog's bad smell, you can ensure a fresh-smelling furry friend that will bring joy to both you and those around you.


Q1: How often should I brush my dog's teeth?

Dental hygiene plays a significant role in preventing bad breath, which contributes to the overall smell of a dog. Regular brushing is recommended at least two to three times a week to maintain good oral hygiene for your dog. However, certain breeds may require more frequent brushing due to their susceptibility to dental issues.

Q2: Can I express my dog's anal glands at home?

While it is possible to express your dog's anal glands at home with proper guidance from a veterinarian or professional groomer, it is generally recommended to have it done by a trained individual to avoid injury or infection.

Q3: What are some signs of a canine skin infection?

Signs of a canine skin infection may include redness, itching, swelling, hair loss in affected areas, sores, scabs, or a foul odor. If you suspect your dog has a skin infection, it is best to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Q4: Are there any natural remedies for eliminating dog odor?

There are some natural remedies that can help reduce dog odor, such as regular bathing with mild shampoos, using baking soda as a dry shampoo, or adding apple cider vinegar to their bathwater. However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before trying any home remedies.

Q5: Can diet affect my dog's smell?

A balanced diet with high-quality ingredients can improve a dog's overall scent. Feeding them high-quality food that meets their nutritional needs can contribute to healthier skin and coat, resulting in reduced odors. It is advisable to consult with a veterinarian regarding the best diet for your specific dog breed and health condition.

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