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Why does my dog smell?

Why does my dog smell?

We've put together a short guide to help you eliminate what might be causing unwanted smells and we share our tips, recommendations and product suggestions to help keep unwanted odours at bay. 

All dogs have that “doggy smell’ but if the scent makes you crinkle your nose  (or worse) there could be something else at play. Here are some of the main reasons dogs smell bad.


1. Fox poo

Dogs love to roll in fox poo. They are attracted to it like a magnet, there’s just no stopping them. But why do they do it? 

Well, one of the main theories is that it’s a natural instinct from when dogs were wild hunters, and they rolled in fox poo in order to disguise their own scent. 

Some dogs seem to have a stronger instinct to do this than others. If this is your dog, you have our sympathy. Check out our recommendations at the bottom for the best shampoo for dogs that like to roll in fox poo.


2. Your dog’s anal glands are blocked

A strong fishy smell coming from your dog suggests that they may need their anal glands emptying. You’ll need to take them to the vet to do this. 

The anal glands sit just inside the anus, and when your dog does a bowel movement, healthy glands will empty at the same time. The fluid contains a scent that is unique to every dog and is believed to be used for territory marking.

Your dog’s anal glands can become blocked, swollen or infected due to poor diet or an anal sac disorder.

If your dog is licking or biting his bum, or scooting it along the ground, then you may well have discovered the reason why your dog smells so bad.


3. Your dog has a dental problem

If your dog has bad breath, and we’re not just talking about normal doggy breath, which isn’t always very nice either, then your dog could have a problem with his teeth or gums, like plaque and tartar build up, tooth decay, or gum disease.

Bad breath is always a sign that something is wrong with your dog’s health, and if the problem is your dog’s teeth then it’s important to take them to the vet for an examination.

Leaving dental problems alone can lead to more serious issues for your dog down the line and very expensive veterinary procedures.


3. Yeast and bacterial problems 

Tell-tale signs of yeast or bacterial infections are itching, hair loss, and cheesy-smelling feet! It can lead to ear infections, broken skin and dryness, and dogs constantly chewing at themselves. 

They may need a course of antibiotics if there is an infection, or your vet may prescribe a medicated dog shampoo to help balance the pH levels of your dog’s skin.

Yeast and bacterial infections are very uncomfortable for your dog, so it’s best to get them treated as soon as possible.


5. Flatulence

Do your dog’s farts blow you away? It’s normal for dogs to emit foul odours from their behinds every now and then, but if your dog is passing a foul-smelling wind all of the time, they may have a food intolerance that needs attention.

Look at your dog’s diet and see if you can make any healthy changes. Alternatively turn to your vet for diet and nutrition advice.

Wow recommendations for smelly dogs:


Pure Filth Odour Neutralising Shampoo Wash - This is for dogs that smell like pure filth (probably because they’ve been rolling around in muck!). It's a high-performance odour neutralising shampoo formulated for the dirtiest, smelliest and greasiest dog coats.


All round Slicker Fluff Brush "Super Brush" - Keep your dog’s coat free of dirt and debris that can build up and cause them to smell bad. With extra long pins, this brush will penetrate any dog’s fur, helping you to keep them clean and matt-free.


Aloe/Avocado Cologne - A luxury spray that can be used after bathing or to refresh and revitalise your dog’s coat between washes. Apply to a dry coat. Hold the applicator approximately 30cm from the desired area of the coat and apply sparingly. Avoid face, eyes and nose.

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