Why Does My Dog Smell?

dog smell

Dog smell: Have you ever noticed that your dog has a distinct smell? Some dogs have a stronger odor than others, but all dogs have an individual scent. This scent is actually produced by a combination of factors, like diet, lifestyle, and medical conditions. As groomers, we see many dogs with a variety of odors and we want to point out things we’ve noticed in our day-to-day. Let’s take a closer look at why dogs have an odor and what you can do to help manage it.

Source of Dog Smell

Health concerns are often the source of smelly dog odors. For example, a dog’s mouth is full of bacteria that can cause bad breath. If you don’t brush your dog’s teeth daily, they’re like to develop plaque and tartar which will give off an off-putting smell. Similarly, dogs can develop ear infections that cause a yeasty smell. Other health problems, such as skin conditions like dermatitis and scabbing warts, can also lead to smells.

Grooming Routine

One of the most common causes of smelly dogs is poor hygiene. Just like people, dogs need to be regularly bathed in order to stay clean and smell fresh. In addition, any debris that gets caught in their fur should be removed regularly. If there is urine or feces stuck on their fur, it should be cleaned off as soon as possible to prevent odor. This is especially true of puppies and senior dogs that have less control over their bathroom habits. If urine is not cleaned of their fur and skin regularly, it can also cause burns on their skin, which can be very irritating.


Your dog’s lifestyle can affect its smell. If they like to swim in lakes, the bacteria in the water can stay on their fur and skin, which causes foul odors. Farm dogs typically have a stronger odor than city dogs because they roll around in the dirt and are more likely to come into contact with strong-smelling substances like manure. Working dogs have fewer opportunities to be groomed, so it’s best to give them a bath whenever you can.

Odour Free Solutions

Regardless of where your dog lives, there are a few things you can do to help reduce its odor. Bathe them regularly using a mild shampoo, and dry their fur completely afterward with a towel and hair dryer on a low heat setting. In between baths, you can use pet-specific wipes, water-less shampoo, and sprays to keep them clean. You should also brush their fur regularly to remove any dirt or debris that may be trapped in their coat. 

However, the best way to keep their odors at bay is to bring them in for professional grooming every 4-8 weeks. Not only will your groomer bathe them with high-quality shampoos, but they will also trim their fur around their paws and sanitary areas. If you want a consistently clean-smelling dog, bring them in for a bath and tidy appointment in between their full grooming appointments. You will not be disappointed, and your dog will thank you! By taking these steps, you can help your dog stay healthy and smell fresh.

While all dogs have an individual smell, there are several factors that can contribute to how strong that smell is. The source of their odor on their body, their grooming routine, and their lifestyle are all important factors to consider when trying to manage your dog’s odor. By making some simple changes to their grooming routine, you can help keep your furry friend smelling fresh all year long!

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