Smelly Dog Odor

Advice on common doggie odors.


Q. I am 14 years old and I need help! My dog stinks and I want to wash her but she sheds a lot. My dad says I should not bathe her, but she really smells! Please help me!

A. First, I must give you credit for being a responsible dog owner at such a young age.  Dogs do need to be bathed, some more than others. They need to be brushed as well. A matted coat traps dirt and debris and once it gets wet, it smells even worse!

People always complain about doggie odor but dogs themselves revel in it. Scent plays a huge role in dog-to-dog communication. They mark territory with their urine and when they defecate, they leave an odor behind from anal gland secretions to let their fellow canines know who has been in the neighborhood. When they get really frightened, they expel these glands as well.

Although dogs do not sweat to regulate body temperature the way humans do, they have sweat glands on their paws and noses that are also scent-laden, another part of the communication process. And if your dog suffers from a yeast infection in her ears, that creates an unpleasant aroma as well. 

Canine halitosis is another unpleasant smell that can come from dental problems and gases from the digestive system. Some hounds and retrievers love to roll in rotting material or stinky substances like goose poop, a behavior thought to be inherited from their wolf ancestors. Hounds and Bulldogs also exude more coat oils than other breeds, making you wish you could apply a doggie deodorant. 

Bathing can loosen up dead and shed hair, one of your father’s concerns, so you need to brush your dog thoroughly before and after her bath. Use a deodorizing shampoo and follow it up with a scented crème rinse which will also leave her coat lustrous and easy to comb. If you want to go all out, spray on some doggie cologne as well.

I suspect your dad may change his mind and thank you the next time that dog snuggles up next to him on the sofa.


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