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How does your home smell?
Refreshing, clean, or stinky binky dog?
You may be cleaning all the time and still have that stinky dog smell if you don’t understand the root causes.
Let's first look at why the “dog smell” occurs, then explore some solutions for keeping those doggie smells far far away!
Don’t get rid of your dog to remove the smell, arm yourself with important information that will help you manage your home, your dog, and your new fresh smelling world!
Causes of that “stinky dog” smell
1. Just plain ole dirty dog
Natural oils in their skin - Listen, how do you think you would smell if you never had a bath? Dogs have natural oils in their skin just like us. If they don’t get a bath on a regular basis, they are going to begin to smell bad.
Bad Bacteria in their fur - Your dog’s fur is like little magnets all over their body. They attract and hold on to pollutants and irritants. Bacteria floating through the air love to snag a ride too. Whether your dog lives inside or outside, this could be contributing to the “dog stink”.
Rolling in stinky - Dogs love to roll in poop! Don’t ask me, I’m not a dog and it seems very unnatural to us humans. But, you may want to do a close check to see if you can find poop, old food, etc. in their fur….yikes, I know...
What to do:
-- I recommend giving your pooch a bath at least once every 2 months at a minimum. Ideally, once a week would be awesome!
-- You can also spray them down with waterless shampoo daily (if needed) to help in between regular baths.
-- For one of the best tutorials I’ve seen on the proper way to bathe your dog, watch Ehow.com’s video below.
-- For the DIYer in you, you can mix up a concoction of essential oils for a deodorizing spritz that will combat doggie sweat, especially after walks and playing outside. For other essential oil uses for your pet, check out our post on how to know if essential oils are good for your dog.
1 cup of bottled water (or boiled for purification)
10 drops of lavender
6 drops of sweet orange
3 drops of eucalyptus
2 drops of spearmint
Mix together in a spray bottle. Cover your dog’s face and spritz into their fur. (tip: brush up fur first so that solution can get to their skin) Massage into their fur for a fresh smelling pup.
2 - Bad Breath
Sickness - Has your dog had an upset stomach? Are they running a fever or appear to be feeling bad? Stomach acids can find their way up and out the mouth and make for some bad doggie breathe for sure.
Terrible oral hygiene - Lift your dog’s jowls up to expose gums and take note. Do you see swollen or red inflamed gums? Do you see a lot of yellow on their teeth? Your dog could be showing signs of dental disease. This produces a terrible mouth odor.
What to do:
-- If your dog has been sick for more than 2 days, I would take them for a vet visit.
-- If their teeth aren’t looking so great, you can start by addressing the issue yourself:
3 - Infections
Skin - the skin can become inflamed and/or irritated by bacterial infections. You may notice redness, flaking, or broken skin.
Ear - Bacteria and yeast can cause painful ear infections for your pooch. Ear mites could also cause this, especially in pups. If you notice your dog scratching at their ear or rubbing their head on the ground, it could be a sign. Our friends over at cesarsway.com have a great article on dog ear infections that you might find helpful.
Yeast - This is a fungus that can live anywhere on your dog. The problem becomes infectious when there is an abnormal amount of the bacteria. More common areas to see this issue are the skin, ears, and paws. A distinct odor, much like Fritos, emits from the infected area for many bacterial infections, including yeast.
What to do:
If you suspect an infection of any kind, I recommend a visit to the vet. They will be able to test and identify the source of the infection and give a correct diagnosis with the proper treatment.
4 - Gassy - A dog’s diet can create a “gassy” doggie. Have you changed your dog’s diet lately? Could they be allergic to certain foods? Are you feeding them people food? If your dog’s intestinal system is out of kilter, they may be stinking up the place with gas bombs! Ha - yes, like you might do sometimes!
What to do:
You may want to try a raw or bland diet instead of dog food. Unseasoned boiled chicken and brown rice is a great bland diet to clean up your dog’s system. This removes possible allergens that may be in dog food too. If a bland diet doesn’t straighten up their intestinal tract, a visit to the vet would be a good idea. It’s not normal for your dog to have gastric issues often.
5 - Anal gland issues - Your dog has 2 sacs directly under their anus (one to the left and one to the right) that could fill up with "stinky" fluid. Normally, a dog can empty these when they go to the bathroom. However, some dogs, especially smaller ones, can’t quite get the job done and need them manually expressed.
What to do:
See this tutorial for simple steps on how to clean out your dog’s anal sacs. If you don’t want to do it yourself, most groomers and vets will do it for a minimal fee.
6 - Diet - Is your dog on a food high in Omega 3’s and fish oils? This could cause your dog to smell a bit “fishy”.
What to do:
If your dog needs fish oils for their heart health, you might consider delivering the oils in a vitamin instead of through their food. They may be getting too much from their food which is causing the bad smell. Give the recommended dosage on the bottle based on your dog’s weight.
So what about the smell in your home?
Bad smells from your dog’s skin and fur can transfer to fabrics in your home. Fabric will lock in smells much like your shirt will lock in a smoke smell after you have been exposed. It’s almost impossible to rid your home of this smell in the fabric unless you thoroughly clean it.
For washable materials, toss in the washer (on hot) for at least 30 minutes. A good oxy-based detergent should do the trick. Take the sniff test when you take out of the washer. If you still detect the ‘dog smell’, send it through the wash again!
For items you cannot throw into the washer, consider renting an upholstery/carpet cleaner and get to work. You might want to pretreat the area with a pet odor/stain remover that attacks protein.
If at all possible, consider providing your pet with vinyl, leather, or pleather solutions for lounging so that further smells DO NOT penetrate and hang in the material. These materials are super easy to wipe down with an antibacterial cleaner.
You could also consider burning incense, diffuse essential oils, or a continuous room freshener to combat ongoing odors.
There are many culprits causing your dog’s stinky smell. Your first task is to determine the source of the smell. This will help you determine if your dog just needs a bath or if you need to go to greater measures to zap the source of the smell.
There may be times when a vet visit may be in order, too, for more serious issues like infections and illnesses.
Remember, there are things you can do to help and/or eliminate the bad smell. Don’t throw your dog out, arm yourself with some proactive measures you can take to keep your dog and home smelling like daisies!
Okay, well maybe not daisies but definitely fresher than before. :-)
Did you find some helpful information here?
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