A dog out in the field

There are so many positives when it comes to dog ownership, but that doggy smell is not one of them. It’s not always bad per se, but it is unmistakably “canine” in nature.

It’s easy to overlook or ignore mild odors, but when the aroma of a smelly dog takes over the entire house, it’s time to act.

Clean and Shiny

After a nice scrub and rinse, most dogs will continue to smell pretty nice for a while. Naturally, they will begin to smell somewhat doggy between baths and grooming appointments. Why does this happen?

The Big “A”

Atopic dermatitis (atopy) is classified by an allergic trigger in the dogs’ environment, such as pollen, mold, grass, etc. This condition manifests on the skin, making pups itch uncontrollably on the paws, abdomen, ears, and under arms. Hives, inflammation, scabbing, discharge, and other problems can cause a signature smell. 

Down and Dirty

Your smelly dog might have trouble cleaning their own coat. Unlike cats, dogs are less fastidious when it comes to their appearance. Some even prefer to wear dirt, mud, murky water, plant matter, and more on their coat! And, much to our frustration, many dogs roll around in poop or dead animals. 

A regular bath will help reduce odors, and can remove any build up of oils or dander.


A good explanation for your dog’s fur smells bad could be that they got skunked. If this happens, you’ll know without a doubt. Proceed with a baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and liquid dish soap solution. 

Doggy Breath

A smelly dog may have things going on inside the mouth that create a rank doggy breath. Periodontal disease is common among pets, and usually stinky breath is the first sign that they need help with brushing. We urge dog owners not to get used to doggy breath. Instead, by acting promptly you can minimize the ramifications of periodontal disease.

Smelly Dog Ears?

Cleaning your dog’s ears may not be on your list of priorities, but the practice can definitely reduce odor. A normal smell might be described as yeasty or musty, but ear infections can smell downright awful. What’s worse, your dog could be in pain.

Please seek treatment right away if you suspect that your smelly dog has an ear infection.

Bloated Belly

It’s true: dogs experience gas and many are prone to tooting throughout the day. Owners can look out for indicative signs, such as bloating, gurgling belly, burping, and discomfort. A change in their diet may be necessary, but sometimes this type of smell simply comes with the territory.

Stinky, but Lovable

Some odors can be solved with regular grooming practices, dental hygiene, prescriptions, or nutrition. We encourage you to schedule an appointment whenever your pet starts to smell differently. It could be a sign of something going on beneath the surface, and our veterinarians  at Androscoggin Animal Hospital are here to get to the bottom of why you have a smelly dog.