Do you have a stinky dog?
Possible sources of unpleasant odors can be ears, mouth, or even the dog’s coat. Some dogs are more prone to smelling than others, but for most, a malodorous mutt may mean something’s going on.
Last week we talked about how a dog was rubbed raw underneath a harness. While this particular dog’s condition hadn’t gotten to a stinky dog stage yet, her skin was probably only days away. If you detect a not-so-good smell wafting over when your dog goes by, it’s time to check all the possible spots that a collar, harness, or other dog gear may be rubbing.
We know that not all dogs like tummy rubs, so getting a good look at your dog’s underside may not be easy. But it’s crucial to check for mats, sore spots, and chafing especially around the dog’s “underarms” and around their private parts. Sometimes it’s easiest to have two people, one holding the dog and the other doing the exam.
All dogs should be brushed, all over, at least once a week. More often for dogs who either shed a lot or have long coats. It’s a chance to get rid of dead hair and distribute the coat’s natural oils. And the simple act of brushing, just a couple of minutes, will also tell you if your dog is sensitive someplace and let you assess the health of your dog’s skin.
If you detect an odor from your dog’s mouth that’s not cured by tooth brushing, it may be time to see a vet. While dogs don’t generally get cavities, they can have issues with their gums. Broken teeth can also happen, especially if your dog is a strong chewer, or chews on hard items.
We learned about broken teeth the hard way. One of our dogs (Dax, a French Bulldog) thought it was her duty to protect us from the vacuum cleaner. She broke a tooth attacking it. The surgical removal of an otherwise healthy tooth was tough on everybody. Now our dogs are crated when we vacuum. An ounce of prevention…
If the stinky bit is your dog’s ears, again, it’s time to consult a vet. Checking if there’s something going on can be as simple as looking, or wiping a facial tissue around the visible ear parts. If your dog has ears that fold, rather than stand up, they may be especially prone to retaining moisture and the problems that can cause.
Speaking of folding, facial folds are another big cause of dog stink. Flat-faced dogs are notorious for “fold dermatitis,” which is difficult to clear once established. After cleaning the dog’s folds, a little bit of corn starch can help dry the area.
We’re not talking about the wonderful, corn-chip smell that many dogs get. We know it’s caused by a harmless bacteria, but we still like it. If that’s not the smell you’re getting from your dog’s paws, take a good look. Lots of dogs with allergies lick their paws. That can cause problems with moisture, redness, irritation, and worse. Keeping the paws dry is key. We’ve had good luck using medicated foot powder for our dogs’ paws.
No more stinky dog
Healthy dogs shouldn’t be offensive to your sense of smell. At-home grooming and health checks only take a few minutes a week. And the effort pays off when your dog is cuddled next to you on the couch.