We all know that dogs are cute, hilarious, loving, and (unfortunately) just downright stinky. As much as we love our little critters, sometimes, they can just get a little too funky for words. Some smell like your standard ‘dog smell’, while there are others that smell so bad, it’s hard to believe that such rancid aromas can come from our cute pups.
Why do dogs smell?
Dogs produce smells from various glands and can’t sweat like us humans do. Our four-legged friends sweat through their paws (causing the Dorito / Cheetos odour) and a small amount of sweat will secretes from their hair follicles. This, in combination with oil production on their coat, creates an unique scent for each dog. Humans think all dogs smell the same, however, Pongo will be able to tell the difference between Fido and Buddy.
Dogs sniff each other’s bums because it’s their way of saying ‘hello’. All dogs have anal sacs that, when healthy, secrete naturally when your dog has a poop. The anal glands also produce a unique smell to each pooch, and it’s this smell that dogs can tell each other apart from.
How can I stop my dog from smelling?
If your dog’s anal glands secrete more regularly than usual or become blocked or swollen, then it’s time to get your dog to the vet. Your vet will be able to drain the anal sacs, so this should hopefully get to the bottom of the problem (no pun intended).
Make sure you keep your dog well groomed. This not only minimises hair shedding, but also ensures that their fur and skin is in good, clean condition. Make sure your water temperature is tepid and use a good quality, gentle dog shampoo (often nice smelling shampoos are crammed with fragrances and these can irritate the skin). Don’t forget to clean the ears very gently with a wet cotton ball, and if your dog has skin folds like Shar Peis or Pugs, then clean in the folds of skin to prevent any yeast infection developing. If your dog’s coat stills smells funky then there might be an underlying issue of overproduction/ underproduction of oils or microorganisms. In this case, it’s best to pay a visit to a vet to treat the issue.
If your dog has particularly bad breath (not just ‘dog breath’) and you’re regularly brushing his teeth, then this may be the result of a dental infection. This is where the rotting, decaying tissue inside your dog’s mouth is left without any gum disease treatment. Infected teeth and cavities can easily spread to surrounding teeth, so it’s vital you seek veterinary attention.
The byproduct of a beautiful thing! Some dogs are prone to flatulence more than others (Bulldog breeds – I’m looking at you), however, if you notice that it’s happening more than usual it’s a good idea to change your dog’s diet to see if that has an effect. If altering the diet doesn’t help matters, it could be a sign of a digestive infection. Again, in this instance it’s best to seek advice from your vet.
These 10 smelliest dog breeds
All dogs smell, and it’s part of why we love them. Some dog breeds are prone to smells more than others, so we rounded up the top 10 smelliest for you. You’re welcome.
- Basset Hound – prone to flatulence and bloating.
- Cocker Spaniel – predisposed to bloat.
- Beagle – these cuties are fast eaters and corn in their diet has a direct impact on their flatulence!
- Pug – their skin folds need regular cleaning or the moisture will develop into a yeast skin infection, plus they’re prone to flatulence.
- Bloodhound – their oily coat and long ears require regular cleaning.
- Yorkshire Terrier – these little fellas are inclined to get tooth decay, plus their super-long coats will need regular grooming.
- English Bulldog – known for their lethal flatulence, these guys will need their skin folds cleaning regularly and are predisposed to skin conditions.
- Shar Pei – the amount of skin folds and hereditary skin conditions can make this breed incredibly stinky if not looked after properly.
- Boxer – Unbelievably. Flatulent.
- Saint Bernard – these gentle giants drool. A lot. As a result, their slobber is often in their coat, which over time starts getting rather pongy. In addition to this, Saint Bernard’s are prone to serious flatulence and skin conditions.
Why dogs smell worse when wet
Believe it or not, there is some canine chemistry behind this! When the yeast and bacteria microorganisms on their coat are exposed to water, the stinky volatile compounds are liberated from the surface of your dog’s fur and into our nostrils. The video below explains it perfectly:
If you’re looking for more pawesome dogs to look at (who isn’t?!), then check out New York based, award-winning dog photographer Sophie Gamand’s ‘Wet Dog’ series of images of dogs at the groomer.
Does your Pongo pong a bit? Let me know in the comments below.