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Five things that can make a dog smell bad even when they’re clean
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Five things that can make a dog smell bad even when they’re clean

Dogs don’t tend to care very much if they get mucky or dirty, and some seem to see it as almost a point of pride to get into as much of a state as possible when out and about on walks. When you add in some of the horrible things that dogs like to roll in and the general funk that accumulates on a dog’s skin and coat over time, it is no surprise that dogs will start to smell bad on occasion if they aren’t bathed regularly.

All dogs need to be bathed now and then to get them properly clean right down to the skin, and to cleanse and comb out their coats too. The smell of a freshly bathed dog is lovely, and baths make your dog feel much better too when they’re all clean – but what if your dog still smells bad after they’ve had a proper bath, or within a couple of days afterwards?

If your dog is clean and has recently had a proper and thorough bath, they shouldn’t smell bad – and if they do, this is an indication that something may be wrong, which requires further investigation.

In this article we will share five things that can make your dog smell bad, even when they’re clean and have recently been bathed. Read on to learn more.

Skin conditions

There are quite a number of different types of skin problems that can affect dogs, from allergies and sensitivities to hormone imbalances and much more. Because dogs are furry, viewing their skin and checking for problems and anomalies isn’t always simple, and can make many skin conditions hard to spot.

However, if your dog’s sebum glands produce too much oil, if they’ve got a parasitic skin infection or have any other issue that interferes with the balance and health of the skin, this can result in skin congestion, excess oil production, and a range of other issues that may be irritating or unpleasant for your dog.

A large number of canine skin conditions can result in your dog smelling unpleasant or different to normal, and this is one of the first things to check out when you’re trying to get to the bottom of the issue.

Dental problems

Rotting teeth, sore gums and other dental issues like this all cause foul breath, and few dog owners brush their dog’s teeth regularly like they’re supposed to. Bad breath in the dog is not normal and should not be considered to be ok; it is an indication that something is wrong, which might be painful for your dog as well as making it difficult for them to eat comfortably.

Dogs also lick their coats a lot, and if your dog’s breath is foul and they groom themselves, that foul smell will transfer to the skin and coat, and give the dog an unpleasant smell within just a day or two of their bath.

Ear problems

Ear issues like mite infestations can be difficult to clear up fully, and ear mites are apt to irritate your dog’s ears and make them feel itchy. A significant ear mite infestation can also result in a discharge of waste from your dog’s ears, that is made up of dead skin, dead mites, ear wax and muck, and which smells fairly unpleasant, as you might expect!

If your dog smells bad after a bath and the smell seems to be worst around their head and ears, ear mites or another ear problem might be the cause, so ask your vet to investigate.

Anal gland impactions

Your dog’s anal glands are located either side of their butt and aren’t something most of us pay any mind to – until something goes wrong. Anal gland impactions and infections are relatively common canine health problems, and issues of this type can cause your dog to scoot their butt along the ground, or become obsessive about licking their back end.

Additionally, as you might expect, a dog’s anal glands don’t smell great and if impacted or infected, produce a highly distinctive and often very strong smell that is objectively incredibly foul and may cause you to take a step back when you first smell it.

If your dog’s anal glands are acting up, this can result in your dog smelling horrible in general, and the smell of your dog’s anal gland secretions is the type of scent that you only need to smell once to remember forever.

Pop along to the vet to get the problem sorted out.

Bathing errors

Finally, if you’re doing something wrong when you bathe your dog, this can actually result in them smelling worse than they did before rather than better!

Bathing a dog too often, or using products that are too harsh for their skin and coat can cause the dog’s skin to produce excess oil to counteract the problem, which can make them get dirtier faster and also, smell bad.

Additionally, if you aren’t rigorous about ensuring that your dog is dried off thoroughly after their bath, they might still be damp and are apt to develop that unpleasant wet dog smell when they next get wet again as a result of this.

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