Skip to Content

Help! My Dog Stinks!

Share this post!

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Learn More

Why Is My Dog So Stinky? (Part 1 of 2)


Why dogs smell bad


Has your dog ever had that certain doggy aroma? I know all of mine have at one time or another. Sometimes it’s as simple as you realize they are overdue for a bath. but sometimes it’s something more.

While Stinky Dogs come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, I have found that the Cause of their stinkiness usually falls into one of two categories:

Self-Imposed Stinkiness – usually the result of normal dog activity.


Medical Issue Stinkiness – usually the result of some ailment a dog has contracted.

In this Part, we will be discussing three common issues from the First category.

That Wet Dog Smell

Sniffing Out The Problem  Whether your dog has been swimming in the ocean with you, running through the sprinklers with your children, or simply got caught in a sudden downpour out in your backyard, most owners have had the occasion to be introduced to that unmistakable Wet Dog smell … Whew!

The Cause  The natural oil (called Sebum) that is produced by all dogs which gives him such a glossy coat while at the same time prevents his skin from drying out conspires with water to produce that smell.

In fact, it doesn’t matter if your dog has short hair or long hair for this to occur. Rather, it is the total surface area of all those thousands (if not millions) of dog hairs that your nose has to contend with.

While a dry dog still has the same overall smell, the combination of lots of water, dog hair (which can cling to moisture like a sponge), and even the slightest air flow can create a smell so pungent to be recognized world wide.


wet-stinky-chihuahuaThe Treatment Other than never letting your dog get wet again (which would include baths), your next best thing is to get your dog dry as quickly as possible. The following steps work pretty well:

(a) Towel dry your dog to absorb most of the water. At this point your dog will still be slightly damp.

(b) Pull out your dog’s brush and a good quality hair dryer and go to work. It would be best to have a smaller, quieter dryer so it doesn’t startle your dog.

(c) Utilize both the hair dryer and the brush to make sure you have sufficiently evaporated all of the excess water, but not so long as to dry out your dog’s skin. After all, that’s why the oil is there to begin with.

Things That Make Fido Go Flatulent

Sniffing Out The Problem  Has this ever happened to you? You’re watching a movie in your favorite easy chair with your sweet little chihuahua by your side when the room suddenly fills with noxious fumes.

You glance down at your dog, pinch your nose shut with one hand, and quickly escort your dog outside with the other. How can such a small dog make such a stinky smell?

You have been the victim—albeit unintentionally – of a canine “silent but deadly” gas attack. More commonly known as a Fido Fart.

The Cause  Although your dog may have gotten all the blame, let’s be honest, in the great majority of cases the gas problem is YOU. Yes, you! No, not in that “someone did IT but let’s blame the dog” way, but in one sense maybe that’s truer then you think.

To really understand, let’s talk about your dog’s digestive system.

Whether in a human or an animal, what is commonly refer to as a Fart (or Flatulence) is the result of a buildup of digestive gases being expelled from the body. The key is, the harder the body has to work on digesting particular foods, the more gas is produced. For most people, beans are generally harder to digest than other foods and, as a result, the body produces more gas to expel shortly after eating beans.

So what does this have to do with your dog …

Because dog’s are mostly carnivores by nature, most things that they eat which doesn’t fall in the “meat” category can (and often does) increases the chance that your dog’s digestive system will have problems digesting it, which, as we discussed, will lead to excessive gas buildup and eventually Doggy Farts.

smelly dog

So, why is this Your fault?

Let’s face it, if you find that your dog has recently become a bit more gassy, more than likely, you gave him the food that produced the problem.

The Solution If your dog is relatively young and healthy and you find that doggy farts have been a recent occurrence, then it is important to identify what food is causing the problem and eliminate it from your dog’s diet.

Yes, I know your dog may look up at you with true puppy-dog eyes when you no longer share your favorite treat with him, however, unless you want to continue to keep your windows open in your house—even in the winter—you will need to be strong enough to resist the begging.

Be patient, though, after all, we all know how hard it is to give up the foods we love.

Important Note – If the gas problem persists even after you stop feeding your dog improper food, there may be something else wrong “under the hood” and so a trip to your vet may be in order. Just to be sure.

Stinky Dog Breath

Sniffing Out The Problem  I think we can all agree that getting a snoot-full of pungent “doggy breath” is not high on any one’s wish list. However, the fragrance of that Doggy breath can go a long way in determining if the underlying cause is a simple matter or something a lot more serious.

The Cause  There’s several basic things that can cause “Stinky Dog Breath” from tartar build-up on the teeth, an impacted tooth, bacteria build-up on the tongue, or even early signs of gum disease.

The Treatment  In most cases, the best place to start is to pick up some dog formulated toothpaste (human toothpaste is not good for dogs), and make a habit of brushing your dog’s teeth.

This coupled with the purchase of either rawhide or nylon-based chew toys can go a long way in keeping the plaque and tartar in check.

There are even popular tongue cleaning products which will allow your dog to “lick” its way to cleaner breath. You can find a variety of ways of fighting doggy breath by checking out the shelves of your local pet store, searching the internet, or (even better) consulting with your vet for a good cleaning regiment to follow.

A Very Important Note

While the above treatment is a good rule of thumb to start off with, you need to be aware that there are some doggy breath smells that can indicate a more serious condition than tartar build-up.

For example, if your dog’s breath smells like urine then it is possible that your dog is having kidney problems. On the other hand, if your dog’s breath is too sweet smelling, it can indicate that your dog may have contracted diabetes.

If you suspect that your dog’s bad breath may be a result of something other than that piece of pizza you sneaked to him last night, then it would be best to set up an appointment with your vet to have him checked out.

While your suspicions may turn out to be unfounded, the earlier a suspected problem is checked out the greater the chance that, if something is wrong, a favorable solution will be found.

As always, remember that the goal is to keep your dog healthy and happy and there’s no better peace of mind than that.

Okay, that’s all for Part 1. Click HERE  for Part 2.


Cathy signature Chi


my child is named banana

Wednesday 28th of July 2021

This is really helpful for my 9 yhear old child! Barbara xoxo


Wednesday 28th of July 2021

I'm glad it is helpful to you Barbara!

Pet Blogger Showcase - December 3, 2016 | Heart Like a Dog

Saturday 3rd of December 2016

[…] Help! My Dog Stinks by Kilos Mom at I Love My Chi – Oh my. If you’ve ever been caught off guard by that SMELL coming from your dog, you’ll totally love this post. And also….Fido farts. You know I’m the Queen of the potty humor, but Fido Farts was a new one to me. […]

Jodi Stone

Thursday 1st of December 2016

I've been on the receiving end of the Fido fart and can tell you, it's no fun. :-) Most of the time it's not a continued problem, but when it becomes one, we go to the vet.

I'm actually going to check out some breath treats for the dogs, because they get a green lipped mussel and Sampson in particular has some pretty rank breath.

Thanks so much for this great post.


Thursday 1st of December 2016

You are welcome Jodi! Thanks for visiting!


Saturday 19th of November 2016

When I was teenager our Bullmastiff could clear the room with one of her silent, but deadly, farts. Thankfully, the food we feed our dogs now must agree with them, they rarely gas us out. Sophie had terrible breath, but it has cleared up since she had a cracked tooth removed.


Saturday 3rd of December 2016

I can imagine a fart from a large dog like a Bullmastiff must be quite potent.

Jan K

Saturday 19th of November 2016

Great post - it's important to know that some of those smells we might think are normal dog smells could actually mean there's a bigger problem. I'm generally lazy so I'd rather just put up with the "wet dog smell" for a while, than bother to get out a blow dryer! I usually just have a good quality microfiber towel (I like the Luv & Emma's that we can hang right by the door) on hand to dry them as well as possible.


Saturday 3rd of December 2016

I haven't heard of Luv & Emma's before. I'll have to look into it.