Does your dog always seem to stink, even shortly after a bath? A lingering odour can be a sign that your dog is suffering from a health problem. By discovering the cause of your dog’s stench, you may also be able to resolve itching or pain, and once again allow them to share your furniture.
Candida (Yeast) Overgrowth
Candida is a yeast/fungus that normally lives on your dog’s skin. It feeds on sugars, and may overgrow and cause symptoms like itching, redness, inflammation and a distinctive odour that may remind you of popcorn or bread. You may notice this odour between your dog’s toes, in their armpits, around their neck and ears, and in the groin area. You may notice your dog licking and scratching their skin, sometimes to the point of bleeding. Areas of light-coloured fur tend to become stained a rusty brownish red colour as a result of porphyrin in the saliva – you might mistake this for the appearance of dried blood.
Food intolerances and candida overgrowth often seem to be concurrent. Changing your dog’s food to one free of ingredients to which they are allergic can help you see a change in their skin. It can take a few weeks for the candida symptoms to disappear. You can get an allergy test from your veterinarian, but if your dog has been eating the same kibble formula for a while, there’s a strong chance that they are allergic to one of the prominent ingredients. If your dog currently eats a chicken and rice formula, for example, try a salmon and potato formula.
A natural, pet-safe antiseptic like Medipet Hot Spot Soothing Mist is made with essential oils that neutralize candida. Anti-itching shampoo like Pet Head Life’s An Itch Watermelon Shampoo can be used every few days until symptoms subside, then twice per month to keep itching at bay. Be wary of using essential oils and homemade concoctions on your dog, as some that are effective for humans are toxic to animals. Ask your vet if you are not able to relieve symptoms at home, or if symptoms worsen.
Rolling In Mystery Stink
A dog’s incredible sense of smell is up to 10,000 times more powerful than a human’s, particularly when it comes to pungent odours like poo and rotting, dead things. When you give your dog a bath, they may be tempted to run outside and immediately restore their stench.
You can watch your dog while they are outside to see where they are sourcing their stink. You can remove any poo, dead bugs, bird carcasses, or whatever it is that your dog loves to roll in. If you’re not able to remove your dog’s gold mine of yuck, you’ll have to wash them every time they come back from their stink bath. You can also use Mikki Top & Tail Wipes to remove the funk. They’re antifungal, so they will also help if your dog’s stink is from candida.
The phrase “doggie breath” is misleading; it makes it seem as though it is normal and expected for your dog’s breath to stink. In reality, dogs are like people. Dental odours are caused by overgrowth of bacteria, which causes gingivitis, and can cause infections throughout the body. Taking care of your dog’s teeth can significantly extend their lifespan. You may also be able to avoid spending money on expensive dental treatments from your veterinarian, though those can be inevitable when there are some areas that you can’t reach, or hard, stuck-on plaque that does not come off with brushing.
Your dog has a gland on either side of its anus that releases a stinky, oily substance when they poo and when they are frightened or anxious. Dogs learn about one another by sniffing each other’s anal glands. They also may become scared if they smell another dog’s fright-induced anal gland release.
Sometimes, these glands become clogged. If your dog’s poo is too soft, the excess anal gland liquid will not be released when they poo. You may notice a persisting fishy odour around your dog’s bum, and they may scoot their bum on the floor or lick and bite at the affected area. Adding bulk to your dog’s diet will help firm up the poo. If you notice any swelling, or symptoms do not subside, see your veterinarian, who may have to manually express the glands, or prescribe a supplement that will help.