Why Does My Dog Stink? 

By: Nelson Ansah

 Dog anal sacs smell bad when they get infected
Picture Source: IStock 

Dogs are great buddies. They’re adorable, cuddly, and spark us to life with gullible moments every now and then. We love to have them around and most often feel the urge to hug them tight. 

Fulfilling this urge can be problematic, especially if you can smell your dog from a mile away. You shouldn’t be able to tell your dog is home only because of the stinking trail they leave behind. Sadly, even the best dogs can stink. 

It’s not your dog’s fault, though. According to Ashley Bourgeois, DVM, DACVD, from Animal Dermatology Clinic Portland, “Dogs pick up scents from their environment. Dogs with yards often smell like grass, and dogs from rural homes sometimes smell like hay. With smaller dogs, their owners hold on to them a lot, so they smell like their detergents or perfumes.” 

It may take more than a simple bath to expunge odor from your dog. In this article, we treat you to some likely causes of your dog’s odor and provide practical solutions so you can keep your dog and home smelling nice and fresh. 

Dog Farts  

If you’ve been around your dog when it lets loose some gas, you can testify it’s no joke at all. Some dog farts are powerful enough to clear an entire room. Luckily, there are easy remedies you can turn to.  

First off, remember that the most likely cause of flatulence in dogs is intolerance of certain ingredients in their diet. Try changing your dog’s diet to one of higher quality. Higher quality foods are those filled with meat-based proteins. 

If you already feed your dog high-quality food, the problem may be indigestion. You can solve this by adding some probiotics to his food. Some findings in an Irish study show that “supplementation with a specific strain of probiotics reduced the duration of diarrhea from seven to four days. It also eliminated the need for antibiotic treatment by about 10 percent over placebo.” 

Additionally, dog farts can be a sign of an underlying medical issue. So, it’s good to see your vet when the farting continues. 


Allergies in dogs mainly come from two sources; their food and the environment. These allergies manifest by excreting foul-smelling oil from certain glands in your dog’s skin.  

Moreover, this oil itches your pup’s skin, which leads to scratching and then infection. Imagine pungent oil mixed with an infection. That’s not something a simple bath can put in order. 

Allergies can be tricky to treat, so it’s best to visit your vet for the right prescriptions. If you don’t have all the time to see your vet, there are allergy pills for dogs you can use. 

Anal Sac Infections 

All dogs have to mark glands on their bottoms. If you see a dog smelling another’s bottom, they’re probably looking for these marking glands.  

These scent sacs are very important to your dog and can cause extreme pain when disrupted. Not to mention the stinking excreta that are left on your dog’s skin. 

Fortunately, you can tell if your dog’s anal sac is disrupted or not. One sign of a ruptured anal sac is scooting (your dog dragging his bottom on the ground). If you see this behavior, contact your vet immediately for an inspection. 

Ear Infections 

Another reason your dog may be stinking is an ear infection. Your dog can develop an ear infection in many ways. These ways include: 

  • Your dog’s anatomy (for instance, dogs with large droopy ears) 
  • Frequent swimming without the right drying procedure 
  • Allergies from food and the environment 
  • Bacteria and yeast 

The residue that develops in your dog’s ear should give off so much odor, so if you notice your dog’s ear is stinking, you have a problem.  

For example, dogs have certain tissues in their ears to combat bacteria. If the bacteria and yeast can break down those defenses, there’s a much deeper problem than the stench. You’ll have to send your dog to the vet as soon as possible.  

Dental Infections  

Would it surprise you to know that close to 85% of pets under 3 years of age have dental infections? They’ve gone 3 whole years without brushing their teeth! This statistic is more dangerous than it sounds.  

According to Registered Veterinary Nurse Korina Stephens, “Poor dental care doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth. The bacteria generated by gum disease could eventually enter their bloodstream and potentially damage their heart, liver, or kidneys.” 

This implies that your dog’s malodorous mouth may be a symptom of an underlying dental infection. You need to visit your vet when this happens. If that’s not up to your lane, you can turn to dental products.  

Ensure the products you purchase have the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s seal of acceptance on them. This council evaluates dental products, so you can be sure you’re getting quality products. 


There are several reasons for your dog’s gutting smell. It may be a lack of baths, frequent swimming without correct drying procedures, or even playing in the yard. But more often than not, your dog’s odor may be connected to a medical issue. 

If your dog has allergies, anal sac, dental or ear infections, or even passes off-gas strong enough to clear your room, you should be worried. It’s time to see a vet.  

Read more: Tips to Help Your Dog Live Longer

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