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Stinky Dog? Best Ways to Get Rid of Dog Odors

family-footerWe Americans love our dogs. According to the ASPCA, approximately 37 to 47 percent of US households have dogs. That’s an estimated 70 to 80 million homes where barking and tail wagging are the norms. If you live in one of these homes, you probably adore your pooch. He brings happiness and joy to your life and you can’t imagine ever parting with him.

There’s just one problem: your dog stinks. How do you get rid of dog odors without getting rid of the dog? First, pinpoint the potential cause—then get to the bottom of it. Our team at Germantown Veterinary Clinic created a list of the top reasons that your dog may smell and how you can get rid of the odor.

Reasons Your Dog Might Stink & How to Get Rid of the Smell

Even under normal conditions, all dogs have a “dog smell.” This comes from skin and hair oils along with the light perspiration their hair follicles emit. Glands in your dog’s ears also produce a slight yeasty smell. These are all normal dog odors, which you can keep to an unnoticeable minimum with regular grooming and monthly bathing.

Odors can become unpleasant when disease, bacteria or pests set in. Here are the top reasons for bad dog odors and how to get rid of them.

Ear Infections

Problem: This problem most often affects dogs with floppy or hairy ears. The infection can cause a pungent decaying smell.

Treatment: To clean your dog’s ears, soak a cotton ball or pad in hydrogen peroxide and run it inside your dog’s ears. Do this once a month when you bathe your dog or more often if you have a floppy-eared dog. You might also want to trim your dog’s ear hair to help prevent a buildup of bacteria and mites. Your groomer can do this for you if you don’t feel comfortable.

Blocked Scent Glands

Problem: All dogs have scent glands near their rear ends called anal sacs. If the glands become swollen and blocked, your dog may respond by biting and licking his rear end, exposing the glands to infection and causing the foul smell.

Treatment: The best way to treat blocked scent glands is with a trip to the vet.

Skin Infections

Problem: Bulldogs and other breeds with skin folds are most prone to skin infections, which can cause a rotting fruit smell due to excessive moisture and microorganisms. Infections can also develop from too dry or too oily skin and allergies.

Treatment: Talk with your vet about changing your dog’s diet and using gentler grooming habits than bathing with scented shampoos to prevent drying out your pet’s skin. Allergies may require you to experiment with products under your veterinarian’s guidance.

Tooth and Gum Decay

Problem: The smell of decaying gums and teeth can create the worst dog breath you’ve ever smelled.

Treatment: If your dog has bad breath, a trip to the vet for dental care is the best treatment. Then you can get advice about brushing your dog’s teeth and supplying him with tooth-healthy chew toys to prevent future problems.


Problem: A little flatulence is normal but stinky, constant gas could mean something’s wrong with your dog’s intestinal tract.

Treatment: Consider changing your dog’s diet with your vet’s help to promote a healthier digestive system.

Bring Your Dog to Germantown Vet

If your dog smells, we can help with medically related causes. We also provide bathing and grooming services to get rid of dog odors. Bring your pooch to Germantown Vet on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for 20 percent off baths. Plus, we’ll throw in a complimentary nail trim!

To schedule your dog’s visit, or for more about our specials and promotions, please contact Germantown Vet today!

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