dog bath

Why Is My Dog Stinky After a Bath?

You may love everything about your pet dog, except the way he smells! If you’re wondering that even after such a pleasant bath, why does your Fido smell a certain way? Well, there are more reasons than your knowledge.

Of course, the biggest reason is poor hygiene that leads to many infections and thus the smell. In such cases, only bathing won’t work. You’ll need to go an extra mile. You have to think about picking the right products to fix the underlying causes of your dog’s unpleasant smell. Whether you choose the best dog shampoo or the topnotch air fresher, you’ll first need to look for the root of the cause of their smell. After that, you can start working on the problem again.

dog in a tub

Here are some reasons why your furry friend smells terrible:

Wet Dog Smell

If your canine smells right after you bath them, it’s standard for it to happen. It’s because of the microorganisms like bacteria and yeast that live in your dog’s fur while they were dry. As long as their coat is dry, you wouldn’t get much of the odour. The moment you bath your dog or take them for a swim session, the water causes them to release the stinky compounds. Therefore, it’s entirely reasonable for your canine to smell a little just after a shower until they dry back again.

Oral Hygiene

Sometimes it’s not their body that is stinky, but their mouth and therefore that makes you think your canine himself has the strong unpleasant smell. Pay attention if your pet dog’s breath changes out of the blue. It could mean that they have got an infection in their mouth. Most of the time, it would indicate a bad tooth infection leading to this unpleasant smell. Or even worse, bad breath in dogs may also be a sign of diabetes or kidney disease. The breath of a dog, who is on his verge of having kidney failure, could smell like urine. If this is familiar to you, take them to the vet right away.

A diabetic dog, who is in their last stages could also produce a unique scent. To elaborate on this, without insulin, your dog’s body cannot generate energy from the food that they take in. Accordingly, they will eat like crazy but also lose weight twice as much. Diabetes creates ketones that produce a unique odour on the breath. Some dog enthusiasts have declared that it smells like nail polish remover or is slightly sweet. However, it is advisable that any unusual smell needs immediate vet attention.

Skin Problems

Certain breeds of dogs like Pugs, Bulldogs, Spaniel or Pekingese needs extra care on their skin folds. These breeds are likely to get skin fold dermatitis, which is a stinky skin disorder. To avoid this from happening, you’ll need to clean your pet’s skin on a regular basis. Anyway, skin cleaning is essential in dogs. All you need to do is gently wipe off using baby wipes.

Related Post: Dog Wipes

Ear Infections

Ear infections can also be smelly. More specifically, a yeast infection is prevalent in canines, and it smells exactly like yeast. However, if it feels worse than yeast, that could mean a bacterial ear infection too. And of course, ear infections can be stinky also. Just because you bathe your canine frequently, it wouldn’t stop them from stinking if the main problem is in ears. Dogs with droopy, long ears are susceptible to ear problems. Explore the reason behind the allergy, and you will be able to get rid of the smell as well as the dust mites from your home.

You May Also Like: Dog Ear Cleaner

dog in a towel

Anal Sacs

Anal sacs, or more commonly known as anal glands are situated on either side of the dog’s anus. The walls of the sacs are fixed with them, and the sacs fill up with a harmful substance. More often than not, your dog would secrete some of it while pooping. If your dog is impacted by anal sacs, they will lick their backsides too much and slide their backs on the ground to relieve themselves from itchiness. They might even release a brown substance that smells way worse than faeces. Talk to your vet regarding allergy management.

Inflamed Skin

Dogs with allergic or inflamed skin secrete excess oil that turns into body odour. Your vet might prescribe a specialised dog shampoo that you can use to improve their skin conditions. Besides, the vet might also recommend a dog conditioner to complement with the shampoo. Moreover, do take care of the amount of fatty acid supplements that you offer your canine to help them restore their skin and coat’s optimal condition. Do make sure to cover your furniture, blanket and bed to prevent the smell from transferring to it. For a wider selection of choices, check out our Dog Couch Covers guide.

Tips to Keep Your Dog Smelling Good

Indeed, you take good care of your canine by showering and grooming them regularly to minimise these funky odour related problems. Most canines must be bathed at least once a month. However, every dog is unique and so is yours. If your pet dog needs to be washed more frequently, feel free to do so. Also, comb and brush your canine regularly to prevent dead hair and skin cells. To your surprise, they are also one of the causes that could lead to body odour.

Read here our guides on the Best Brushes for Short Hair Dogs, Best Dog Shedding Brush and Best Brush for German Shepherds.

Dry shampoos are a good idea for spot cleaning. Long haired canines or the ones with facial folds could highly benefit from such products. One of the handy products to absorb excess oil from your dog’s skin is baby powder or pure cornstarch. Avoid using them in large amounts as it will cake up.

Check out our guides on the Best Dry Shampoo for Dogs, Best Medicated Dog Shampoos, and Best Dog Shampoo for Puppies.

Last but not least, if you are tired of simple dog odor remedies, you can make use of blow dryer for dogs just after bathing. Some dogs don’t smell good even if you’re using a sweet-smelling shampoo. Short-haired canines have the advantage of getting dry only with a gentle massage with a towel. However, if that’s not enough, blow dryer for dogs could be the best possible option – either warm or cold air, but not hot.

Take a look at the Best Dog Drying Towels.

Bottom Line

Unfortunately, it might not be easy for you to get rid of the smell, neither is it possible to live with it. Even more unfortunate that there isn’t a single company out there who would invest in an “Eau de Dog” to help get rid of this problem. Most dogs tend to get more malodorous than they were when they were a puppy. There is always a solution for that. Before you jump onto the answer, take a look at what’s causing the underlying problem.

We would suggest you not to give up on those weekly baths. Make sure that you and your vet identify the root cause of your dog stink and work on it accordingly.

Have you tried any other home remedies that relieved your dog from such unpleasant odour? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. Lynne Miller, 6 Reasons Your Dog Smells Bad, PetMD

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