My Dog Smells Rotten: 11 Causes + What To Do Now!


What might start out as an offensive odor can become a troubling medical issue.

The rotten smell in dogs is just not only a wet dog smell or bad doggy breath.

For those who feel like your dog smells rotten, it’s probably best in comparison with a deceased animal, decay, or meat turned bad.

Naturally, you not only wish to do away with the smell but additionally be sure that your pooch is healthy.

A rotten smell may very well indicate an underlying medical issue.

Commonly affected areas include the dental region in addition to the skin.

My Dog Smells Rotten

Dogs smell rotten as a consequence of dental disease, oral cancer, skin infections, anal gland infections, ear infections, or rolling in animal stays. Rotten smell is a symptom, the underlying cause must be treated.

Other reasons for a rotten smell include parvovirus, urinary tract infection, diabetes, and kidney failure.

I’m going into more detail on these more unlikely contenders on the very bottom.

For now, let’s concentrate on essentially the most common causes.

Photo by otsphoto on Shutterstock

Some issues are easy to rule out while others require a vet to run a few tests.

First, it’s best to rule out contact with contaminated food or animals.

Did your dog get into the rubbish? Rolled in a suspicious spot outside?

After you’ve ruled that out, check your dog’s dental status.

Is the rotten smell emanating out of your dog’s mouth? How do your dog’s teeth look? What do you do for dental hygiene?

Only 16% of the respondents in my last newsletter survey said they usually brush their dog’s teeth.

Doggy Dental Survey by Pawleaks

Generally, brushing your dog’s teeth is really helpful.

Dental chews can even work wonders.

I prefer single-ingredient, natural chews similar to bully sticks, dried lamb ears, or raw meaty bones.

For those who locate the smell as coming out of your pet’s mouth, notice anything irregular within the dental area, or never had their teeth checked, seek the advice of your vet.

Your vet might perform dental x-rays and recommend skilled teeth cleansing.

If dental disease has progressed already or gum disease already affects some teeth, an extraction is likely to be mandatory.

The steps would rely on your dog’s specific diagnosis (gum disease, abscess, oral cancer, etc.).

Photo by WilleeCole on Shutterstock

Next, I’d recommend checking your dog’s skin.

Some breeds are liable to skin issues (heavily wrinkled breeds with numerous skin folds), but all breeds can have skin issues.

Skin issues might cause redness or swelling, but may also be noticed by your dog’s behavior.

Does your dog lick or scratch a certain spot excessively?

Treatment of skin issues varies.

Dry skin is a top contender and could be brought on by swimming (especially in saltwater).

Other issues are brought on by parasites or fungi.

Whilst you’re at it, check your dog’s bottom.

Redness and swelling might indicate an anal gland infection.

While a few of these steps could be performed at home, it’s best to all the time seek the advice of a vet.

For those who notice something irregular, searching for treatment is crucial. For those who can’t pinpoint the foundation of the rotten smell, a vet needs to seek out and treat the underlying cause.

To summarize, listed below are all of the steps you’ll be able to take to assist your vet find the cause.

  1. Has your dog rolled in a deceased animal or dug through garbage?
  2. Is the rotten smell coming out of your dog’s mouth?
  3. Do you notice signs of skin issues (redness, swelling, scratching)?
  4. Are there any signs of infection around your dog’s bottom?

Bathing your dog is a straightforward strategy to discover whether or not something external is causing your dog’s rotten smell.

I’d personally avoid scented shampoo and go together with a comparatively neutral smell (similar to an Oatmeal shampoo).

Preparing a bucket with a dozen or so drops of apple cider vinegar and water to rinse your dog after bathing can go a good distance in eliminating undesirable smells.

Not all dogs just like the smell, nevertheless it’s also said to be good for a shiny coat and repellent for ticks (not many studies on the market proving its efficacy though).

In case your dog has a skin condition, definitely seek the advice of your vet before applying anything.

My Dog Smells Like Rotten Meat

In case your dog smells like rotten meat, take into consideration whether or not your dog has come into contact with rotten food or an animal carcass.

Some dogs are known to get into the rubbish can, roll around in animal carcasses, or are generally attracted by odd smells outside.

Assuming you actually pinpointed the smell as “rotten meat”, it’s highly likely that your dog got here into contact with actually rotten food or an animal carcass.

Nevertheless, everybody perceives smells in another way and the rotten meat smell may indicate one other medical condition.

Even in the event you’re sure it smells like rotten meat, be sure that your vet checks for issues similar to oral disease or skin infections.

For those who can absolutely rule out contact with rotten food or animals, tell your vet so that they keep trying to seek out the foundation cause.

My Dog Smells Like Something Dead

In case your dog smells like something dead, seek for signs of oral disease or skin infections and query whether your dog might’ve rolled in something smelly outside.

Most of the time, the bad smell could be attributed to one in every of these three issues.

The stench from rolling in an animal’s carcass could be really appalling.

As mentioned above, veterinary attention is likely to be required.

While you’ll be able to do a straightforward check at home, a vet must treat it or, in the event you’re unable to seek out anything, find the underlying cause and begin treatment from there.

Dog Smells Like Dead Animal

A dog who smells like a dead animal can have come into contact with one or suffers from other undiagnosed issues similar to oral disease or skin issues.

Dogs are sometimes attracted by smells we’d find appalling.

For those who know, .

That moment of fixation on a seemingly empty spot on the bottom.

The knees get wobbly after an excellent whiff and the subsequent second your pooch is writhing around.

An animal carcass or stays, guts, or a gooey puddle beyond recognition.

Dogs just absorb these items and there are multiple theories as to why.

Lucky dog owners can trace their dog’s rotten smell to a decaying animal.

For those who know your dog rolled in something, give him an excellent bath and pray there have been no parasites or bacteria for which your dog might need veterinary attention.

Dog Smells Like Decay

For those who feel like your dog smells like decay, it’s best to seek the advice of a veterinarian if the odor persists and is de facto strong.

As mentioned above, check your dog’s body, and mouth, then evaluate whether there’s something of their medical history which may indicate a difficulty.

All 11 causes why your dog might smell rotten:

  1. Dental disease
  2. Oral cancer
  3. Skin infection
  4. Anal gland infection
  5. Rolling in animal stays
  6. Contact with rotten food
  7. Yeast infection
  8. Parvovirus
  9. Urinary Tract Infection
  10. Diabetes
  11. Kidney Failure

While we’ve discussed most of those issues above, those lower on the list aren’t essentially the most common causes of a nasty smell, but are still possible.

Dogs can smell rotten as a consequence of parvovirus, UTI, diabetes, or kidney failure.

Parvovirus may very well be on the table if other symptoms fit, your pup hasn’t been vaccinated and the poop is much more foul-smelling.

Urinary tract infections or diabetes can smell rotten or more like pee.

Your dog might’ve even peed while sleeping and that smell is now perceived as something decaying.

With kidney failure, the kidneys can’t effectively remove waste products from the blood, possibly leading to a foul smell.

As you’ll be able to see, the precise reason behind your dog’s rotten smell is difficult to pin down and a vet visit is likely to be mandatory.

Most of those issues have easy fixes but a persistent offensive odor is unquestionably enough to warrant diving deeper into your dog’s health status.

Disclaimer: This blog post doesn’t substitute veterinary attention and doesn’t intend to achieve this. I’m not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. In case your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.


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