Why Does a Dog Stink After a Bath?

Doggie in need of constant baths?

Doggie in need of constant baths?

Rufus smelling less than flowery? While a bath might help, it might not be enough. In fact, chances are he might end up smelling even worse after taking one. If that happens regularly, pay attention -- there might be something else at play that keeps Rufus from smelling his best.

Improper Technique or Materials

There's at least a chance your dog stinks because you're not bathing him properly. If you think bathing a dog can't be too hard, think again -- that's partially why groomers exist. If your dog has long hair or folding skin, for example, it's possible that dirt and bacteria are accumulating under skin folds or in between toes, where hair is long and hard to clean. Either cut the hair to a more manageable length or make sure you spend time reaching into every single corner and valley of his body. You might also need to change shampoos to something antibacterial or with a stronger smell.

Skin Problems

Yeast infections can spread both internally and externally and cause skin to smell rancid. No amount of bathing will get rid of the smell. Bacterial infections, parasite infestations and some forms of skin allergies can also cause skin odors and make you want to run for the hills every time your pal comes around. The only way to get rid of this smell is to treat the problem, usually with antibiotics or anti-inflammatories taken orally.

Other Health Problems

A number of internal health problems can affect the way Rufus smells. Because this is a smell that comes from inside, no bath will get rid of it -- no matter how great the doggie shampoo smells. According to Dr. Everett Mobley, on his website "Your Pet's Best Friend," kidney failure, unregulated diabetes and other health issues can affect the way a dog smells -- especially his breath. Ear infections or ear mites, and sometimes impacted anal sacs, can also affect the way a dog smells -- and no bath will take care of the problem until a vet treats it.

Wildlife Encounters

If your dog had an encounter with a skunk, your standard run-of-the-mill bath is unlikely to get rid of the smell completely. The same is true is he found something dead and rolled on it on your morning walk. Sometimes it takes two or three baths before the smell is truly gone. Other times, you might need to use additional products or home remedies to help you get rid of the smell. For example, distilled vinegar or a mix of baking soda and dish soap could be the first step in destroying the smell.

Wet Dog Smell

If all else fails, consider blow-drying your doggie after the bath. Some dogs just don't smell good when they're wet -- even if you're using a nice shampoo. If he's short-haired, drying him with a towel might be enough. Just do it gentle -- as if you were giving him a message -- or playfully. If that's not good enough, try a blow dryer on the lowest setting and either cold or warm -- but not hot -- air.

 

About the Author

Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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