Few sights warm the heart as much as that of a cuddly companion sneaking in for a snuggle. Nothing ruins that moment of cuddly bliss faster than a stinky pooch. Getting rid of that stink will leave you, and your dog, much happier.
Does your furry friend have stained, plaque-coated teeth? Healthy teeth are white without yellow or brown traces of plaque, and the gums are a nice, even pink. Any signs of swelling, redness or tenderness in the gums, or heavy discoloration, are signs of possible tooth problems. Oral bacteria can be particularly potent, and dogs with decaying teeth should be examined by a veterinarian for possible abscesses and infections. Raw bones, such as beef knuckle bones, are an excellent natural toothbrush, so let your dog chew to her heart’s content for cleaner teeth and fresher breath.
Is the odor emanating from the dog’s fur? Some breeds, especially those with oily coats, such as the Chesapeake Bay retriever, tend to be smellier by nature, but if the stench is more than just dog smell, the dog may have rolled in something offensive. Routine grooming and bathing will cut down on doggy odors and keep your pet clean and healthy. Comb through the coat to remove mats and tangles, and place the dog in the bathtub. Soak the coat with warm water and rub a palmful of dog-safe shampoo over the dog. Scrub it all the way down to the skin to remove excess oils, and rinse well. Towel or blow-dry the dog, and comb her as she dries to smooth and flatten the coat. Wipe the insides of her ears with a damp cloth to remove grime, but don’t get water inside the ear canal, which could lead to infection. Bathe the dog every four to six weeks, with additional sessions in between if she finds something fragrant to roll in.
By nature, dogs are designed to eat high-protein diets with a minimal amount of grains and fiber. However, many commercial dog foods are packed with corn, wheat and byproducts that can lead to massive digestive upset. This imbalance often produces excess gas that sneaks out in the form of offensive flatulence. If your pooch has bad gas, it’s time to reevaluate her diet. Read the label on the food to determine the ingredients. Check the first five or six ingredients; any foods that list grain or grain byproducts may lead to excess gas. Meats including chicken, turkey, beef, salmon and bison are popular choices, and should be listed near the top of the ingredient list. Look for alternatives to corn, such as barley, quinoa, rolled oats and potatoes, since many dogs have slight allergies to corn that lead to excess gas.
If you’ve bathed your pet and the vet says she’s healthy but she still stinks, it’s time to clean the rest of her space. Wash your dog’s bedding and favorite blankets in hot water, and use an odor-busting laundry soap to remove stubborn smells. Spray furniture with an enzymatic deodorizer to neutralize bad dog smells, and dust your carpet with pet deodorizer before vacuuming. Open windows and doors to air out smelly rooms, and spray an odor neutralizer around the room to eliminate any remaining stench.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.