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Stinky dog? Poor health may be to blame
Dogs don't naturally smell like roses, but if your dog has a particularly pungent odor, it is worth looking into. Offensive odors are usually indicators of poor health – skin infections, allergic reactions or other conditions could be to blame.
Most frequently, malodor is caused by bacteria and yeast metabolizing secretions like skin oils. Dark, moist places like the dog's mouth, ears, skin folds and under the tail tend to have the highest concentration of yeast and bacteria. While yeast and bacteria are a normal part of every animal's skin, they are kept to a minimum on healthy skin. Older or ill dogs may have skin that is less healthy, which causes the number of yeast and bacteria to multiply, causing odor.
When the yeast or bacterial infection causes itching, a dog's scratching will increase blood flow to the area, causing inflammation, swelling and heat, making the odors even worse. Moisture also intensifies the smell, so if your dog gets wet, the odor-causing compounds increase, creating a stronger stench.
The first course of action to take if your dog is particularly smelly is to give it a bath with pet shampoo like Oatmeal & Aloe Vera Dog Shampoo. This will rule out the possibility that it simply rolled in something nasty. If something with its skin still seems off, your vet may recommend a medicated shampoo. Malapet Medicated Shampoo removed fungus and bacteria from the pet's skin, while Malaseb helps treat yeast and bacterial infections on the skin. Always reward your pooch with treats like Greenies Dental Treats after a bath.
If you suspect the smell is coming from your dog's ears, giving it a bath simply will not suffice. Your vet may recommend you clean the pooch's ears with pet products like Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser to prevent bacteria and yeast build up. If your dog has recurring ear infections from bacteria and yeast, a product like Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution with Hydrocortisone may be a good choice, as it treats the infection and cleans the ear.
Malodor that comes from the dog's mouth can be the result of a build up of bactera between the dog's teeth and gums. Giving your pooch dental treats like Greenies or C.E.T. Oral Hygeine Chews for Dogs can freshen their breath while also keeping their teeth clean and healthy. Eliminating odor in your pet's mouth also usually means you are improving its dental health, which can prevent oral and dental diseases later on.