Combatting doggie odour

We all love cuddling with our canines. But sometimes up close and personal can be downright stinky. While some odor is natural, a dog that emits an extremely foul smell may require some intervention. But first, you need to find the source of the problem.

Common sources of doggie B.O. — and how to treat them

Excessively oily skin — Some breeds (especially from the hound group) are prone to excessively oily skin. These oils can accumulate on the skin and become rancid. A bath can help. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a good shampoo. Just don't wash too frequently, as oil glands may produce even more oil as a result of overly frequent bathing.

Bacterial or yeast infections — Bacterial skin infections often cause red bumps and rancid odor. Some dogs also develop excessive shedding, patchy hair loss, and scaling.

Signs of a yeast infection include a rash, an oily coat, and persistent scratching. The skin may form a scaly, elephant-like appearance, and produce a strong odor. Be sure to consult your veterinarian regarding the type of shampoo you should use. Other types of treatment, in addition to medicated shampoos, are often needed for these infections.

A roll in a smelly substance — Some dogs just can't resist rolling around in stinky things, like animal droppings. To help clear the air, bathe your pooch and use some doggie shampoo.

Tips for fighting other sources of dog odor

Keep the ears clean — Ear infections can have a pungent odor and are relatively common in floppy-eared dogs. Weekly cleaning will help prevent infections. Ask your vet to show you how to safely clean your dog's ears.

Brush him more often — Regular brushing, especially of the undercoat, will help remove odor-causing material from the hair, and help to distribute the oils that can lead to odor.

Learn about your dog's anal glands — These glands are often a cause of odor. Your veterinarian can show you how to check, and sometimes empty, the anal sacs to prevent problems with odor.

See your vet if your dog's breath is unusually foul — This condition could be the result of a periodontal disease or other medical condition. Always consult your veterinarian if your dog is emitting an odd odor. A simple treatment may be all it takes to help you breathe easier.
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