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Why does my dog stink? How to get rid of the "wet dog smell"
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Why does my dog stink? How to get rid of the "wet dog smell"


I. Introduction

II. Causes of Stinky Dogs 

A. Genetic predisposition and breed 

B. General coat care - brushing and combing 

1. How often to comb your dog 

C. Bathing your dog 

1. Shampoo choices 

2. How often to bathe your dog 

3. Swimming

III. Step-by-Step Plan to Treat Smelly Dogs 

A. Diet 

1. The impact of processed food 

2. The benefits of a raw or cooked homemade diet 

B. Toxins, pollution, and detox 

1. The importance of detoxification 

2. LiverTune detox supplement 

C. Essential nutrient deficiencies 

1. The importance of proper nutrition 

2. The Fab4 supplement bundle 

3. The drawbacks of "all-in-one" supplements 

D. Other Causes 

1. Hormonal disorders 

2. Anal gland problems and infections 

3. Unhealthy dog beds 

4. Dental health

IV. Summary 

How to transform your stinky dog into a delightfully smelling companion | A Step-by-Step Guide


When my friends spend time with my dog Pax, they often ask me why he isn't stinky like most other dogs.

Hearing this brings me joy and a tinge of sadness because many people assume it's normal for our canine companions to emanate funky, musty, yeasty odours and that the infamous "wet dog smell" is normal.

But I have great news! Your dog can smell as lovely as a freshly cut grassy meadow!  

The Story of Matilda

Not too long ago, one of my relatives introduced me to their dog, Matilda. She is a lovely Basset Hound with a heart of gold, but there was just one issue – her smell. 

Whenever Matilda visited, her powerful odour would remain in our home for days. As time passed, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Matilda and decided to step in gently by recommending the protocol found at the end of this blog. 

Over four months, we adjusted Matilda's diet, implemented a detox, addressed nutrient deficiencies, and ensured proper grooming.

As the weeks went by, a remarkable change took place. Matilda's coat became shinier and softer, her energy levels improved, and most importantly, her smell started to fade. By the end of the four months, Matilda was virtually unrecognizable, and people were happy to socialize with her again. 

Matilda's story is a testament to the power of addressing the root cause of a smelly dog and the incredible difference it can make in their lives – and ours. 

I have dedicated this blog to all devoted dog parents with smelly dogs who suffer from unhealthy coats and skin, itching, discomfort, and social exclusion, which can be very hard for dogs. 

If you want to help your beloved "stinky dog," I assure you that most dogs can smell good and feel fantastic if you take a few simple steps.


Why do some dogs smell bad? 

The unpleasant odour can often be attributed to an overgrowth of Malassezia yeast, a normal inhabitant of your dog's skin, which can sometimes grow excessively and cause inflammation, itching, and that wet dog smell. 

But don't point the finger at these microorganisms just yet; they're merely a byproduct of your dog's underlying issues that need to be addressed to help your canine companion.

By identifying the root causes and addressing them effectively, the chances that your dog will no longer be smelly are very high.

3 causes of stinky dogs

1. Genetic predisposition and breed 

While some dogs may be more susceptible to odors due to their genetic makeup, this accounts for a relatively small percentage of cases. 

Most skin issues are related to epigenetic factors—external influences that can affect gene expression. This means most dogs can improve and smell better when these external factors are addressed. 


2. General coat care - brushing and combing 

A well-groomed dog is a happier, better-smelling dog! Regular combing and brushing are essential in maintaining skin and coat health, no matter the length of your dog's fur. Rubber massage brushes work wonders for short-haired pups, while long-haired dogs can benefit from a combination of combs and brushes designed for topcoats and undercoats. 

How frequently should you comb your dog? 🐕🐩

If you have a thick undercoat dog, I suggest you comb them daily to remove as much excessive hair as possible. A light coat is less likely to smell because it retains less moisture and dries faster.

Ideally, introduce your dog to brushing while they are still young. Make it a comfortable and enjoyable experience by incorporating it into leisurely activities like watching TV or spending time with friends and family. Approach the process with patience and gentleness, but remain firm and consistent. Remember, when it comes to brushing, your dog's health is the priority. 

Note: I comb my dog, Pax, about five times a week, which only takes a few minutes daily. Starting this grooming routine early in your dog's life will make it an enjoyable bonding experience for both of you and keep your canine companion looking, feeling, and smelling great.

3. Bathing

Do antibacterial and anti-fungal shampoos help? 🧴🦠

In most cases, bathing will only temporarily relieve your pup and can also worsen the condition. In addition, medicated shampoos contain artificial, potentially toxic, and carcinogenic ingredients, which burden the body. 

They may also disturb the fragile balance of skin microflora and contribute to the further growth of yeast and pathogenic bacteria. For these reasons, I generally do not recommend antibacterial shampoos and focus on correcting the causes of dogs being stinky. 

What shampoo do I recommend and like? While many products are on the market, finding a good natural one takes work. Currently, I am using Weleda Calendula Soap and Weleda Baby Gentle Shampoo & Body Wash with Calendula.

How often should you bathe your dog? 🛁🧼

It depends on how dirty your dog gets. In cities, I recommend bathing once or twice monthly to wash off pollutants and chemicals from your dog's coat. However, it's important to note that bathing too frequently may not help with a stinky dog issue and can worsen things, mainly if the dog's skin is sensitive or not in the best health. In addition, overbathing can strip essential oils from the skin, leading to irritation or other problems. So, balancing and adjusting the bathing routine according to your dog's needs is crucial.

Can swimming make dogs smelly? 🌊🏖

If your dog tends to be smelly, swimming and water may aggravate their condition. However, under normal circumstances, a healthy dog's coat and skin should not become smelly with swimming. Smelly coats are usually a sign of less than optimal health and coat and skin care.


Dog health starts from the inside out, and tackling the predisposing factors I mentioned earlier is the key to a fresh-smelling pup. So let's dive into these four factors that can significantly impact your dog's body odour:

A. Diet🥩🥦🍠 
B. Toxins, pollution, and detox 🌫️🚚💊 
C. Essential nutrient deficiencies 🍗🥕🐟 
D. Other Causes

    Time to explore these crucial elements!

    A. DIET

    I know that many people out there feed their dogs kibble-based processed food. Understandably, financial and convenience factors play a role in this decision, but if you aim to keep your dog's skin, coat, and overall health in tip-top shape, it's best to steer clear of processed food. 

    Diets loaded with processed foods, low-quality ingredients, chemical preservatives, and cheap starches can disrupt your dog's metabolism and lead to unpleasant odours. Medically speaking, bad skin odour is known as seborrhea, a sign of deeper imbalances and potential health issues.

    Don't be misled into thinking that low-carb or grain-free kibble is a major improvement. When you buy a bag of kibble, you have no real control over the quality or origin of the ingredients, putting your dog at a higher risk of exposure to chemicals and heavy metals.

    Furthermore, kibble can sit in warehouses for months, or even years, before it finally reaches your dog's bowl. These issues with storing processed pet food make it turn rancid and harm your dog's health.

    Of course, you love your smelly dog, but imagine how much more enjoyable it would be to have them smell fresh and clean! In my experience, dogs on a raw or cooked homemade diet rarely give off a foul smell.

    If you decide to switch, you'll likely see a remarkable transformation within 4-6 weeks. Not to mention, feeding raw food can be relatively economical when you factor in the savings on veterinary care and the emotional benefits of seeing your dog healthy and happy.

    Also, imagine how fantastic it will feel to receive compliments on your dog's health. Dogs are fully aware of their body odour, and other dogs know they are not as healthy.


    Did you know that trillions of chemical reactions happen within the body every second? The body is incredibly complex, and humans have managed to interfere with natural biochemistry by introducing foreign toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and radioactive pollution into the environment.

    These foreign substances are unavoidable, and they can disrupt the body's metabolism, damage internal organs, cause disease, and even shorten lifespan. 

    Since the skin is the largest organ in the body, it's no surprise that its health is heavily influenced by how toxin-free the body is.

    The body also has a natural tendency to detox through the skin, which is evident in the body odors of both dogs and humans. That's why the next step is to do a detox.  

    LiverTune is a natural, fermented herbal detox and cleanse formula designed to flush out toxins, supporting your dog's overall health and help smelly dogs.


    Imagine you're baking a cake and you accidentally leave out a key ingredient – the result could be a culinary catastrophe! The body is infinitely more complex. Any deficiency in essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or essential fatty acids (Omega-3 oil), can lead to suboptimal cell and organ function and even disease. Therefore, proper nutrition is vital for maintaining a healthy body and reducing unpleasant odors.

    Unfortunately, intensive farming practices have disrupted the natural nutrient cycle. In addition, the long-distance transportation of food, combined with a lack of composting and nutrient replenishment in the soil, has contributed to widespread nutrient deficiencies.

    Nutrient deficiencies often lie at the heart of many health problems, including unhealthy, malodorous skin. By addressing these deficiencies, you are likely to see an undeniable transformation. 

    Introducing the Fab4
    To provide your dog with the missing nutrients that make them healthier and less smelly, we've created a set of essential supplements called the Fab4.

    These supplements ensure your dog gets all the nutrients for optimal skin and coat health.

    The Fab4 supplements are human-grade, certified organic when possible, and made from all-natural ingredients. They come in glass packaging, and two of our products are naturally fermented, which enhances their absorption, nutritional value, and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.

    Here's a brief overview of the Fab4:

    1. GreenMin: An all-natural, plant-based mineral and amino acid-rich green superfood that replenishes calcium and other essential minerals while gently detoxifying and energizing your dog's body.

    2. SoulFood: A certified organic, naturally fermented multi-vitamin that provides a full spectrum of vitamins and supports your dog's organ health.

    3. FeelGood Omega: A pure, sustainable Omega-3 (EFA) calamari oil tested for toxins and heavy metals. Omega-3s are vital for maintaining your dog's joint, nervous system, skin, and coat health.

    4. GutSense: An all-natural, non-dairy pre and probiotic formulated with canine-specific strains. It promotes healthy digestion, bowel movement, and immune system function.

    NOTE: If you purchase all of the Fab4 essentials, you'll receive a 15% discount and free standard shipping (In the USA & Canada). 

    Why "all-in-one" supplements aren't the best choice

    Combining too many supplements can negatively impact product stability and shelf life. For instance, mixing live probiotics with Omega-3 oil, spirulina, minerals, and vitamins would require stabilizers and chemical preservatives, and even then, it would be challenging to maintain their efficacy and quality over time. 

    The Fab4 supplements are designed to provide your dog with the highest quality nutrients. 

    Discover more about the Fab4 and how they can improve your dog's health.


    1. Hormonal Disorders

    By following the steps mentioned above, most dogs should experience a significant improvement in their condition and smelly coat within three months. 

    However, in rare cases, you might not see the desired progress.

    If the problem persists, it's essential to consult your veterinarian and request tests for hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease

    These hormonal disorders could be responsible for the lack of response to the Smelly Dog Protocol. However, in some rare situations, organ dysfunction or even cancer may be the root of the issue.

    NOTE: Regardless of the test results or diagnosis, going through the protocol can help rejuvenate your dog's vitality and overall health. So, don't lose hope and continue working towards making your beloved pet healthier and happier.

    2. Anal gland problems

    Sometimes, the unpleasant smell may stem from anal gland issues or the natural emptying of your dog's anal sacs. In such instances, the smell is somewhat fishy. To learn more about this topic and how to address it, check out our informative anal gland blog post.

    3. Unhealthy dog beds

    Maintaining the cleanliness of your dog's bed and washing the cover regularly is essential, as this can contribute to unpleasant odours. 

    Additionally, many traditional foam dog beds emit toxins that could affect your dog's health. I recommend using a dog bed of organic natural rubber foam covered with organic cotton

    4. Dental Health

    Dental health is not only vital for your dog's overall well-being, but it can also be a significant contributor to unpleasant odours. 

    Poor dental hygiene can lead to bad breath, infections, abscesses, and other issues that may cause your dog to smell bad. By taking care of your dog's teeth and gums, you're ensuring their overall health and keeping them smelling fresh. 

    Remember to prioritize dental care. For example, raw bone feeding helps maintain your dog's oral health and prevents bad smells, serious heart and kidney problems, and shortened lifespan. 

    Be sure to check out our dental blog to Learn more about maintaining your dog's oral health and various dental care tips. 

    SUMMARY - Smelly dog protocol

    In this article, we've explored various factors contributing to a dog's unpleasant odour and shared valuable insights on addressing them effectively. 

    Following the recommendations outlined below, you can help your beloved dog smell fresh and enjoy better overall health. 

    Here's a summary of the key recommendations from the article:

    1. General coat care: Regularly comb and brush your dog to maintain skin and coat health.

    2. Bathing: Use natural shampoos and adjust the bathing frequency according to your dog's needs.

    3. Diet: Feed your dog a raw or cooked homemade diet for better skin and coat health.

    4. Detox: Use LiverTune to help detoxify your dog's body.

    5. Supplements: Provide essential nutrients with the Fab4 supplements (GreenMin, SoulFood, FeelGood Omega, and GutSense).

    6. Consult a veterinarian to test for hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease if the smell persists.

    7. Anal gland issues: Regularly check and address anal gland issues.

    8. Dog bed: Choose an organic natural rubber foam bed with an organic cotton cover.

    9. Dental health: Prioritize your dog's oral health by feeding raw bones and following dental care tips.

    About the author

    Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

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