Perhaps, you are lucky and your dog smells like a freshly cut grass meadow 🌸🍃🌳, which is actually how a healthy dog should smell. However, if your dog has that familiar, yeasty, musty or wet dog smell, there is a good chance that you will be able to solve the issue by taking the steps recommended in the following lines.
Many people get embarrassed about their smelly dogs and their house that usually takes on the residing stinker’s aroma. I remember one very sad and to me distressing situation when a client came to me with a request to put her dog down because it was smelly and she was preparing for a 60th birthday party.
I tried to convince her that we could solve the problem, but when she didn’t let go of the idea, I had to exercise my right to decline. Sadly, she stormed out of the office and never talked to me again. I later found out that she put her dog down in another clinic. 😔
And while I believe most people would not put their dogs down just because they smell bad, it is an annoying and stubborn issue that can be solved with taking a few steps.
In PART ONE, I have chosen a Question and Answer format as I will be able to add to it if some of you have additional questions after reading the proposed plan.
Here is all the info on how to make your dog smell nice again!
PART ONE - COAT CARE AND MAINTENANCE
The bad odour is usually caused by an overgrowth of yeast and bacteria, which loves moisture, and means bathing makes the condition unchanged or worse with only a brief period of relief.
Would antibacterial and anti-fungal shampoos work better? 🧴🦠
In the best-case scenario, such shampoos will give your dog only temporary relief. ”Doggy smell” is usually caused by deeper metabolic issues and imbalances that need to be addressed. Medicated shampoos also contain artificial, and potentially toxic and carcinogenic ingredients, which add a toxic burden on the body. They may also disturb the already fragile balance of skin microflora and contribute to the growth of yeast and pathogenic bacteria.
The good news is that most smelly dogs will improve without the use of medicated baths and shampoos
Is swimming the cause of bad smell in dogs? 🌊🏖
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.
How often should you bathe your dog? 🛁🧼
This solely depends on how dirty your dog gets. In cities, I recommend bathing once or twice a month to wash off pollutants and chemicals from your dog’s coat. The shampoo I currently use is called Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe and I also use a coat conditioner from the same company.
How about combing, can it help? 🐕🐩
If you have a dog with a thick undercoat, I suggest that you comb them ideally daily and comb out as much excessive hair as possible. An airy coat is less likely to smell because it retains less moisture and dries faster.
Ideally, get your dog used to combing when they are young. Try combing your dog if you are watching TV or hanging out with friends and family. Be patient, gentle, yet uncompromising. Your dog is not the decision-maker when it comes to combing, their health is.
PART TWO - MAKING YOUR DOG’S COAT AND SKIN HEALTHY AND SMELL LIKE A FRESHLY CUT GRASS MEADOW
I love the saying that someone is beautiful from the inside out because this is exactly what you need to do if you want your dog to smell like a freshly cut grass meadow. There are several factors that play a key role in dogs being smelly:
- Diet 🍕🍔🌮
- Toxins, pollution and detox ☢️🏭🧪
- Essential nutrient deficiencies 🥬🦴🦃
- Hormonal disorders 😢
Let’s have a look at these four factors.
No matter how convenient feeding kibble is, it is one of the main culprits when it comes to smelly dogs. Similar to people, diets rich in processed foods, chemical preservatives and carbohydrates can disturb your dog’s metabolism and a bad odour is the proverbial tip of the iceberg, an external expression of deeper imbalances.
Dogs have not evolved to eat, digest and process starches, carbohydrates and chemicals and such foods serve as the perfect medium for yeast and bacterial growth.
This doesn’t mean that low carb or grain-free kibble is any better. Buying kibble means that you have no control over the ingredients that manufacturers put in and your dog is still at greater risk of being exposed to chemicals and heavy metals. Also, kibble usually sits in a warehouse for months or sometimes even years before it makes its way into your dog’s bowl.
I have no doubt that people who live with smelly dogs still love them but if they want to solve “the smelly problem” fast, processed food and kibble must go, no matter how inconvenient it may seem.
The good news is that switching a dog to a raw or cooked homemade diet is surprisingly quick and also economical considering the savings on veterinary care.
Here are some important links:
Note: There are no human doctors I know who claim that processed food is better than a whole food diet. There is no objective reason why the same shouldn’t apply to dogs.
Toxins, Pollution and Detox
Did you know that a staggering number of 37 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 chemical reactions take place in the body EVERY SECOND? This incomprehensible number gives you an idea of how complex and miraculous the body is.
All this is happening automatically, where no management or supervision is needed as long as no essential nutrients are missing and foreign toxins and chemicals do not disturb the body’s biochemistry.
Despite nature’s perfection, we humans managed to throw a wrench into the wheel of the body’s biochemistry by introducing foreign, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and radioactive pollution. These substances are like hooligans at a concert 🎶 or a soccer game ⚽️. They disrupt the body’s metabolism, put additional stress on the organs, which may lead to disease and shorten lifespan.
Essential Nutrient Deficiencies
If you have ever done some baking, you understand that skipping an ingredient can turn a birthday cake into an inedible disaster. The body is much more complex, yet, it will not function well and thrive unless all the building blocks are present.
I feel somewhat bad to blame us, humans, again; however, we have undeniably disturbed nature’s nutrient cycle. Food transportation over long distances and the lack of compost and nutrient recycling has led to soil depletion and food nutrient deficiencies.
Vitamins and minerals are not as present in sufficient amounts. It took me many years to realize that this is a serious and often unaddressed cause of health problems in dogs.
Over the years, I have developed four supplements that we endearingly call the FAB 4. They are human-grade, certified organic or natural products that are packaged in glass and some of them fermented, which increases their nutritional value, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
These FAB 4 are part of the “smelly dog program” to supercharge your dog’s body with nutrients.
Here are a few more details about the FAB 4:
Why not “all-in-one” supplements?
The answer is simple. Mixing too many nutrients will affect the product’s stability. Imagine mixing living probiotics with omega-3 oil, spirulina, minerals and vitamins. Such a product would have to contain stabilizers and chemical preservatives and even then, it would be hard to maintain their efficacy and quality.
I am tempted to simplify here again by giving you an example. A separate washer and dryer is better and more effective than an all-in-one! 😉
If you implement the above-mentioned steps, your dog’s condition and smelly coat should improve dramatically within three months, however there is a small possibility that you will not see the improvement you hoped for.
In such a situation, I strongly suggest you ask your veterinarian to test your dog for hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease, two conditions that can cause a lack of response to this protocol. In rare situations organ dysfunction or even cancer may also be at the core of the problem.
No matter what the test results are, taking your dog through steps 1 through 3 will help restore your dog’s vitality and function.
Living with a smelly dog is challenging from a health point of view but also socially. If your dog is smelly and you have friends coming over for a visit, let them know that you are working on the issue.
Here is a brief step by step summary: