Let’s face it, our pets don’t smell like roses. No matter how many baths we give our pets, they still seem to have that doggy or kitty smell because of the natural oils in their skin (along with the scents they get into outside). But if a pet is smelling particularly gross, there may be some health issues to blame. 

There are a few common causes of stinky pets, and your friends at Animal Family Veterinary Care want to help shed light on your pet’s health (and how they smell, too).

6 Health Issues that Can Cause Your Pet to Smell

If your pet has been rolling in something unsavory, or if they just got back from a week of camping, then it’s easy to figure out the cause of the stench. Other problems may be more of a concern, though, such an ear infection. Let’s look at some of these reasons and what to do.

  1. Infection Infection that is left untreated can cause an odor. This may be an unhealed cut on the skin or a yeast infection in the ear. This odor signals a reason for concern and should be a prompt to get your pet to the vet right away. Untreated infection can lead to blood poisoning or sepsis, while an ongoing ear infection can be very painful and cause hearing loss over time.

  2. Allergies – Allergies of the skin, called atopy, cause itching, scaling, dryness, rash, and other skin and coat problems. The odor is caused by excessive oily deposits on the skin. Untreated allergies are not just a stinky affair, they can cause discomfort, chronic scratching, and hair loss for your pet.

  3. Dental disease Have you smelled your pet’s breath lately? Is it gross? Sadly, most pets over the age of three are likely to have some form of dental disease. This causes discoloration, bleeding of the gums, tooth loss, and yes, foul odor. To prevent this, pets need daily tooth brushing and professional dental cleanings. Bad breath isn’t normal for pets!

  4. Gas Blaming a mystery “toot” on the dog is a go-to in many families, but the reality is that dogs and cats can suffer from excess gas, just like people. If your pet has more gas than normal, it could be caused by what they are eating or how quickly. A change in diet or treatment for food allergies can be discussed with your veterinarian. Sometimes they can gulp down air as well if they’re fast eaters and need a way to pace themselves. We can help give tips for that too!

  5. Anal sacs – Your pet has two small glands around their anus that emit odor. These serve as a way to mark territory and communicate with other animals. This is why your pet will greet another pet by smelling their behind. Grooming will help diminish some of those smells, so make an appointment with your groomer to cut down on the stink.

  6. Lack of grooming – Your pet’s natural oils in the skin and coat will start to build up over time without grooming. Ill pets can sometimes smell because they are not self-grooming, such as with our feline companions whose telltale sign of illness is a dirty, unkempt coat. 

Help for Stinky Pets

If your pet has been smellier than usual, please call us! We can help get to the root cause and provide a solution. If your pet hasn’t had their bath lately, why not schedule an appointment? We offer an array of grooming services to help your pet smell amazing.