How do I stop my dogs fishy smell?

Answered by James Kissner

If your dog has a fishy smell, there are a few steps you can take to help eliminate it. Here’s a detailed answer to guide you through the process:

1. Determine the source of the odor: Before taking any action, it’s important to identify why your dog smells fishy. Common causes include skin infections, anal gland issues, diet, or even rolling in something smelly outside. If the odor persists or is accompanied by other symptoms like itching or redness, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

2. Regular grooming: Regular grooming is essential for maintaining your dog’s hygiene and preventing odors. Brushing your dog’s coat helps remove dirt, debris, and dead hair, which can contribute to the fishy smell. Additionally, it stimulates the skin and distributes natural oils, keeping the coat healthier. Choose a brush suitable for your dog’s coat type, and make it a part of your routine.

3. Bathing: If your dog’s odor persists despite regular grooming, a bath may be necessary. Use a dog-safe shampoo specially formulated for your dog’s skin and coat type. Avoid using human shampoos or harsh chemicals, as they can irritate your dog’s skin. Wet your dog thoroughly and lather the shampoo all over, paying special attention to areas with a stronger smell. Rinse your dog completely, ensuring no shampoo residue remains.

4. Drying and brushing: After the bath, thoroughly dry your dog using a towel or a pet-specific dryer on a low heat setting. Moisture can contribute to odors, so make sure your dog’s coat is completely dry. Once dry, brush your dog’s coat again to remove any remaining loose hair and to distribute the natural oils. This will help keep the coat fresh and odor-free.

5. Ear care: If the fishy smell seems to be coming from your dog’s ears, it’s important to address it separately. Dogs with floppy ears or those that love to swim are more prone to ear infections, which can cause unpleasant odors. Gently clean your dog’s ears with a veterinarian-approved ear cleaning solution and cotton balls or pads. Be careful not to insert anything into the ear canal, as it can cause damage. If you suspect an ear infection, consult your vet for appropriate treatment.

6. Diet: Diet plays a significant role in your dog’s overall health and can affect body odor. If your dog’s fishy smell persists, consider evaluating their diet. Some dogs may benefit from a change in food, especially if they have food allergies or sensitivities. Consult your veterinarian for advice on choosing a balanced and appropriate diet for your dog’s specific needs.

7. Deodorizing sprays or wipes: In addition to regular grooming, you can use deodorizing sprays or wipes specifically formulated for dogs. These products help neutralize odors and leave your dog smelling fresh between baths. However, it’s important to choose products that are safe for dogs and avoid any that contain harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances that may irritate their skin.

Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. If the fishy smell persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.