What to do if your dog rolls in a dead animal?

Answered by Willian Lymon

If your dog has rolled in a dead animal, it’s important to act quickly to prevent any potential health issues and to get rid of the unpleasant smell. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do in such a situation:

1. Assess the situation: Before taking any action, make sure the dead animal doesn’t pose any immediate danger to you or your dog. If necessary, use gloves or a tool to remove the carcass from the vicinity.

2. Contain your dog: If your dog is still near the dead animal, gently leash or restrain him to prevent further contact. This will also ensure your dog’s safety and prevent him from running away.

3. Find a suitable bathing area: Take your dog to an outdoor space where you can easily hose him down without causing a mess indoors. If the weather is cold, consider using a warm indoor space like a bathroom or a utility room.

4. Hose down your dog: Use a garden hose or a detachable showerhead to thoroughly wet your dog’s fur. Start from the head and work your way down to the tail, making sure to wet all areas that came into contact with the dead animal.

5. Use dog shampoo: Once your dog is completely wet, apply a dog-specific shampoo to his coat. Make sure to choose a shampoo formulated for dogs that can effectively remove odors. Avoid using human shampoos, as they can be too harsh for canine skin and may cause irritation.

6. Lather and rinse: Massage the shampoo into your dog’s fur, paying extra attention to the areas that were most affected by the dead animal. Take your time to work up a good lather, ensuring that the shampoo reaches the skin. Rinse thoroughly, making sure to remove all traces of shampoo.

7. Repeat if necessary: If the smell still lingers after the first wash, you may need to repeat the bathing process. However, be cautious not to over-bathe your dog, as excessive washing can strip the natural oils from his skin and coat, leading to dryness and irritation.

8. Towel dry: Once your dog is clean, use a towel to gently dry him off. If your dog tolerates it, you can also use a blow dryer on a low, cool setting to speed up the drying process. Be careful not to use too much heat, as it can damage your dog’s skin.

9. Prevent future incidents: To avoid your dog rolling in dead animals in the future, consider keeping him on a leash or closely supervising him when outside. Additionally, providing mental and physical stimulation through regular exercise can help reduce the likelihood of such behavior.

Remember, the key in these situations is to act promptly and ensure your dog’s safety and well-being. If you’re unsure about anything or notice any unusual behavior or symptoms in your dog after the incident, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for further guidance.