How to Get Rid of Wet Dog Smell

How to Get Rid of Wet Dog Smell

Last update: 22 July, 2018

A dog that spent the afternoon running in the mud may arrive home with an almost intolerable smell. That famous “wet dog smell” is natural and you can get rid of it.

Why do our pets smell bad?

All mammals have a series of bacteria and yeasts. As for dogs, they go through a “latency period” while their coat is drying.

When your dog gets wet, the water molecules cause small volatile compounds to move, which gives him that wet dog smell. These microorganisms are totally harmless and will be with your dog during his entire life.

The natural sebum that dog hair retains also play a role in the stench. This substance must be maintained and monitored, because it keeps the dog dry and keeps his coat smooth and shiny.

wet dog

Other areas where the scent might be more noticeably intense are the ears, paws, and anus, because there are extra secretion glands in those areas.

Tips and tricks to minimize that wet dog smell

Since a dog’s odor depends on the bacteria and yeast naturally found on their skin, it’s very difficult to eliminate the stench completely. Some hygiene habits, could help prevent your house or clothes from stinking.

  • Clean your dog’s paws: This will minimize the wet dog smell and keep your house dry and free of mud and germs. Keep a handkerchief or towel close to the entrance of your house so your dog doesn’t track dirt in.
  • Shower your dog immediately. If your dog is small, it might be enough to pick him up and take him to the bathtub. If he’s a large dog, make sure you clean his paws first. It’s a good idea to use a special shampoo to prevent skin or cuticle problems.
  • Brush your dog frequently. This is another way to keep your dog’s skin and coat hygienic. Since it’s not good to bathe him excessively, this is a good method for eliminating extra dirt and germs.
    A dog taking a bath

You can make a completely natural disinfectant by using diluted apple cider vinegar. A cup of vinegar mixed in your pet’s normal shampoo will minimize the odor more than you expect.

Diseases with a specific odor

There are some odors that might not be natural, and actually indicate some kind of infection. If you notice a more evasive behavior than normal in addition to the smell, then take your dog to the bet as soon as possible.

Here are some of the most common infections:

  • Otitis: As previously mentioned, dogs have a series of glands around their ears that are partially responsible for their natural scent. An ear infection might cause new secretions that intensify this odor, so it’s important to always keep the ears clean and under control.
  • Oral infection caused by plaque or rotten food. A dog’s mouth also produces a distinctive and strong scent. If your pet’s mouth smells like acetone or ammonia, then that could be an indicator of an oral infection, which will require veterinary treatment.
  • Any unusual secretions around the eyes, nose, mouth, or reproductive organs have direct consequences on a pet’s smell. Owners should follow up on any of these odors with a vet to prevent any diseases and infections from developing, which in turn keeps your pet clean and healthy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.