Ahh, that wet dog smell. Or that dirty golden retriever smell. To some, these odors are irresistible. To others, they are cause for disgust. Here’s the scoop on how your dog’s smell—and the status of his fur coat—can clue you in to his overall health:
Some dogs do have that natural, shall we say, odeur. Breeds that produce more oil, such as Labradors, Cocker Spaniels, and Basset Hounds, tend to have a stronger smell; this results from the oxidation of fat caused by the interaction of natural yeast and bacterias on the skin. Other breeds, such as Poodles, tend not to secrete so much oil and thus have less build-up of oxidized fat. Tasty, huh?
However, the smell of your dog can tell you a lot about his health. A foul odor even after bathing can indicate a yeast or bacterial infection in his skin. Or the smell might be coming from other parts of his body, such as his ears, mouth, or anal sacs. We’ll be writing more on these areas in the coming weeks, not to make you lose your lunch, but to let you know how your pup’s health and well-being can be affected in these areas. Hang with us!
For now, though, let’s focus on his coat. Whenever your dog starts to smell, give him a bath or send him to Pet Groomerie! As long as you use a specially-formulated, gentle shampoo made just for dogs (like the ones we use in our salons), you won’t dry out his coat. Also, brush his coat frequently to get rid of excess hair.
And don’t forget his diet! Nutrition plays a huge role in the health, appearance, and smell of your pooch’s fur. Your pup should be eating food with plenty of protein and amino acids, which are the building blocks of its natural structure, just as in humans' hair. Having plenty of these nutrients in her bloodstream means that Fifi’s coat can renew itself. Avoid diets heavy in grains, starches, and cereal or low in fatty acids. Ask your vet’s advice on the best food for your pup, and consider supplements if her fur tends to be dry and brittle.
If your pup seems to be losing too much hair or even balding in spots, take her in to see her veterinarian. Balding can indicate a host of physical or emotional issues and should be dealt with right away.
In the end, we have to remember that, like us, dogs need regular care and bathing to keep healthy, clean, and nice-smelling. But dogs will be dogs—and will smell like them, too