Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What is That Smell?

In the past, dog odors were never a problem. Generally, the dog was kept outside except in extreme weather conditions. Now, most owners keep their pets inside, allowing them on the furniture and in the beds. A stinky pooch can be a big problem. Not only is odor bothersome and often repulsive to the family, it can also be a sign that your dog is having troubles with his health. If your pooch reeks, then you need to get to the bottom of the smell.

The first step of getting to the bottom of the smell is obvious: has your pooch rolled and played in a foul-smelling substance? It is not uncommon for a dog to take a bath in feces, trash, or the muddy yard. Many experts believe that a dog’s tendency to roll in smelly substances is his way of covering up his natural odor. So, if he were to hunt prey in the wild (or prey were hunting him), his doggy odor wouldn’t give him away. Other experts, and owners alike, think it’s out of enjoyment. If you have ever witnessed your dog rolling around, you’ve probably noticed how happy he was about it. If your pet likes to roll around, then you may need to give him an extra bath or two. Don’t overdo it, though, because excessive bathing will dry out his skin. Typically, one bath per month is acceptable; but, an extra stinky pet may need more. Just make sure that you use a conditioning shampoo and completely rinsing it out of his fur.

If your pet hasn’t been applying his favorite perfume, then you need to figure out exactly where the odor is coming from. First, take a whiff of his ears. Ear infections and wax buildup can cause seriously smelly ears. To prevent infections, clean out your pooch’s ears once a week. If an infection is already present (the ears may be red or swollen with black specks or discharge), then head straight to your veterinarian. Your pup’s ears may be sore or painful, so let the vet take care of the initial cleaning.

The next place to check is his mouth. Open your pooch’s mouth and let him breathe on you. Dog breath is normal, but a strange odor can be a result of a number of problems. Gum disease, ulcers, diabetes, and stomach or gastrointestinal problems can all be causes of smelly breath. If the odor is coming from your pooch’s mouth, then take him to the veterinarian. Your vet can decide whether he needs a good teeth brushing or if something more serious is causing the odor.

Once the ears and mouth have checked out okay, it’s time to check his coat. Mats and tangles can trap dirt and other smelly substances against your dog’s skin. Your dog also releases a smell when he “sweats.” Sometimes, the smell coming from his paw pads may not be agreeable to humans. Give him a good brushing, followed by a bath. If the odor is still present, then keep checking. Allergies and mange can lead to skin infections that also smell. If your pooch is scratching, then look closely at his skin. If it is irritated or hair is missing, then, once again, go visit your veterinarian to find the cause of the irritation.

The final causes you should consider have to do with your pet’s behind. First of all, is it gas? Animals get gas just like humans. However, if your animal seems to be in pain or the gas persists longer than a few hours, he needs to be checked out by the vet. Flatulents can also be a sign of a stomach problem. Second, is your dog having a problem with his anal glands? The anal glands, or sacs, are responsible for releasing a smelly substance when your dog does his business. They also release an unpleasant odor if your dog becomes overanxious or frightened. Sometimes, the sacs can get infected or impacted, causing pain for your pooch. Let your vet decide if the sacs are a problem, and instruct you on what you can do to help.

There are a number of reasons your dog may stink. If the cause of the odor is not obvious, then you will have to do some investigating. Sniff around certain areas of his body to find the cause. The ears, mouth, skin, and anus can all produce foul smells. If your pooch is odorous for a non-obvious reason, then visit your veterinarian. There may be an underlying health problem.

This article was provided by pet-super-store.com an online pet shop featuring the latest in rugged Aluminum Dog Crates and luxurious wooden pet gates.

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