dog smells bad after going outside

My Dog Smells Bad After Going Outside! What To Do?

A dog that smells bad after going outside? Believe it or not, this is a very common problem with easy solutions.

As a pet owner, I’ve smelled the nastiest odors a dog could have. Going outdoors increases a dog’s risk of coming back stinky due to various elements. You should also know that it’s normal for dogs to have a certain smell due to their coat.

Below, I discussed why dogs get smelly after a trip outdoors and what you can do about it. Take note that it’s more than just bathing the pooch.

9 Reasons Why a Dog Smells Bad After Going Outside

If your dog is sporting the ‘eau de canis’ scent, the following might be the possible reasons:

1. Ambient odors

dog smells bad after going outside

Ambient odors are the scents that linger in the air outdoors. It could be the scent of freshly mowed grass or the water from the pond where your dog soaked. All of these will cause odor buildup, which is potentially stinky.

2. Garbage

Is your dog fond of dumpster diving? If so, don’t be surprised if it will become stinky after going outdoors. The rotting smell of garbage will adhere to the dog’s coat, much so if it has a long fur. Just imagine all the nasty stuff your dog will find in the trash. Worst, the dog will jump straight into the couch or your bed, spreading the awful scent.

3. Pollution

Dogs always acquire pollutants whenever they go outdoors. From dust, smoke from cars, and other odors, all of it will stick to the canine’s coat. As your dog runs around, the pollutants will mix with other dirt that will develop a bad smell.

4. Scents from other animals

dog smells bad after going outside

If your dog came home smelling like stinky farts, it probably encountered a skunk. Scents from animals and insects are strong so that it will linger on your dog’s coat. My dog once chewed a stink bug, which really gives off a gut-wrenching odor in his mouth. This is aside from the muddy mess on his coat that spread all over the house. It was a big mess.

Aside from the odor, the fluids other animals produce have irritants. It’s intended to ward off predators. You should observe your dog in the next hours to see if it will develop any adverse symptoms. If so, you should bring the pooch to the vet right away.

Take note that if your dog got sprayed by a skunk, it has to be bathed as soon as possible. This is to wash away the sulfuric chemicals that the skunk sprayed on your dog. Aside from the offensive odor, the chemical will also trigger intense irritation on your dog’s skin.

5. Paw sweat

Generally, it’s known that dogs don’t sweat. However, there’s one exempted body part: their paws. During a hot day, your dog will sweat a lot on its paws. As it runs around, dirt will stick to the paws and spread on the coat as your pet scratches its body.

Like humans, accumulation of sweat is guaranteed to cause bacteria and odor buildup.

6. Skin problems

If your dog’s bad smell isn’t going away for days, you should consider the possibility of a skin problem. Skin disease and the presence of parasites will trigger infection on your dog’s coat. This infection will lead to odor buildup, which will get worse as days go by.

It’s possible that the outdoor elements only worsened the condition. Most dogs with skin problems will chew and lick the part incessantly. Over time, hot spots and bald patches will develop.

Take note that skin problems among dogs rarely go away on their own. You have to seek proper treatment for your dog for the odor and infection to go away.

7. Moisture

The classic doggy smell often develops after the dog soaks in water. It could be the rain, a puddle, a pond, or the water from the faucet. When the moisture mixes with dander, deep-seated dirt, and loose fur, it will likely create a foul odor.

Dogs with thick double coats are more prone to developing a foul smell when exposed to moisture. The moisture gets trapped under their lush coat and harbors dirt. If not addressed right away, it will lead to matting and an even stronger odor.

8. Anal sacs issues

On the other hand, the odor may not be coming off directly from your dog’s coat. You should also consider the possibility of anal sacs problems.

Dogs produce a natural musk that comes from their butts. Unfortunately, the anal sacs tend to harbor dirt on their pocket-life structure. Over time, this will develop a very foul smell that most dog owners can’t tolerate.

This is the same reason why many pay professional groomers to express anal sacs and remove the source of the bad smell.

9. Due for a bath

Lastly, you should think about the last time you gave your dog a bath. Is it last month? Last year? Most dogs can go by without baths for long, but larger and thick-coated doggos often need frequent bathing.

The frequency of bathing also depends on your dog’s exposure to dirt. In general, quarterly bathing is sufficient, but there might be situations that require emergency rinses.

You shouldn’t wait until your dog gets smelly before you give it a bath. You should schedule this together with other grooming needs.

How to remove the bad outdoor smell from your dog

While your dog’s smell might be too repulsive, there’s a way to fix it. The following are some of the effective methods to deal with a stinky Fido.

🐶A quick bath is the best solution

The easiest and most convenient solution to a stinky dog is a nice bath. Wash your pet with a dog shampoo, ensuring that you let the suds sit on its coat for about 5 to 10 minutes. This will let the shampoo penetrate the undercoat and neutralize bad odors.

But I just gave my dog earlier! In this case, dry shampoo will help. Dry shampoo products can be applied directly to your dog’s coat without any water needed. You simply massage the foamy substance into the dog’s coat using your hands. After that, you need to massage the dog’s coat with a towel. A good brush after this will also help.

Please remember that dry shampoo should never be used too often. The rule of thumb is using it twice or thrice in a row on your dog. After that, you need to give the pooch a full bath. Using dry shampoo without giving the dog a proper bath will lead to matting and bad odor.

🐶Daily brushing helps

Daily brushing does a lot in removing dirt and dust that could cause a bad smell on your dog’s coat. A five-minute brushing session with your dog is enough to keep its coat tangle-free. Aside from that, the brushing stroke will stimulate the production of natural oils in your dog’s skin.

However, you should only use bristle or pin brushes for daily brushing. Deshedding tools are reserved for periodic use only. Using it often will damage your dog’s coat.

🐶Ventilation is important

One of the major culprits to odor buildup on your dog’s coat is trapped moisture. After your dog went outdoors, let it ‘aerate’ on the porch. You can also use your hairdryer on the lowest heat setting to dry your dog’s moist coat.

🐶Give it a trim

Like humans, dogs need a trim from time to time. Again, I said trim, not shave. Shaving your dog is a no-no because it will damage its coat. The shaved part may not grow back naturally.

For dogs with ‘feathers’ like Golden Retrievers, keeping the feathers in a decent length will help prevent the accumulation of dirt. In general, keeping your dog’s coat at a manageable length will reduce the dirt that could be trapped on it.

If you don’t have any experience trimming your dog, it’s best to bring your pet to a professional groomer. Quarterly trims work well for my dog, though non-shedding breeds may need more frequent visits to a groomer.

🐶Check for skin problems

Also, make it a habit to check your dog’s skin as you brush its coat. This will let you notice any changes that could indicate a skin problem. Remember that when it comes to your dog’s health problems, early intervention is the key. This will save your nose from the bad odor and your dog from the suffering.

🐶Limit your dog’s outdoor trips

Lastly, consider limiting your dog’s access outdoors. Limited exposure to pollutants, ambient odors, and other elements means less stinky smell. You can find other ways to keep your dog busy indoors.

If you are to take your dog outdoors, always supervise it. This way, you can intervene if the doggo ever tries to dig through garbage or soak in mud.

In this video, Dr. Andrew Jones tells us more about how to fix a stinky dog using a few supplies:

Should you worry about a stinky dog?

Based on my experience, a stinky dog isn’t usually a cause of major concern. Canines love running around and exploring things that intrigue them, no matter how gross it could be.

As long as your dog isn’t eating anything weird or showing adverse signs of skin irritation, you shouldn’t panic. Clean the dog up and see if the smell won’t go away. If the odor doesn’t seem to abate even after bathing, I suggest that you call the vet.

Take note that animal scents like a skunk spray may take a few washes to be completely removed. If the dog appears lethargic and has a poor appetite after the skunk spray, you should consult the vet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does Febreze get rid of dog smell?

A: If your dog left a nasty smell on your couch and other fabric surfaces, a Febreze fabric spray would help. Remember, NEVER spray any fabric cleaners on your dog. This is unsafe, and it will cause serious irritation and further problems on its coat. I suggest bathing the dog instead or using a dry shampoo if the smell is unbearable.

Q: How do I stop my dog from smelling between baths?

A: To keep your dog fresh between baths, you should brush it regularly and limit its access to dirt. You can also use dry shampoo to clean minor dirt and neutralize the smell. It’s also important to clean your dog’s bedding, toys, and bowls to prevent any odor buildup.

Q: What do groomers use to make dogs smell good?

A: Many times, professional groomers use perfume made, especially for canines. It usually has a baby powder scent that’s very appealing to pet owners. Take note that this perfume or cologne is made for dogs and not the ones for humans. If you’re curious, you can try asking your dog’s groomer about the products they’re using.

Q: Why does my dog get Frito smell on his paws?

A: The yeasty smell dogs have on their paws is due to the Proteus bacterium. Also, the most common is sweat being stuck on your dog’s sweat glands on the paws and adjacent fur. To get rid of this, you can try washing your dog’s paws with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide mixed in a gallon of water. If this didn’t work, you could consult the veterinarian for other treatments.

Q: Why does my dog smell so bad after a bath?

A: It’s possible that you didn’t dry your dog’s coat properly. The trapped moisture will then harbor bacteria that will cause a bad smell hours after the bath. For thick and long-haired dogs, you can use a hairdryer with controlled heat levels. You should also invest in high-quality dog shampoo that works well in neutralizing bad smell.

Final words

If a dog smells bad after going outside, you should check its coat first. Dirt, pollutants, and outdoor elements are likely the culprit. However, you should also watch out for skunk sprays and skin problems that require immediate treatment. If the smell isn’t going away, I suggest that you call the veterinarian for professional advice.

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