My Dog Stinks No Matter What I Do

As a devoted pet owner, you take pride in keeping your dog clean and well-groomed.

However, you may find yourself in a perplexing situation when your dog continues to emit a foul odor and you’ll think: “My dog stinks no matter what I do”.

In this article, we will delve into the possible reasons behind persistent dog odors, from skin conditions to dietary issues, and even hidden environmental factors.

By understanding the underlying causes of your dog’s unpleasant smell, you can take the necessary steps to address the issue, ensuring your canine companion remains fresh and healthy.

In this article, we will explore some of the most common reasons why dogs smell bad and offer tips on combating the issue.

Possible Causes Of Dog Odor

Dental Issues

One of the most common causes of dog odor is poor dental hygiene.

When a dog’s teeth are not brushed regularly, plaque and tartar can build up, leading to bad breath and a foul odor.

In addition to bad breath, dental issues can cause your dog to drool excessively and have difficulty eating.

To prevent dental issues, brushing your dog’s teeth regularly and providing them with dental chews or toys is important.

There are also solutions to clean dog teeth without brushing.

Regular dental check-ups with a veterinarian can also help catch any dental problems early on.

Skin Problems

Another possible cause of dog odor is skin problems.

Skin allergies, infections, and parasites like fleas and ticks can all lead to a smelly dog.

Skin allergies can cause excessive scratching and licking, leading to a musty odor.

Infections can cause a foul smell due to the bacteria present, and fleas and ticks can leave a musty odor on your dog’s fur.

To prevent skin problems, keeping your dog clean and groomed regularly is important.

Regular flea and tick prevention can also help keep your dog smelling fresh.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are another common cause of dog odor.

If your dog has an ear infection, you may notice a foul smell coming from its ears.

Other symptoms may include shaking their head, scratching at their ears, and discharge from the ears.

To prevent ear infections, keeping your dog’s ears clean and dry is important.

Regular ear cleanings can help prevent infections from occurring.

Anal Gland Problems

Anal gland problems can also cause a bad odor in dogs.

The anal glands are located on either side of the anus and can become impacted or infected, leading to a foul smell.

Other symptoms of anal gland problems may include:

  • Scooting their bottom on the ground
  • Licking or biting at their rear end
  • Difficulty defecating

To prevent anal gland problems, it is important to keep your dog’s anal glands expressed regularly.

This can be done by a veterinarian or groomer.

Solutions To Reduce Dog Odor


Regular grooming is essential to reduce dog odor.

Brushing your dog’s coat removes dead skin cells, dirt, and loose hair that can trap odors.

Bathing your dog with a mild, dog-specific shampoo can also help to reduce odor.

However, over-bathing can strip your dog’s skin of natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation.

It’s recommended to bathe your dog every 4-6 weeks or as needed.


A dog’s diet can also affect its odor.

Feeding your dog high-quality, nutritious food can improve their health and reduce body odor.

Avoid feeding your dog table scraps or low-quality dog food, as these can cause digestive issues and bad breath.

Additionally, providing your dog with fresh water can help flush out toxins and reduce odor.

Home Remedies

Several home remedies can help to reduce dog odor.

Adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl can help to balance their pH levels and reduce odor.

Sprinkling baking soda on your dog’s coat before brushing can also help to absorb odors.

Additionally, placing bowls of white vinegar around your home can help to neutralize odors.

Consulting A Veterinarian

If your dog’s odor persists despite regular grooming and a healthy diet, it may indicate an underlying health issue.

Consulting a veterinarian can help to identify and treat any underlying conditions that may be causing the odor.

They may also recommend specialized shampoos or supplements to help reduce odor.

Overall, reducing dog odor requires a combination of regular grooming, a healthy diet, and, sometimes, the use of home remedies or veterinary care.

By taking these steps, you can help to keep your dog smelling fresh and clean.

Preventive Measures To Avoid Dog Odor

Regular Bathing

Bathing your dog regularly is one of the most important preventive measures to avoid dog odor.

Depending on your dog’s breed, activity level, and lifestyle, you may need to bathe your dog once a week, once a month, or less frequently.

Use a dog-specific shampoo that is formulated to cleanse and deodorize your dog’s coat without stripping its natural oils.

Avoid using human shampoo or soap, as they can dry out your dog’s skin and cause irritation.

When bathing your dog, make sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all the shampoo and dirt.

Use a towel to dry your dog’s coat, and make sure to dry its ears and paws thoroughly to prevent infections.

If your dog has a long coat, you may need to brush it while it is still damp to prevent tangles and mats.

Brushing Teeth

Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly can help prevent bad breath and dental problems that can cause odor.

Use a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste that is formulated to clean your dog’s teeth and freshen its breath.

Start by introducing your dog to the toothbrush and toothpaste gradually, and make it a positive experience by rewarding your dog with treats and praise.

Brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week or more frequently if your veterinarian recommends it.

Focus on the outer surfaces of the teeth and use circular motions to remove plaque and tartar.

Avoid using human toothpaste, as it can be toxic to dogs.

Cleaning Ears

Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly can help prevent infections and odor.

Use a dog-specific ear cleaner that is formulated to dissolve wax and debris without irritating your dog’s ears.

Apply a few drops of the ear cleaner to your dog’s ear canal, and massage the base of the ear to distribute the cleaner.

Use a cotton ball or gauze to wipe away the excess cleaner and debris.

Check your dog’s ears regularly for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, discharge, or a foul odor.

If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian for advice.

Checking Anal Glands

Checking your dog’s anal glands regularly can help prevent odor and discomfort.

The anal glands are small sacs located on either side of your dog’s anus that produce a foul-smelling fluid.

In some dogs, these glands can become impacted or infected, causing pain, swelling, and odor.

To check your dog’s anal glands, place a clean tissue or paper towel over your finger and insert it into your dog’s anus.

Gently press on the glands to express the fluid.

If you notice any signs of infection or discomfort, contact your veterinarian for advice.

Before You Go…

Now you know why your dog stinks no matter what you do.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.