If your dog smells like fish, you will want to get rid of the odor as soon as possible. The smell can be very unpleasant, and it can spread throughout your house and vehicle. If your dog smells like fish, you will want to try a variety of techniques to get rid of the odor and get to the root of the issue at the same time.
Continue to read our article to learn what the cause of the fishy smell in your dog is, and how to treat the fishy smell.
Why Does Your Dog Smell Like Fish?
There can be a few reasons why you might be smelling that fishy stink. Let's explore a few possibilities:
Your Dog's Oral Hygiene
The fishy smell might come from your dog's breath, and if their breath is very bad, they might need their teeth cleaned. Dogs often have periodontal disease, which can cause very bad breath, and the smell can be transferred around your house through toys and licking.
Impacted Anal Glands
Impacted anal glands can result in a fishy smell that can be transferred to carpets, fabrics, and seats in your car, which can be difficult to get rid of. If your dog's anal glands are impacted, it might cause a bad smell, and a veterinarian or groomer will need to unclog them.
Rolled In Something Stinky
Your dog might smell like fish because it rolled around near a dead animal, which might be an actual fish. Dogs often encounter animal carcasses when they are on walks, and if they roll around near the dead animal, they might pick up the scent. If your dog has recently been on a shore, wetland, or even outdoors where there are dead birds, frogs, or other small animals, the scene might come from such an encounter.
Urinary Tract Infection
Female dogs could have an internal infection that is causing the smell, and any dog could have a yeast infection or a UTI that is causing the unpleasant odor. If you think this may be an issue, you should pay a visit to your vet as soon as you can.
Your Dog's Diet
The fish smell could potentially be because of what your dog is eating. Certain dog foods have fish as an ingredient, and changing the dog's diet might be an effective way to get rid of the odor.
The reason for the fishy smell could be a health issue, so it is important to figure out why your dog smells bad and take them to the vet if necessary. The scent might also spread to the rest of your house, and to prevent this, you have to get rid of the smell from your dog first.
How To Remove The Fishy Smell From Your Dog
We listed a few reasons above on why the smell might be happening. Here are some practical ways that you can help your stinky pup:
1. Baking Soda Bath
Baking soda can be added to a bath to clean your dog and neutralize the bad smell. If the problem is related to a physical substance on your dog's fur or nails, it can generally be solved with a good bath. You should use dog-safe shampoo and add baking soda to effectively clean your dog.
It is important to keep water out of your dog's ears during bathing and to dry them off properly once you are done. You should also brush their fur afterward so they don't get matted.
2. Dietary Changes
If the dog food your dog currently eats contains a fish ingredient, commonly salmon, this could potentially be the cause of the smell. High-fiber foods can also help with the fishy smell because fishy oils will bind to this fiber and remove it from the fur. Adding probiotics to your dog's diet can also help heal the gut and reduce the amount of gas that your dog makes.
When switching your dog's food, it is important to do it slowly and steadily. If you switch your dog's food all at once, they might have gut issues because of it, and they might not want to eat it.
High-fiber foods can be found in many sources, and many options taste great and your dog will love them. Similarly, probiotics can be delicious for dogs while also maintaining their gut health. The food that your dog eats is important for their overall health and well-being, and it needs to taste good, too, to keep your dog happy and eating well.
3. Dental Hygiene
Your dog's breath might be the cause of the fishy smell, and it might be due to periodontal disease or dental problems. These can be treated by a veterinarian if it is at very advanced stages, and you can get professional teeth cleaning done.
You can also brush your dog's teeth yourself, and it is good to do this regularly to keep dental hygiene clean and consistent. You can use dog-safe toothpaste and brush your dog's teeth just like you would brush your own. Depending on the temperament of your dog, it can be difficult to do, which is why it might be better to take them to a vet.
The fishy smell could be due to food stuck in your dog's teeth, or it could be due to decay in the mouth. If you are consistently brushing your dog's teeth and maintaining positive dental hygiene and the smell persists, the cause may be something more serious or it could be unrelated to the mouth.
4. Unblock Anal Glands
The most likely reason why your dog smells like fish is that their anal glands are blocked. Anal glands are on both sides of a dog's anus, and they emit secretions that can smell bad if the glands are blocked.
You can unblock anal glands yourself or take your dog to a professional groomer or veterinarian. If you are unsure, it is best to go to a veterinarian. The frequency of this procedure will depend on the problem and your specific dog.
The signs that your dog's anal glands are blocked include the fishy smell, excess licking in that area, and scooting around. This can be uncomfortable for your pet and taking them to the vet can help solve the issue.
5. Treatment of UTI Infections
A UTI infection can be the cause of the odor, and this usually requires treatment with antibiotics. A UTI infection can be painful for your pet, and symptoms can be pain during urination, bloody urine, and a bad smell. If you think your dog might have a UTI infection, you should take them to the vet asap.
6. Medicated Shampoo
Medicated shampoo can get rid of bad smells, and you can get these from your veterinarian. This is for a serious odor problem that is not caused by some other health issue, and your vet can diagnose it and give you shampoo to help solve the problem.
It is important to bathe your dog based on the instructions given with the shampoo, and you should not over-bathe them because it could cause dry skin or other issues. Medicated shampoo can have a variety of scents, and it can leave your dog smelling very good.
Medicated shampoo is for more serious issues and is generally used when the smell is related to a health issue. Oils and odors can stick to the fur, and sometimes, a medicated shampoo is required to get rid of it and fix the root of the problem.
Eliminating Fish Smell From Your Home
The fishy smell from your dog might linger in your vehicle or home, and it can be very unpleasant. There are deodorizing products that might help, but they will not necessarily get rid of the smell, and it might still linger.
Bathing your dog weekly can help get rid of the bad smell and ensure that it cannot spread to your home and vehicle. Wiping your dog's mouth and bottom every day with a moist wipe can help maintain a high level of cleanliness. Weekly laundering of the dog's bedding can also help with the smell, as can using odor-eliminating solutions that are meant for pet odors.
Using odor eliminators in your home and vehicle as well as washing any fabric, furniture, or other materials that smell fishy can help get rid of the bad smell and maintain a high level of cleanliness. These solutions are often sprays or shampoos that you can use throughout your home and vehicle.
If your dog smells like fish, it can be bad for everyone involved. If you notice this smell, your priority will be getting rid of it for everyone's sake. The underlying cause of the smell might be something simple, such as your dog rolling around near a dead fish or animal, or it can be the sign of an issue that requires the care of a vet.
Finding the source of the smell is important to prevent it from recurring, and you should first figure out where it is coming from. If your dog's breath smells like fish, it is likely caused by oral hygiene or the food that your dog is eating. If their bottom smells, it is probably their anal glands, which is generally the main reason why your dog might smell fishy.
Bathing your dog can help solve the problem, and it is generally a good solution because it is quick and it is always good to keep your pet clean. No matter what, keeping your dog clean and smelling fresh is important, and keeping your dog healthy is also a priority.
Fish belong in the ocean, not in your home, and you don't want to be smelling them when you are sitting on the couch trying to enjoy your favorite TV show. A clean, fresh-smelling dog is a happy dog, and it is important to investigate when your dog smells like fish and ensure that they are healthy and happy.
For additional pet-parenting tips, head over to TryFi.com's Off Leash blog.
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