Why does my dog "smell like a dog"?

Many of our furry friends have their own body odor, commonly known as "dog smell". This peculiar odor comes to mind, and it increases if our pet gets wet.

Why does my dog "smell like a dog"?
How come my dog "smells like a dog"? Photo by Hannah Lim / Unsplash

Our furry friends, just like us, have their body odor, commonly known as "dog smell". Who doesn't come to mind this peculiar smell, which also increases if our pet gets wet?

Normally, our dogs give off this particular smell, and just as it happens with us, this can be more or less strong depending on different factors (food, their last bath, among many other factors), however, it is important that we pay attention to it, and if it intensifies more than we are used to, it may be due to some kind of pathology.

To begin with, the hair and skin of dogs tend to be greasy, this is because they have a thick layer of subcutaneous fat that allows them to isolate both cold and heat, in turn, this layer has a series of sebaceous glands that produce a natural wax, whose function is to maintain the shine of the coat and prevent wear of the hair, this natural wax or sebum has a not so pleasant smell for us, but it is useful for them.

In Mexico, we relate this characteristic "dog smell" to something particularly colloquial, the famous "cheto" smell, which is a characteristic aroma of the dog. which is a characteristic aroma of certain Mexican snacks.

Although for us this smell can be unpleasant, for your dog the smell of other canines helps them to identify themselves, because the smell serves as a means of communication with other dogs and animals through body secretions produced by different glands located throughout their body (ear, anus, and pads), it is only these three areas where the smell is much stronger.

Dogs can smell bad due to two reasons

Our furry companions can smell bad due to two reasons: the natural ones, which are the ones, and the pathological ones. For example, if you notice that your dog's odor has changed or increased, it could be due to some fungus or bacteria on your furry friend's skin; it could also be due to tartar accumulation on the teeth, gum infection, or a bad diet, this is known as halitosis.

Another reason is that your friend's anal glands may be clogged, so if you notice that your dog drags his butt on the floor, or licks himself insistently and gives off a strong smell like "fish" maybe he is going through this; especially in dogs with floppy ears, such as otitis is a common problem, this is characterized by dark-colored secretions and strong odor; finally the famous "flatulence" is due to poor digestion or poor diet.

How can I help my dog?

If your dog presents some of the latter, do not hesitate to take him to a veterinarian so that he can guide you on how to eliminate these ailments; on the other hand, do not forget that it is important for your pet to follow a hygiene routine to eliminate dirt from its body and thus avoid diseases.