An old witty saying says that there is nothing friendlier than a wet dog. All 4-legged parents who have received wet cuddles from their pets can say that it really is. But why does the wet dog smell bad? Below we explain why the dog stinks and how to eliminate the dog’s smell in the house.
Wet dog smell: the basics
Moisture invigorates the microbes that cause bad odors
Wrinkles on the skin cause bad smell
Nutrition can play a fundamental role
Drying your dog often and quickly can help
Natural enzyme products are magical
Dog cleaning wipes are very useful in case of need
Linen bedding is effective in eliminating odor
Baking soda is your friend
Consult your vet if the bad smell persists or becomes too strong
Read on for more information and some tips on how to eliminate dog odor in the home.
Why does the wet dog stink?
On the skin of all animals, including us humans, microbes are present in the form of yeasts and bacteria. These microorganisms produce chemicals that go unnoticed when the dog is dry. With water, however, these substances are released onto the dog’s skin and coat, causing the well-known wet dog smell.
The smell of a wet dog can change based on various factors, including:
Amount of saliva
Time spent outdoors
In what the dog loves to roll
How often he takes a bath
Allergies, dermatitis or yeast infections
Sometimes, nutrition and breed can affect the smell of wet dog. The chemical composition of the body and the nutritional needs of dogs are very different from those of humans.
Creases, oily skin, and other related factors
The two breeds with a stronger smell are the Basset Hound and the Shar-Pei. The Basset Hound has a typical “hound” smell, due in part to sebum (a lubricating substance released by the glands present in the epidermis) which makes its skin rather oily.
The bacteria feed on sebum, so these breeds could carry more microbes on the skin that cause a bad smell. A good bath every two weeks could keep these microorganisms under control.
The Shar-Pei, in addition to producing a large amount of sebum, have very wrinkled skin, often subject to dermatitis. During grooming, it is important to clean well between the folds of the skin, especially for those dogs with a wrinkled muzzle such as the French Bulldogs, Pugs, Pekingese, and Bullgods.
Dog cleaning wipes are very effective in this case and can help prevent skin diseases and bad smells.
Saliva, one more factor
A constantly wet mouth full of saliva can cause the typical “dog stench”.
Saliva makes the dog smell stronger because microbes prefer damp environments.
Giant breeds such as the Mastiff, the Newfoundland, the Neapolitan Mastiff and the San Bernando, or the hunting dogs such as the Dog of Saint Hubert, the Coonhound, and the Basset Hound are known for their excessive salivation and a mouth generally always “wet”.
Rolling around, what a passion!
If your dog can’t help but roll around in puddles, keeping him dry could be tricky. The coat of dogs that love to swim and wade rivers and streams could become impregnated with the smell of fish or rotting plants.
Keep an eye on your dog. Rolling over a dead fish on a riverbank (or anything that is decaying) can be the best time of the day for him and the worst for you. If you can not get the stomach turner, you deserve applause. The smell of rotting carcasses is difficult to eliminate and you will surely have to use effective products, such as those for the smell of skunk.
Tackling the smell of wet dog: the first steps
It all depends on how quickly you dry your dog’s coat.
If your 4-legged person rolls in a puddle just before entering the house or loves to cool off his paws in the summer water, dry him well with a towel, then give him a biscuit.
To avoid that the smell of wet dog remains in the house, you could buy a 4-legged towel or a special dog blower.