29 answers

Smelly Dog

We recently rescued a beagle and he SMELLS!!! I had absolutely no desire to get a dog because I don't want my house smelling like dog but lost the battle to my husband. A little history on the dog...he was abandoned in a garage and has some skin issues (it's kind of broken down but there is not any open areas) and is constantly itching. He doesn't have fleas or mange. I am not sure if it's his skin that smells so bad or his fur. The vet recommended an oatmeal shampoo because of his sensitive skin right now, and it didn't even touch the smell. We have tried a few other concoctions to no avail. I want to take him to a groomer but none of them seem confident that they can get the smell out and I don't want to waste my money. My vote would be to get rid of him but, since that is not an option, I need to get rid ofthe dog smell. What do you bathe your smelly dogs with?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I have had the dog to the vet twice. He is on medication and his coat is improving along with looking better. The smell is more like "dog smell" if that makes any sense. He was in a garage with 16 other dogs and I am unsure what the conditions were and how long he was there. I assume his smell is from that, that and being at the humane society. The vet has checked for mange and he doesn't have it. I bathed him again today and he is already smelling better. He fur looks so much better. I washed his bed and blankets and repeat every few days. Thanks.

Featured Answers

You mention a few things that are red flags to me. The smell,constant itching and sensitive skin. I would look at his food first. It is amazing the crude that is in dog food that dogs are sensitive to. This leads to all kinds of issues. I feed my dogs raw and it is amazing the difference it has made for them. They are rarely bathed even though they are indoor dogs,their teeth have never been brushed but are beautifully white,no bad breath,and the list goes on.
If you don't want to try raw then look to a more high quality dog food. It means a bit more money but odds are it will take care of the issues you are having.

1 mom found this helpful

I think that as his health improves, so will his smell, which means there's no quick fix. As for the itching, please try a cortisone spray. His skin can't heal until you stop the itching. You can get it at the doggie supply, and it really works well.

1 mom found this helpful

every dog we've ever had has been a beagle mutt, and they all smell. i think hounds are just stinkbombs.
i suggest a cat.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Unfortunately this may be because of the type of dog he is. It seems "hunting dogs" are more smelly. I have a lab and a beagle/cocker/lab mix. They both are smelly and I should give them bathes more. I do have two blankets I put over the area they sleep in that I wash weekly. These are under the dog beds they sleep on. I also have a goal of vacuuming every day (the areas the dogs are allowed in) that translates to 3-5 times a week. That is probably my number one battle housecleaning wise and have it down to a routine. (I'm not the best or most diligent about other chores).

Also, there is a type of mange that isn't contagious that dogs can have (Demodectic mange). It has a very distinctive smell, you might just double check with your vet that they screened for that. I've tried the vinegar in the water and it seems to really help. Do you know anyone who has experience with dogs, espeically Beagles? Maybe you can ask them for an honest opinion if your dog smells more than other dogs. I LOVE dogs but I don't blame you at all about your feelings about the smell!

One last thought....I do the dog related chores around the house because I wanted them. My daughter and husband do help but in your situation I think the burden should be more on the shoulders of those who wanted the dog. It would be unrealistic to say it could be 100% off your plate but to keep you from being resentful the rest of the family should step up.

3 moms found this helpful

I heard on the radio of some type of supplement to give smelly dogs called something like Vita-mite? It is supposed to be great and improve a dogs coat and eliminate smelly coats. Go bk to the vet and ask for more help, or get another one, a good vet should be able to help. You might also consider if there is a good college of vet medicine in your state, call them and ask to talk to one of the vet med professors who specializes in animal dermatology and skin disorders in coats. We have U C Davis Vet Med Collegel very close by here and I have toured it. They have incredible veterinary expertise in all areas working at this university vet med center, I even saw they have doctors who specialize in animal blood transfusions. It is worth a shot. We are big dog lovers and will do anything to help our pets, please don't get rid of him. He needs help.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm not sure what would helpif you have tried all those things, but Denise said Nature's Miracle. I haven't used any dog shampoo from that brand (I did see they have a skunk smell remover so it must work pretty well.) I do know that i buy the nature's miracle stain and odor remover and am a many many repeat customer. So I would second trying that brand.

2 moms found this helpful

A vet, perhaps a specialist, needs to figure out the cause of his skin problems and odor. Someone else mentioned thyroid, which can cause skin and hair problems, but the primary cause of itchy dogs and canine skin problems is allergies. I would have him examined by a veterinary dermatologist. It could be something as simple as changing his diet (many dogs are allergic to grains and even chicken) or something more complex, but either way he sounds miserable. I would start with a vet specialist before I took him to a groomer. If you do take him to a groomer, I would get a recommendation for a good one and be very wary of the types of products they use, many of which could just irritate his already inflamed and sensitive skin. My 15-year-old dog suffered from allergies so badly that she probably would have scratched herself to death without treatment so feel free to send me a private message if you have any questions. Constant scratching usually leads to secondary infections--either bacterial or yeast, but only a vet will know for sure by swabbing it. Good luck--I know this is probably more than you bargained for when you were talked into a dog! Sounds like both you and your dog could use some relief. Oh, the oatmeal bath is a good short term remedy and shouldn't irritate him, but probably won't provide lasting relief.

2 moms found this helpful

Since he doesn't have fleas or mange or any other OBVIOUS reason to be itchy/scratching so much, did your vet consider that he may have a thyroid issue? Thyroid can cause hair loss and eczema and other skin issues. (even in people). Also, I don't KNOW that it could, but it would seem to me that if he had a medical issue, it could affect how he smells.

Are his ears clean? Mites or gunk in the ears can reek, too. Be sure his ears are cleaned regularly as recommended by the vet (usually you can just wipe them with baby oil, but they also make specific ear cleansers that you can buy - they aren't expensive).

Just a thought...

p.s. btw, if it IS a thyroid issue, it is easily treatable and the medication is not expensive.

Beagles commonly have this condition.

2 moms found this helpful

Bless you both for giving this poor guy a home. Sounds like the skin issues may be the cause. My little rescued doggie has allergies and scratches a lot, needs to get a cortisone shot every so often to put an end to the cycle and allow healing. Brushing usually helps with normal smelliness. Did the vet check his teeth? Rotten teeth could also cause odor.

You could put doggie beds or blankets in specific areas in your house so he learns that's where he can rest (not on your furniture or rugs, to get it all smelly). Put them in places where it's tiled, like the kitchen, so it's easy to wash the bedding and mop the area.

The other moms have given some good ideas too, so hopefully something will help. We have a number of rescued pets and in time we found the love and amusement they provide far outweighs the inconvenient smelliness/fur/litter-cleaning.

1 mom found this helpful

I think that as his health improves, so will his smell, which means there's no quick fix. As for the itching, please try a cortisone spray. His skin can't heal until you stop the itching. You can get it at the doggie supply, and it really works well.

1 mom found this helpful

I had a smelly cat rescued from a kitty mill. She had funky skin and fur and smelled funny for months. But with care, she healed up and smelled just fine.

Don't forget, these poor pets are seriously traumatized from these experiences and like humans who have survived trauma, take a few months to even years to recover. A good vet will help you to find the source of problems and get him on the right track to health.

Smells and health on a pet go hand in hand. Rest assured, he will smell better as he recovers. Their skin, fur, waste and smells will improve greatly from a top notch diet. I know they're pricey, but pet foods like Eukanuba or Science Diet are formulated to help pets digest food more effectively and are fortified with nutrients etc that will help improve their coats and skin.

Avoid using perfume (even pet products) insecticides (flea collars and powders) and fancy pet shampoos. The vet is right. Oatmeal wash is the way to go until his skin heals up. Otherwise you risk prolonging and worsening the condition.

Make sure he has a soft bed. This will help him heal up too. The more expensive ones have natural smell repellants (like cedar) in them to control the doggie odors.

Be sure to brush his teeth with a dog toothbrush and paste...or pay a groomer to do it. Bad teeth and tartar can make an entire dog smell mighty bad. No need to do this everyday like for people...but at least once a month and give him teeth cleaning bones in between to keep him smelling good and his teeth clean.

Don't leave him outside. Dogs love to roll in smelly things. If he's in more than out, less chance of him doing those doggie things, and that means less chance of him smelling funny.

Sometimes castor oil on a cotton ball dabbed on dry or sore patches can help speed up healing. Do not over do it, as castor oil can cause loose bowels if he ingests too much. So dabbing is the way to go...enough to soften and soothe the patches, not enough to get things going if he licks himself. Soaking in Epsom Salt is helpful too.

Any chance the doc gave you any sort of antifungal or antibiotic to help speed healing?

I agree with others who've suggested cleaning the ears. That's another spot that can get smelling if there's infection. The doc should have noticed and given you a cone and antibiotics if that's the case.

I know he's bugging you now...but mark my words. The little "stinker" will grow on you. And he's going to love you to pieces for saving him from the shelter. Dogs are incredibly loyal and loving if you give them a chance.

I promise, when he gets healthy, he'll smell just fine. Dogs generally do not stink if they're not neglected or sickly. I have big labs and people are always shocked when they find out...saying by looking and smelling your house I"d never known you had big dogs.

If you keep them brushed and cared for, they'll be clean and pleasant companions.

1 mom found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.