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Dog stinks when wet: what could be the cause?

Dog stinks when wet: what could be the cause?

Dog stinks when wet: what could be the cause?

Dog love also means going outside with the pelt nose in wind and weather. The dog stinks when it gets wet is an unpleasant side effect. But what is the reason that damp dog fur sometimes puts our odor tolerance to the test?

Dog love also means going outside with the pelt nose in wind and weather. The dog stinks when it gets wet is an unpleasant side effect. But what is it about damp dog fur that puts our odor tolerance to the test?

Some dog owners hardly notice the smells of their dogs because they are used to them. So it often happens that only friends or acquaintances visiting draw attention to it. The dog smells strong, especially with a wet coat due to rain or swimming. But where does the olfactory horror come from?

Wet dog stinks because the skin produces sebum.

A wet dog stinks because the dog’s skin produces an oily secretion when it is wet, which acts as a protective shield against bacteria and wetness. This sebum is essential for protecting the skin and the dog’s coat – the coat becomes slightly greased and more resistant to environmental influences.

The wetter the dog gets, the more sebum his skin produces. And in the process, certain scents are released, which are usually unpleasant to our noses. They spread particularly well because they are water-soluble. For example, after swimming or a heavy rain shower, we get a whole load of sebum scents.

Incidentally, this principle is the same as for us humans, with the crucial difference that our skin has significantly fewer sebaceous glands and – thanks to evolution – we no longer have fur and do not produce as much secretion for protection.

How strong the smell of the wet dog is also a question of the cost structure. Dogs with very short, silky, and close-fitting coats, such as the Basenji, Dalmatian, or Pinscher, for example, smell only subtly of wet dogs when they come home from a walk in rainy weather. Their curly fur, poodles, or Spanish Water Dogs are also not as odorous.

What to do if the wet dog stinks?

So, the fact that a dog stinks when it is wet is quite normal and natural, and important because it protects the skin and the dog’s fur. Anyway, you can not avoid this – the typical “wet dog” smell will have to be put up with willy-nilly.

Fortunately, you can usually remove the odor by simply drying your dog off. Rub your dog dry with the towel when he is wet – he will do the rest on his own. After some time, the odor should be gone.

Do not simply bathe a wet dog.

It would help if you didn’t simply bathe your dog when he smells. This would not help to remove the unpleasant odor. It would also destroy your four-legged friend’s natural protective coat and further stimulate sebum production. So then the dog still stinks despite washing. You can find more information on this topic in the guidebook: “Washing dogs: How much hygiene is necessary?”.

This is different in the case of heavy soiling of the coat – for example if your four-legged friend has rolled in a puddle of mud. Dog breeds such as Beagle, Yorkshire Terrier, and Border Collie, for example, love a little rub with the “scent of nature.”

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