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Help! My Dog’s Breath Smells Like Fish

No More Suffering When Your Dog’s Breath Smells Like Fish; Know How to Get Rid of it!

I think at most, the longest my dog’s breath ever smelled truly minty was for a few hours. Just like humans, a dog’s breath will return to its natural state of less than fresh scent. The difference between us, and our dog’s, is we don’t explore the world with our tongues. So, depending on what your dog is getting into, will determine what his breath smells like. If your dog’s breath smells like fish, there are a few identified culprits of this potent problem.

Where are the Fish, Seriously Where?

Is it the Glands?

Many of us dog owners live miles from a lake or sea and our dog’s breath still smells like fish. It’s incomprehensible. One of the main reasons a dog’s breath smells like fish is actually even grosser than the fish possibility. Dogs have two anal glands bordering their anus—one at five and one at seven o’clock. When these glands ‘are expressed’ they empty out a very pungent fishy odor. As your dog proceeds to clean himself with his tongue, this odor transfers to their mouth.

The scent is like a Twitter update for dogs. Chemical information about a dog’s age, gender, emotional state, and more are picked up when your dog smells another dog’s anal secretions. Dogs will naturally express their anal sacs as they defecate. However some dogs—small breeds in particular—have trouble expressing and pressure builds up. To relieve the pressure they’ll scoot their butt across the floor or nip at their hind regions. Some dogs have transparent anal expressions while other’s fluid is brown and viscous. This makes it harder for a dog to naturally express them.

If you’re a brave soul, you can express the anal glands yourself by applying pressure to the glands. The best place to do this is in the bathtub—right before a bath. Wear gloves and use paper towels to keep the secretion contained. Pick up their tail, reach around the gland and pull forward. Or, you can have your dog groomer or veterinarian perform this procedure. We don’t blame you!

Is it the Plaque?

Dogs need regular teeth brushing too. The inside of a dog’s mouth is teeming with bacteria. When plaque buildup turns into tartar an overabundance of bacteria can lead to bad breath. Halitosis, gingivitis, and periodontal disease all stem from bad oral care for dogs.

An internal disease could also be the culprit. Kidney and liver failure can cause bad breath with a fishy smell. A sweet-rotten smell could indicate diabetes and breath smelling like urine is consistent with kidney disease. If your dog is having urinating or defecating issues this is a sign it’s time to visit a veterinarian immediately.

Is it what he’s Eating?

Some dog owners give their dog fish oil which contains omega-3 and omega-6 which are great for dogs for healthy cell growth. Just know dogs do burp and that burp will be invasive to the nostrils. Salmon and Whitefish are also typically used as ingredients in kibble dog food. Check your dog’s food ingredient list for fishmeal, Docosahexaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid. These can also be a likely source of the fishy smell.

How Do I Get Rid of It?

Depending on the issue most causes of bad breath can be easily treated. Again, small breeds do have the most issues with anal gland expressions. Have your groomer take care of this for you. It’s cheaper than a veterinarian visit and your dog gets a bath afterward— ridding all the smells. Once their glands are good that fish odor will disappear.

If it’s a matter of oral hygiene, proactive measures are the best way to handle this. Make sure you’re brushing your dog’s teeth at least twice a week. Groomers can also take care of this process for you. Between teeth brushing sessions give your dog a chew toy or rawhide. The mechanical action from the friction scrapes away tartar by 70%, according to WebMD.

If it’s a more serious medical issue, seek out veterinary services immediately. Once your vet diagnoses the problem they can assist you with doggie lifestyle changes to make. If your dog’s breath smells like fish as a result of gastrointestinal abnormalities or other internal organ failures, more drastic steps may have to be taken. All this is preventable with good pet care.

If you’ve tried all of the above then it’s probably his food. Speak with your vet about the best high-quality food to provide for your dog. Splash and Dash recommend the rotational diet. This diet provides kibble, fresh, raw, and canned food for diverse sources of nutrients. Larger kibble dog foods also promote chewing which helps scrape plaque. The rule of thumb is the more protein the better. Cheap dog foods contain fillers and other unhealthy additives that may not only be making your dog’s breath smell like fish but is not providing an adequate amount of nutrition.

Besides all the above pathways to fresher breath, there are also water additives and minty dog chews that can help rid the smell. We hope your dog’s breath improves so you don’t have to be disgusted when they go for those tongue-filled kisses on your face!

Play Dirty. Live Clean!

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How to Get Rid of that Dog Smell | Tips and Tricks

If you and your dog are inseparable, then chances are, you are also inseparable from their smell. Our canine companions have come a long ways from working dogs that were tethered outside. Most of us dog owners have a pooch that is right now sprawled out on the couch at home. The love of your dog is fair compensation for the added dog smell. But none of us want a house that reeks. This article will walk you through natural ways to get rid of that dog smell.

Why Does the Dog Smell….so Bad?

Oily Skin

When you enter someone’s house and you’re nostrils are immediately invaded by that ‘dog smell,’ it’s usually because their dogs have oily skin. It’s called atopy. This is when a dog’s body overproduces skin oils to compensate for the inflammation and itchiness of their skin due to allergies. The result is pretty stinky. These oils aren’t just emanating from your dog. They stick to whatever surface your dog is near—the bed, the couch, the car seats.

One of the easiest ways to combat the smell is with regular brushing. Brush your dog at least once a day to remove dead hair and the oils caused by build up of dead hair that causes that all-too-familiar stank. Brushing your dog’s hair is one of the simplest ways to get rid of that dog smell.

Bacteria

Odor causing bacteria love wet dog hair. As your dog runs through the sprinklers or after a bath their coat becomes a perfect environment for bacteria to live and reproduce. This is why drying a dog after bathing or swimming is so important! Using many towels, rub your dog down to rid as much moisture as possible. If you use a blow dryer, make sure it is on the cool setting! You don’t want to burn your dog.

 

Yeasty Ears

A dog’s ears are full of sebaceous glands that produce lots of wax. This wax is also the ideal breeding ground for microorganisms that can smell to high heavens. This wax build up is not harmful to your dog but will be smelly. Another issue dogs can have with ears are infections. A skin infection in the ear is due to bacteria or a yeast infection causing that dank smelling apocrine sweat. If this is the case, speak with your groomers and veterinarians for treatments.

Hot Breath

A dog’s oral hygiene is just important as a human’s. Although dog’s don’t need to have their teeth brushed every day, vets suggest brushing at least a few times a week. Different oral care chews can also help scrape tartar from their teeth and give your dog fresher breath.

The Glands

Dogs and scent marking are like wine and cheese, they just go together. Dogs have an instinctual need to ‘mark their territory’ and this is actually a passive act. Just as your dog pees on every sign post on their walk, your dogs are constantly secreting their “dog smell.’ This scent-marking can easily absorb into furniture. Also, a dog’s anal glands release a musty substance while a dog ‘does his business.’ Sometimes these glands can become clogged and will need to be cleaned or ‘expressed’ by a professional.

The First Step in a Cleaner House

Dogs will be dogs. They will roll in anything they like—it’s not always a field of flowers. After a good trip out to the dog park, or hiking, a bouquet of smells will attach themselves to your dog. The best way to keep these smells outside is to keep your dog nice and clean.

Dog’s need to be washed at least once a week. This will maintain a good pH balance for their skin and keep them from bringing in scents from the great outdoors. Many of us don’t have time to properly wash our dogs with quality dog shampoo. As we mentioned before, drying is just as important as the scrub down. This is why it might be worth considering using a professional dog groomer. A dog groomer with a membership program can save you money, time, and of course, keep your house smelling fresh! Successfully knowing how to get rid of that dog smell might be as easy as using a professional dog groomer.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique has a membership where pet parents can drop their dog off for a bathing and brushing at a set price. Super convenient! The dog groomers also offer luxurious pet spa treatments that will have your dog relaxed and smelling blissful.

Tips to Keep the House Clean Naturally

Furniture

There are two choices to tackling the furniture and ridding those pesky and gross smells. For both, you will need to strip all the soft furnishings—cushion covers, rugs, duvet covers, sheets. You can either throw these in the washing machine or apply baking soda or a natural odor repellent, then vacuum. You can use detergent mixed with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. The more natural cleaning products you use the healthier it will be for the whole family.

Sprinkle baking soda into every crevice of your furniture. The powders innate absorbent properties will soak up all the dog smell. Let the baking soda sit overnight and vacuum away. For the bed, you might want to this procedure in the morning. This way when you get home you can re-make the bed for the night.

The Floors

Whether you have linoleum, tile, or hardwood floors these can all be sources for the dog smell. To keep a crisp smelling house you will need to clean your floors once a week. Sometimes more if you have more than one dog and young children. Regular sweeping of the floors will remove hair. A thorough mop of the floor with 3:1 vinegar solution after sweeping will also eliminate foul scents.

Quick Tips on How to Get Rid of That Dog Smell:

  • Get Your Dogs Bathed Often
  • Sweep & Vacuum Every Other Day
  • Mop Floors Once a Week
  • Use Two Couch Cushions to Switch Out While Washing
  • Wash Dog Beds Once a Week
  • Leave Carpet Powders in for at Least 10 Hours
  • Open the House When Possible
  • Feed Your Dog Healthy Foods

Remember, dogs are animals and we need to let them live like the animals they are supposed to be. Part of this lifestyle is getting a little dirty. It’s not their fault they can develop some unsavory smells and ultimately it is our responsibility as part of their care to keep these scents at bay. If your dog has a potent smell, then more than likely, they have an allergy or some other medical issue that needs addressing. Groomers can help spot these ailments and help provide preventative care.

Good luck with getting rid of that dog smell, and always—Play Dirty. Live Clean!

 

 

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