There are some natural remedies and holistic practices that can help with dog odor. The first step, however, is to identify the issue. Odor can indicate serious illness so a visit to the vet is necessary. Armed with a diagnoses, you may find the following natural treatments and holistic preventatives helpful.
How Can I Treat Dog Odors?
Bad Dog Breath
Dental disease in dogs can produce odor in two ways, one from disease or decay, and the other from infections around the mouth caused by drooling.
Natural treatment of bad dog breath is similar to treating it in humans. Keep the teeth clean using the method you prefer, from safe bones to commercial products. You could also make your own dog toothpaste.
A suitable, balanced diet and a healthy digestive system should take care of the rest (more on that below). We have an effective homemade dog treat recipe that specifically addresses bad breath due to digestive issues in dogs.
Chronic Flatulence in Dogs
Overeating and a diet too high in rich foods or cereal grains can cause chronic flatulence in dogs. It may also be a sign of a more serious digestive issue.
Natural treatments for dog gas & flatulence:
- Reduce food intake, especially foods high in sugar, carbohydrates and saturated fat.
- Research and change the diet. This should be done slowly, 10-25% daily until the diet has been completely changed to the new plan/food.
- Chlorophyll: Sprinkle a very small amount of chlorophyll supplement from seaweed/algae on wet food daily, and/or feed some green vegetables high in chlorophyll daily.
- A drop daily of a high-quality essential oil blend, such as 1/2 an ounce of base oil and two drops of the following: caraway, cardamom, and cinnamon leaf essential oils.
- Add a dash of Calcium Montmorillonite Clay to wet food.
- Digestive Enzymes
Note: Anal gland issues can also cause dog odor, which should be addressed by a medical professional.
Foul Dog Ear Odor
Allergies, bacterial, fungal and yeast infections can make your dog’s ears smell like sweat socks or a sewer.
Natural Treatment for dog ear odors:
Weekly cleaning of the dog’s ears can prevent infections. This can be as simple as a 1/1 blend of organic apple cider vinegar and sterile water. High quality essential oils may also be blended into a cleansing solution, with the most commonly used being lavender, aloe vera, citrus bergamia, grapefruit seed extract, and chamomile. Remember to use very small, heavily diluted amounts of essential oils and keep them away from cats and other pets.
If your dog has an ear infection, you may find our article Ear Infections in Dogs and Cats – Natural Treatment and Prevention to be helpful.
Body/Skin Odor in Dogs
There are several causes and natural treatments for dog body/skin odor.
- Dogs with long or thick coats, or ‘wrinkled’ skin, require diligent grooming to remain clean and odor-free.
- Skin diseases & infections can cause nasty odors in dogs. They may start out as an allergy which irritates the fur apocrine glands, making them smell like a box of musty old clothes. These allergies can then lead to yeast or bacterial secondary infections. To further complicate matters, yeast can be the primary infliction which invites allergies and/or bacterial infections.
- ‘Wrinkle’ breeds (or overweight dogs) and those that drool a lot are often plagued with skin yeast and bacterial infections as well. There are even some breeds who are predisposed to yeast and other skin infections, including the Australian Terrier, Basset Hound, Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Chihuahua, Chinese Shar-Pei, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, French Bulldog, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Poodle, Pug, Shetland Sheepdog, and Silky terrier.
TIP: For convenience, you can go with a high quality, natural mixed supplement like Spark Daily Nutritional Supplement, which contains a mix of several of the above internal remedies.
How Can I Prevent Dog Odor?
Finding the cause of your dog’s particular issue can be difficult, but it should be the goal – fix that and you’ll fix everything else. It’s also important to identify the strain(s) of bacteria, yeast or fungus that you are dealing with so you know which natural treatments will be most effective.
Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can come up with a routine maintenance schedule to treat and prevent the issue. This may include:
- Bath – 1/1 organic apple cider vinegar wash, or more elaborate shampoo blends with high-quality essential oils, such as geranium, rosewood, lavender, carrot seed, chamomile, helichrysum, ravensare or labdunum. If you prefer to buy a bottle of shampoo, Pure & Clean Deodorizing Shampoo is a popular choice.
- Dietary changes
- Supplements such as Essential Fatty Acids, Quercetin and Zinc.
Antibiotics are the common remedy for any sort of bacterial infection, from dog skin to ears. The problem with antibiotic use in dogs is they often have secondary yeast or fungal infections. Treating the bacterial infection with antibiotics can allow a yeast infection to flourish by killing off the beneficial bacteria that usually controls it. It is important to supplement antibiotics with probiotics, prebiotics, and anti-fungal foods/herbs. This should be done in cooperation with a medical professional to avoid drug interactions or other complications.
??? Have you ever had to deal with dog odor? Please share your experience in the comments below.
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Bell, Kristen Leigh. Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals. Findhorn Press. 2002.
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Olivry, T. Mueller, R. S. Evidence-based veterinary dermatology: a systematic review of the pharmacotherapy of canine atopic dermatitis. 2003.
Robinson, Narda G. Nonpharmacologic Approaches to Canine Atopy. 2007.
J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. Efficacy of Boric-Complexed Zinc and Acetic-Complexed Zinc Otic Preparations for Canine Yeast Otitis Externa. 2005.
Weese, J. Scott. Probiotics in Veterinary Medicine.
Giffard, C. J. Collings, S. B. Stoodley, R. M. Ability of an anti-flatulence treat to reduce the hydrogen sulfide content of canine flatulence. 2000.
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Pasupathy, K. Sahoo, A. Effect of lactobacillus supplementation on growth and nutrient utilization in mongrel pups. 2001.
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5 thoughts on “It’s the Dog! Natural Remedies for Dog Odor”
The joys of pets and kids always include a smell of some kind LOL but I wouldn’t trade it!
Interesting points, I will be taking a further read to your website. I think this is a smelly subject for many dog owners and this type of information is helpful and greatly appreciated.
There are days I could throw all of these at my dog but I don’t think it would be very smart ;). Diagnosis and then treatment is the key!
I think we’ve had about every foul smell in the book but as we learned more about diet it got better.
Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post
plus the rest of the site is also very good.
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