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Why does my dog smell so good?

Why does my dog smell so good?

Many dog owners wonder why their dog smells bad. If you are wondering why your dog smells good, consider yourself lucky! It does evoke some curiosity, and it turns out there are lots of reasons why your dog might smell good. 

Why does my dog smell so good?

Do you love smelling your dog? Do you notice they smell like flowers, vanilla, or even perfume? Dogs have a reputation for smelling less than pleasant, so, of course, it’s curious when they smell great instead. 


No, your dog being female doesn’t mean they will smell better. However, if you are a female, you have a stronger sense of smell than men. Women actually score better at odor detection, discrimination, and identification than men do. 

Women have more cells in the olfactory bulb. This is the area of the brain that processes smell. This means that women may notice their dog smelling good, even if men can’t smell the scent. 


Our brain associates smell with emotion and memory. Have you ever smelled apple pie and thought about your favorite memories of your mother or grandmother? Have you been traveling and smelled a towel, and found comfort in it smelling like home? 

This is because the brain connects scents and memories. You may enjoy the way your dog smells because you associate it with happy memories. When you smell your dog, it can bring comfort because it triggers positive emotions. 


Subjectivity may also play a role in how you perceive the way your dog smells. You may find the smell pleasant, while another person may dislike it. Some smells seem universally repellant, but many smells are subjective. The affection you have for your dog makes it more likely for you to find their smell pleasant, because of the smells’ positive associations. 


A simple reason your dog smells good is because they are healthy. A bad smell can indicate a health issue. If your dog smells nice, it’s an indication that they are in good health. 

Healthy skin also contributes to a pleasant smell. When skin is oily or has too much bacteria, this will cause them to smell. 


Dirty dogs don’t smell great. Keeping your dog clean will certainly contribute to them smelling nice. Ironically, giving your dog a bath can cause wet dog smell. 

This is caused by yeast and bacteria on your dog’s skin and coat. When they get wet, they become aerosolized. This makes them easier to smell. The oil on your dog’s coat can also cause the wet dog smell, particularly when combined with water and bacteria. 

Why does my dog smell good after getting groomed?

Groomers have a few tricks to make your dog smell great. Once you know how they work their magic, you can get the same smell at home. 


Shampoo is the first step to making your dog smell great. Groomers will use different shampoos based on your dog’s age and coat. If your dog has dry skin, a shampoo designed for sensitive skin may be used. If you have a puppy, they will use a shampoo designed for puppies. The shampoo used will likely contain deodorizing compounds as well. 


Once your dog has been shampooed and rinsed, it’s time for a conditioner. Just like your hair, your dog’s coat can benefit from a nourishing conditioner. Conditioners also tend to leave a pleasant smell behind. 

Doggie Cologne

Groomers also use doggie cologne. These perfume sprays are designed to be dog safe. They smell great and last for a few days, depending on the cologne used. Some last up to a day, while others can last up to five days. In addition to a pleasant smell, these sprays also help to deodorize. 

Rubbing Alcohol

Alcohol isn’t what comes to mind when you think about pleasing smells, but groomers use it to remove unwanted smells. Some areas, particularly around the ears, can grow bacteria. This bacteria can smell. Using rubbing alcohol in these areas can kill the bacteria, which stops the smell. 

Why does my dog smell good suddenly?

Your dog normally smells like a dog, but you notice they suddenly smell good. Why do they smell so great? Your dog will typically smell like your dog, but there are some reasons they can suddenly smell better. 


If you’ve just bathed your dog or taken them to the groomers, this is why they smell nice. The smell won’t last forever, but it’s nice while it does. You can also add dog cologne to your regular routine to improve your dog’s smell each day. 

Dog Wipes

Many dog wipes are scented. When you use them on your dog, the smell will stay behind. If your dog smells like the wipes you use, this is probably why. 

Cuddling Perfume

No, your dog isn’t cuddling your perfume bottle. Instead, they may have cuddled with a person wearing perfume. Have you ever spent time with a significant other, and later realized you smell like the perfume or cologne they were wearing? The same thing can happen to your dog. The perfume will rub off on their fur, causing your dog to smell like the person they were cuddling. This can be cute, or even comforting. 

Rolling in Clothes

If your dog loves making a home in freshly dried laundry, they are likely picking up the smell of fabric softener. This can also happen if your dog is laying on a freshly washed bed or sheets. 

If your dog smells like your fabric laundry detergent or fabric softener, this is the reason. 

Why does my dog smell good while sleeping?

Dogs, like people, tend to be warmer when they sleep. This causes their natural scents to become stronger. If your dog smells good when they are awake, you can expect the smell to become stronger when they are asleep. You may also notice this shortly after your dog wakes up from sleep. 

Why does my dog’s head smell good?

Dogs have special scent glands on their head. It’s thought that these produce pheromones. The purpose of these isn’t fully understood. However, researchers believe that it facilitates bonding and calm feelings in other dogs. 

It makes sense. Dogs often smell each other’s heads during greeting. Subservient dogs are likely to lower their head to allow a dominant dog to smell them. These pheromones could help maintain the social hierarchy and keep dominant dogs calmer when around subservient dogs. 

Why do my dog’s paws smell good?

There are a few reasons your dog’s paws smell good. These include scent glands in the paws, and naturally occurring bacteria. 

Scent Glands

Your dog’s paws also have specialized scent glands. If you watch your dog use the bathroom, they may paw the ground after peeing or pooping. They are actually marking the area with the scent glands located in their paws. 


Your dog doesn’t sweat the way you do. In fact, the only area of your dog’s body that sweats is its paws. Human sweat can cause bad odors in the armpits, because it allows bacteria to grow. 

Your dog’s paws can have a similar issue. Their paws have Proteus or Pseudomonas. These bacteria combine with their sweat to create a very specific scent. 

Many owners say it smells like corn chips or Fritos. Some owners find this scent pleasant, and even comforting. Other owners aren’t a fan. If you dislike the smell, a weekly wash with soap and water should remove it. 

Tiptoeing Through the Tulips

This isn’t the most common reason your dog’s paws smell good, but it is certainly a possibility. If your dog has been walking on something that smells great, the smell can be transferred to their paws. Grass, flowers, and even clothing can give your dog’s paws a nice smell.