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Why does my Labrador smell?

Why does my Labrador smell?

It can be a very frustrating thing if your Labrador smells bad. This post will show you common causes of them smelling bad and what you can do about it.

So, why does my Labrador smell bad?

It could be because it has health problems such as bad breath, diseased teeth or gums, ear infections or excessive flatulence or problems with the anal sacs. It could also be due to rolling in smelly things, a bad diet or having been in water. 

And, what can I do to make my Labrador smell good?

The most effective way to get rid of your Labrador‘s smell will depend largely on the cause of the bad smell.

Some general things that you can do are to take it to the vet, improve its teeth with dental cleanings, bathe it, check its ears regularly and to prevent them from getting wet as well as its fur and skin and to train it not to roll in smelly things.

There are actually many reasons why your Labrador might smell bad and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main reason and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Why Your Labrador Might Smell Bad

Below are a number of common reasons why Labradors can smell bad and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours smells bad.

Health problems

There are a number of health problems that can be associated with bad smells.

If your Labrador has bad breath then it could be due to kidney failure or diabetes. It’s normal for a dog’s breath to be slightly smelly but if it’s very bad then it could be due to health reasons.

Bad breath can also be caused by diseased teeth and gums. Diseased teeth and gums can also cause increased drooling which might get caught in its fur which can cause it to become even more smelly.

Bacterial infections in the ears can make them smell bad as well. It will often be accompanied by lots of head shaking, flatulence some is normal but lots may be due to intestine problems

There might also be problems with the anal sacs. They are two small scent sacs located in the area of the anus and are types of marking glands. When a dog poos, the sacs will normally get squeezed and release a smelly oily secretion. If a dog is scared or excited the glands can secrete the oily substance onto its fur. Your vet can show you how to check the anal sacs yourself and even how to empty them.

If you think that there might be health problems that are causing the bad smell, you should take your Labrador to the vet and get it checked out. Also, if it has not been to the vet for a checkup recently, now would be a good time to take it.

It’s been rolling around in smelly things

If your Labrador has been rolling around in grass or dirt a lot, it could be what has been causing it to smell bad. If your Labrador does have a habit of rolling around in the grass and it smells then you might want to take measures to reduce that kind of behavior.

It’s been in water

The reason could also be that it has gotten wet. If it’s been raining or if your Labrador has been swimming in a lake or pool then it can cause your Labrador’s fur to become smelly especially if the water was dirty.

To get rid of the smell here you can clean it so that the dirty water doesn’t get a chance to dry on your Labrador’s coat and you can avoid letting it inside until you have dried it off.

Yeast infections

Yeast is a common issue for Labradors and other dogs and it will often come with a bad smell. Smelly paws or ears are usually a sign of yeast infections. If your Labrador is scratching its paws or ears on a regular basis then this could be the cause and you should take it to the vet.

Skin infections

Another cause of a bad odor could be due to skin infections. If your Labrador is regularly itching itself it has thinning hair or it has red and flaking skin then this could be the cause.

Bad diet

An issue with its diet might also be what has been causing it to smell bad. A bad diet can cause it to have bad breath and to have increased flatulence. A bad diet would be more likely if it has started smelling bad since a change in its diet.

If you think that diet might be to blame then you should consult with a vet and ask them to help you to improve your Labrador’s diet.

Ways to improve your Labrador’s smell

Below are some options you have when getting your Labrador to smell better.

Improve its dental health

Since bad breath is a common cause of bad odors in dogs one of the things that you can do is to improve your Labrador’s dental health.

You can do this by giving it bones and chews to chew on that help to reduce plaque, you can make sure to give it annual health cleanings and you can even brush its teeth yourself.

You should also take steps to make sure that there are no problems with its teeth or gums by taking it to the vets.

Keep it dry

When your Labrador gets wet, it can cause it to become smelly and it can lead to infections. This is why you should make sure to clean its skin and ears after it gets wet. You should also check its ears periodically to check for infections.

Change its diet

Since a bad diet can cause Labrador to smell you should take measures to ensure that your Labrador’s diet is how it should be. The best way to do this would be to ask your vet when you see them next.

Clean it

One way to keep your Labrador smelling nice is to bathe and groom it regularly. By doing this you will be able to keep its fur smelling fresh and free of odor. By grooming it you’ll also be able to remove loose fur which could be increasing its smell.

Bear in mind that Labrador and other types of dogs will still be a bit smelly after bathing them but this is due to its coat being wet and should go away after you dry it.

Get it to stop rolling in smelly things

Since one cause of your Labrador’s smell is likely to be due to rolling around once measure you can take is to get it to stop doing so.

You can do this by training it to come to you on command, giving it exercise, keeping it cool and giving it things to keep it occupied.

Ask your vet

If you cannot figure out why your Labrador has been smelling bad, it has been smelling bad for a long time or it seems like there could be a medical cause, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador and to rule out the possibility of medical causes.

Things to consider

When it started smelling bad

If it did not always smell bad, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.

If it started smelling bad suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as a medical condition, bathing it less, getting access to dirty parts of the backyard or getting wet more.

When it tends to smell bad

It would also help to consider if there is a certain scenario that it normally smells in. For example, if it tends to smell when it comes in from the backyard, it would be more likely that it is because it was rolling around outside.