If you are taking care of your pet dogs for quite a while already, you are surely aware of the varying smells that you can encounter. However, have you encountered a fishy smell coming from your furry pet? Several factors cause this peculiar smell, and you need to investigate it!
This article will walk you through the reasons, remedies, and procedures needed for a dog with a fishy-smelling bum.
Do My Dog’s Privates Smell Like Fish?
Noticing a fishy smell from your dog may not always mean that it comes from his behind. First, you need to assess where the odor is coming from to know what intervention to take.
You can begin by smelling your pup’s ears and face, as these areas can also emit a fish-like smell due to an eye or ear discharge.
Then, you might want to check your pet’s feet for a brown stain that might indicate a yeast infection.
If you cannot trace the problem from these areas, the last possible area to consider is your dog’s butt.
Try lifting your dog’s tail and assess any swellings, redness, discharge, or odor. Usually, a strong fishy smell is present here due to an anal gland problem.
Why Do You Get This Smell From Your Dog’s Bum?
Your dog’s anus has a pair of sacs located in it. These are your pet’s anal glands, or sacs, responsible for a strong and unpleasant smelling odor.
As your dog defecate, the anal glands release their secretions along with it. This way, your dog can communicate with other dogs by its smell. It is not surprising why dogs tend to sniff another dog’s poop or bum as they meet!
The anal glands, just like any other structure of the body, can encounter some problems. For instance, impaction can result if the liquid from these sacs does not empty correctly.
Moreover, your dog’s stool consistency can also contribute to the impaction. As the fluid accumulates inside the gland, your dog can feel a lot of pain.
Other than impaction, infections and abscesses can also be a problem for your dog’s fishy-smelling anal glands. These are pretty serious problems, especially if you do not work on treating them!
If you think that your dog is having a problem with his anal glands, do not panic because this problem is straightforward to treat.
As long as you and your vet can determine the root cause, resolving the complication will be easy, and expect the fishy smell to disappear.
Home Remedies For Fish Smelling Dog Bum
Now that you know these kinds of problems exist, can you do something about it? Of course, you can! Sometimes, heading straight to the vet is not accessible to all loving furparents, so it is still good to know home remedies on how to fix your dog’s smelly bum.
1. Make Sure That Your Dog is Always Clean
We live in a warm country, that is why our resident veterinarian recommends bathing our dogs at least once a day.
However, if you live in colder and less humid countries, it is better to give your dog a bath every other week.
But this is a reminder that every day, you have to wipe your dog to get rid of dirt and any bad smell that they acquire.
Let’s say, for example, you went out for a walk, before getting inside, make sure that their paws and muzzles are clean.
You can use hypoallergenic, alcohol-free wet wipes or a clean damp cloth to do this and to make sure that they do not have any dirt or soil left in those places which can cause skin problems and diseases.
It is also necessary for you to wipe your dog’s bum every time they poop. By doing this, you can ensure that there is no poop left on their bum which could potentially cause them to smell bad.
Using a hypoallergenic and antimicrobial wet wipe or a cloth washed with soap and water can help you get rid of this.
Come to think of it, if you do this on a regular basis, you will not only have a dog that smells good, but you will also have a clean house!
2. Give Your Dog The Balanced Diet They Need
Much like humans, a dog’s smell is a direct reflection of its diet. This is why it is important that you as a dog owner make sure that you give your dog the best nutrition that they need.
Here is the suggested daily caloric intake for dogs of a different breed:
Daily Calorie Requirements Of Active Dogs
- Small Breed 10lb = 404 calories per day
- Medium Sized Breed 30lb = 922 calories per day
- Medium Sized Breed 50lb = 1,353 calories per day
- Large Breed 70lb = 1,740 calories per day
- Giant Breed 90lb = 2,100 calories per day
- Daily Calorie Requirements Of Inactive Dogs
- Small Breed 10lb = 296
- Medium Sized Breed 30lb = 674
- Medium Sized Breed 50 lb = 989
- Large Breed 70 lb = 1,272
- Giant Breed 90 lb = 1,540
3. Increase their Fiber Intake
Fiber plays a vital part in your dog’s gastrointestinal well-being. In both of its forms, whether it is the digestible fiber that is broken down into simple molecules that feeds the good bacteria in your dog’s gut, or the indigestible one that may offer little nutritional value but stimulates the movement of their intestines to regulate inflammation and normalize bowel movements, it is a must that your dog gets the daily fiber intake that they need. Since fiber helps to clean out their colon, it also keeps your dogs less smelly.
You can give your dog the fiber they need by giving them beet, pumpkin, flaxseed, leafy vegetables, carrots, and rice.
You can also let us know down in the comments if you want a question and answer portion about dog nutrition with our trusted veterinarian.
4. Increase Their Water Intake
If your dog has a smelly bum, it might mean that they are not getting enough moisture in their diet.
Dogs need 1 ounce of water per pound of their body weight every day, and giving them less of this recommended water intake can lead to dehydration, indigestion, and yes, you’ve guessed it right, smelly bum!
Now, as a fur parent myself, I know how making dogs drink their water can get extra difficult. However, investing in a good quality pet drinking fountain can get them to drink more every day.
5. Weight Management
A consistent fishy smell in your dog’s bum is often a sign that your dog is suffering from a larger health issue. Oftentimes, this can be caused by malnutrition, or in a much specific term, obesity.
Did you know that in North America, obesity is so prevalent that 25%-30% of dogs are obese? You might not know it, but your dog might be eating too much food that they need on a daily basis.
To solve this problem, it is best that you consult a veterinarian so that you will have an idea of how to feed your dog the right way.
6. Give them Probiotics
A healthy gut reduces inflammation and toxin build-up in dogs, so it is highly recommended for you to give your dog supplements like probiotics which could prevent gastrointestinal problems.
Did you know that probiotics do more than just stabilizing your dog’s gut health? Adding probiotic supplements to your dog’s diet can help prevent liver problems, anal gland inflammation, and even some forms of canine cancer.
Always bear in mind that a dog’s immunity to diseases heavily relies on their diet, which is why it is important to give them a healthy diet specially tailored for their breed.
How Do You Know If Your Dog Needs His Glands Squeezed?
Squeezing out the contents of your pup’s anal glands can be an option, but it is not always needed. Manual expression of these sacs is only indicated if the puppy is in pain, uncomfortable, or infected.
Most of the time, especially if your dog has normal anal sacs, squeezing it is unnecessary to alleviate the fishy odor. In fact, too much manual squeezing of these glands will lead to more problems!
Your pet’s glands and tissues can be more irritated, damaged, and could lead to a scar that will contribute to more blockage and fishy odor.
How Do You Empty A Dog’s Anal Glands?
Expressing a dog’s glands can be a duty of the vet, the technician, or even you at home! Anal gland expression could be a learned procedure at home if you wanted to address your pet’s gland problems.
Here are the essential steps that you need to follow when doing this procedure at home.
- You can ask another person to hold your pet firmly. A standing position where your dog’s head is clutched away from you would be ideal.
- Put some lube on your gloved finger and gently insert your fingertip into your dog’s anus. You can feel a pair of pea-sized glands inside.
- Lightly squeeze them to milk out any contained material. Gently do this and be patient, especially if you have difficulty squeezing out the gland! Catch the excretions in a paper towel as you go.
- Wipe your dog’s anus with the paper towel and make sure that no material is left. You can also use a grooming spray to manage some foul odor.
Manually expressing anal glands yourself can be difficult at first. So, make sure to be patient and gentle! Sometimes, you might encounter milking out pus or blood. This will mean that a veterinarian’s help would be essential!
How Much Does It Cost To Get Your Dog’s Glands Expressed?
Your pet dogs will be in better hands if you let them see a vet for problems with their anal glands. Usually, prices can range from $25 to $40.
This rate will depend on many factors depending on your vet’s fees, so make sure to inquire and confirm its price in your area.
Why Does My Dog Still Smells After Their Glands are Expressed?
You have given your dog regular baths, you have already asked a professional to drain their anal glands, but your dog still stinks! Why is this happening?
More often than not, especially if you have consulted an inexperienced veterinarian, that they won’t be able to entirely drain your dog’s anal sacs.
That, or maybe your dog’s anal sacs produce fluids more often than other dog breeds. If these two scenarios happened to you, you should probably think of going to a different veterinarian which specializes in your dog’s breed or you have the option the have your dog’s anal sacs removed (since they are vestigial anyway and they do not serve many purposes anymore).
It is also most likely that your dog’s diet is what causing the problem. May it be a pup or an adult dog, we at Doggie Collective emphasizes the importance of a complete and balanced meal for dogs to avoid messing up their gut health.
A fiber-rich diet could ensure that their intestines get stimulated regularly and there is enough pressure on their rear so that anal sacs empty their fluids on their own.
Your other option is to ask a vet’s opinion on what deodorizers should you use for your dog. Putting natural deodorizers on your dog after expressing or draining their anal sacs usually solves the problem, and you will be having a good smelling pooch in no time.
A recurrent fishy smell from your dog might alert you of a problem that needs a vet’s intervention.
However, more often than not, this scenario does not require any medical attention.
To save you some time and money, make sure to follow some home remedies first but immediately visit your vet if you feel that the situation is getting out of hand. With these in mind, the initially fishy-smelling bum of your pet can be alleviated.