Do you ever wonder why your dog smells like fish? You walk into the house, and that smell hits you. The smell is not that bad, but it is curious. This article will uncover why dogs have a pungent fishy odor and what can be done to help get rid of it.
If they’ve recently gone for a swim in the lake or even in the bathtub, the smell will be strong. The good news is that this fishy odor is not harmful to your dog. It’s a reasonably familiar scent for dogs, even if it’s one you probably don’t enjoy all that much.
Here are some things to consider about why your dog smells fishy and possible responses or solutions to these questions.
What Are Anal Glands?
Dogs have a pair of glands just under their tails, called anal glands. These glands help dogs mark their territory and ward off predators. They also produce a waxy substance that leaves behind an oily residue when your dog’s feces pass through the anus. If they become clogged or infected, it can cause problems such as leakage and foul odor.
It’s essential to be aware of anal gland issues because they can get infected or abscessed if not treated. They could also become impacted and need to be expressed manually by a veterinarian. Your vet can tell you whether your dog smells “fishy” due to an infection, clogged glands, or other health issues.
In rare cases, a dog’s anal glands may become cancerous. If you notice unusual lumps or growths near your dog’s anus, immediately take it to the vet. Sometimes, early detection and treatment of this type of cancer can save a dog’s life.
Generally speaking, though, if your dog smells fishy, it may be a sign of infection or other health issues. Be sure to take your dog to the vet to make sure there isn’t something more serious going on.
How to tell if it’s their anal glands or breath?
If your dog smells like fish, there’s a good chance it’s because of their anal glands. Awful breath can also cause this smell. Gladly, if your dog has diarrhea or other digestive problems, it will probably smell more like feces than fish. So you can use the smell to distinguish between different potential causes.
If your dog smells like feces, there are a couple of possibilities. They may have eaten something that’s causing the smell, or they could have parasites. Take them to the vet to make sure they don’t have worms or other stomach bugs. If it turns out your dog does not have parasites but still smells bad, then it might be time to change their diet.
When dogs eat things they shouldn’t, such as garbage or other items found outside, it can cause digestive problems and make them smell like feces. If you notice your dog eating strange things – especially if they start doing this regularly, visit the vet for a checkup to rule out potential health problems.
Or, the smell of feces may be coming from another dog in the house. Dogs lick each other to show affection, but sometimes it can lead to an unpleasant odor on their breath.
This is especially true if one of your dogs recently ate something that made them smell bad, or they licked themselves after rolling around in something smelly outside.
What are Anal Sac Diseases?
Dogs usually have anal glands on both sides of the anus. These sacs create a foul-smelling oil, and they can become infected if they aren’t emptied often enough.
When this happens, you’ll notice your dog’s feces has a more pungent than usual odor and may even see some oily scabs around their anus.
A common sign that a dog has an infection in their anal glands is if they smell like fish. In this case, consult the vet as soon as you can. The sooner you catch this type of issue, the easier it will be to treat.
Usually, your vet will express your dog’s anal sacs manually to relieve the pressure and allow them to begin healing. If your dog is uncomfortable, they will prescribe painkillers to help them feel better so you can still express the sacs at home.
You must keep an eye on your dog’s diet – stay away from high fiber foods that could irritate their condition and make it worse.
Anal gland infections are not too severe and will often clear up on their own within a few days if you express them regularly. If they don’t, your vet may prescribe antibiotics and other medications to get rid of the infection.
If your dog’s anal glands are clogged, they can cause leakage and foul odor. It’s essential to be aware of anal gland issues and to express them (if necessary) regularly. This will reduce the risk of infection and keep your dog smelling fresh and clean.
What to Do About Your Dog’s Fishy Smell if it’s anal glands?
Anal gland infections are not too severe and can usually be treated by expressing them regularly. If you notice your dog’s anal glands aren’t emptying properly, take them to the vet for a checkup. The sooner you catch this type of issue, the easier it will be to treat.
Most dogs with anal gland issues are OK after a few days of treatment, and their anal glands will continue to empty on their own. If your dog is uncomfortable and has trouble opening them due to infection, your vet may prescribe painkillers or antibiotics.
If it’s due by to underlying health issue such as parasites, you’ll want to take them to the vet for a checkup. Otherwise, you can choose to switch their food if it’s making them smell bad. Make sure to keep an eye on them for signs of infection and change their diet if necessary.
What to Do About Your Dog’s Fishy Smell if it’s their breath?
Dogs will often lick each other to show affection, but sometimes it can lead to an unpleasant odor on their breath. This is especially true if one of your dogs has been eating strange things or rolling around outside in something smelly. In many cases, the smell goes away after a few days if you watch them and give them plenty of attention.
If your dog smells like fish, it could be that they’ve eaten something that made their breath smell bad or rolled around in something smelly outside.
Dogs will often lick each other as a show of affection, which can lead to an unpleasant odor on their breath. This is especially true if one of your dogs has been eating something strange or rolling around outside in a smelly spot.
In many cases, the smell will go away after a few days if you keep an eye on your dog and give them plenty of attention. If it doesn’t, make sure they’ve had their yearly checkup with your vet.
Sometimes dietary changes or medication can help to clear up the issue. Be sure to consult your vet as well if their breath smells like fish.
If it’s the smell of dog food, then they may need to eat something different or wash their bowl more often. Make sure you give them fresh water at least once a day and keep an eye on their diet.
If you notice them licking each other (again, it’s usually a sign of affection), then their breath might start to smell bad.
How do you know if your dog needs its anal glands squeezed?
A dog’s anal glands are part of its digestive system, located just inside the anus. These tiny sacs can become full or infected if they’re not emptied regularly. If your dog’s anus is swollen or the area seems sore, this could be a sign that they need you to express their anal glands for them.
This is because their anal glands are located just inside the anus and can become full or infected if they’re not emptied regularly. If this happens, your dog’s stool may be soft or runny and start to smell bad. It’s not recommended to try and empty the anal glands yourself as you could make them worse.
If your dog has either of these signs, visit the vet as soon as possible since there may be something stuck in their anus, or they might have an infection.
You can express their anal glands yourself if you have to, but you’ll need to seek professional help if they’re swollen or possibly infected.
In summary, a fishy smell is usually caused by poor dietary habits (i.e., eating garbage, food that has gone bad, etc.), or it could be a sign of infection in their anal glands.
Make sure your dog’s diet is balanced and healthy, and if they need to have their anal glands expressed, be sure to seek professional help.
You can find more information here: Why Does My Dog Smell Like Fish?