Why Your Dog Still Stinks after a Bath

Wondering why your dog still stinks after a bath? You can lather, rinse, repeat and some canines will still smell terrible. Reasons vary from simple shampoo issues to serious infections. My shih-tzu was stinky just hours after bathing. Turns out it was more than one issue, but lucky for me I was able to solve my dog’s chronic odor problem without an unnecessary (and expensive) trip to the vet.

Finding the Source of the Odor –

My dog’s skin wasn’t broken, irritated, cracked, or oozing but he smelled like old tuna on soggy sourdough bread. I know. That’s quite a combination! When I picked him up from the groomer she said his anal glands were full. That’s one of the most common reasons why a dog would smell fishy, but I never thought to check. She took care of the problem, and it’s something you or your veterinarian can do. You’ll save a considerable amount of money by doing it yourself – if the dog will let you. Scroll down to the end of my post for a step-by-step YouTube video on how to check and express a dog’s anal glands.

Continue Reading Below

The sour yeast odor was coming from my dog’s other end. Fur grows inside of a shih-tzu’s ear canals and traps wax, dirt, oil, and bacteria. Breeds with floppy ears are also prone to ear problems. My dog wouldn’t let me pluck his ears. The groomer had to do that, but I was able to cure the ear infection, totally get rid of the smell, and keep it from coming back. Vet’s Best Ear Wash and Dry was a miracle cure, and it saved me a ton of money on bacterial cultures, exams, and re-exams. I highly recommend it if your dog has chronic ear infections. You can read more about it in the article entitled Why My Shih-Tzu’s Ear Stinks.

Smell Your Dog’s Ears – Do They Stink?

Vet's Best Dog Ear Cleaner Kit, Ear Relief Wash & Dry

View on AmazonVet’s Best Dog Ear Cleaner Kit, Ear Relief Wash & Dry

Other Possible Reasons Why Your Dog Still Stinks after a Bath

In addition to the possibility of an ear infection or impacted anal glands, the bad odor in dogs may be caused by:

  • Dental problems – check the teeth and the gums for tartar, decay, swelling, or redness
  • Examine the roof the mouth as well – my lab had a rotting chicken bone lodged across the roof of his mouth!
  • Switch to a natural moisturizing and deodorizing shampoo – try Natural Hypoallergenic Oatmeal Shampoo
  • Examine the dog’s skin for signs of irritation and/or infection – pay careful attention to creases and folds

Seamus Sugar Cookie Pet Daily Spritz--Cologne-Deodorant-Odor-Eliminator-Body Spray for Dogs, Cats and Small Animals-Water Based, Time Released Long Lasting, Great Deodorizer for Bedding and Cages

View on AmazonSeamus Sugar Cookie Pet Daily Spritz–Cologne-Deodorant-Odor-Eliminator-Body Spray for Dogs, Cats and Small Animals-Water Based, Time Released Long Lasting, Great Deodorizer for Bedding and Cages

Some breeds are more likely to suffer from skin infections and ear infections than others, but in most cases it’s not that serious. You can usually figure out why your dog still stinks after a bath by simply using your nose. When in doubt, take him to the vet for a complete exam. Sometimes all it takes is a change in bathing and grooming products. After ruling out or treating medical problems, try a daily spritzing of doggy deodorant or cologne. Pet wipes also help control dog odors in between baths.

Do His or Her Anal Glands Need Expressing?


Kimberly Dalessandro (a.k.a. Crystal Ray) began her online writing career in 2005 with PageWise Incorporated and went on to become a top writer for both Associated Content and Yahoo Voices under the pen name Crystal Ray. In early 2017 she launched Blue Crystal Sky ~ Everything Under the Sun. She is continually coming up with new ideas to share with the world.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.