Why does my dog smell like fish?

why does my dog smell like fish

One reason why some dogs may smell like fish is that they are eating fish. Another reason why they may smell like fish is that they ate or walked in something that smells like it. It could also be possible that they may have taken a swim in water with algae which can cause them to smell like fish.

This is why it is important to keep your dog’s environment as clean as possible. This helps reduce the chances of them smelling like fish and if they do smell like it, you will know why and be able to provide a solution.

When your dog smell like fish

If your dog smells like dead fish then this could mean that they rolled in something that has died or even worse, was recently dead and decaying. While the smell of rotting flesh isn’t pretty enough for some people, there are others who can’t stand it.

As I stated before, keeping their environment clean reduces the chances of them rolling in dead things and causing themselves to smell like dead fish. The way to go about removing the smell of dead fish from your dog is by bathing them with shampoo that is made for getting rid of the smell.

If they took a swim in algae-filled water then you can rinse them off with water and soap to remove some of it but not all of it. If the situation only gets worse after rinsing them off, repeat what you did before until they don’t smell like fish anymore. It doesn’t take long to get rid of the musky scent on their fur coat unless, of course, your dog has tried to roll around in rotting flesh once again.

Walking through something smelly like dead animal waste is one way why dogs end up stinking like dead fish or even worse; gasoline fumes. You can tell if this is why they are smelling like dead fish because the smell doesn’t go away after you take them for a bath.

This means that it is coming from the oil glands in their paws and if you can catch them while they are still smelling like dead fish (before they smell like gasoline), then all you have to do is take some cotton balls and wipe off the glands inside of their paw pads until no more oil comes out onto the cotton ball. Make sure to wash your hands afterward because this will make you stink as well. And why would anyone want to smell like someone else’s stinky dog? Not me!

There may be times when your dog smells slightly briny but not enough to get rid of the smell. This could simply mean that it isn’t one specific thing causing your dog to smell like dead fish or gasoline fumes.

Always check your dog skin for infections

And one of the most common causes why dogs smell like dead fish is because their skin has got an infection and it is smelly. This can be very dangerous for your dog so you will need to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

You should find out why they have this type of infection and then treat them accordingly. Give them a bath in shampoo that contains tea tree oil which is antibacterial and only use warm water on their coat when bathing them. Never scrub excessively and never use any types of soap either unless they are hypoallergenic and safe enough to use on dogs with sensitive skin.

If the infection is very bad and there are several spots that you can see then you may need to shave their fur coat off depending on the severity of it. The only time why I would recommend shaving your dog’s fur coat off is if it has gone beyond root level which means deep into their skin.

Their fur coat protects them from the elements and gives them a layer of insulation against extreme temperatures (especially dogs with short coats like pugs). If they lose this protection due to an extensive infection, there is a much greater risk involved as far as why do dogs smell like fish goes.

This could end up becoming serious and even deadly if it isn’t dealt with as quickly as possible.

How to keep your dog skin fresh

Keep reading for a few tips on staying on top of their hygiene needs!

1) Your first step should be looking at the type of coat your dog has. If it is short, then they’ll need more baths to get the dirt off. If it is long, then they’ll need fewer baths but make sure you still brush them out regularly!

2) Brush out their hair with a comb or brush before bathing them in order to remove all the dirt and loose hair so that it doesn’t get all over your bathroom after you bathe them.

3) Now that you have gotten rid of all the excess hair and dirt, it is time to get into the bath! Choose a shampoo that will help with your dog’s skin type.

4) Make sure not to use too much soap when you’re bathing them because it can irritate their skin. When you’re done washing them, make sure all of it is off by giving them one last rinse before drying them off. Use a soft towel or maybe even let them air dry if they don’t mind it (if they don’t like being blow-dried).

5) Find out what type of coat dog has and make sure they stay clean and healthy without over bathing them:

  • If their coat is short, you can bathe them as often as once a month (obviously not in the middle of winter when they don’t need it). They shouldn’t smell like anything because dirt shouldn’t cling onto their fur coat unless it’s been a while since their last bath.
  • If their coat is long then just brushing out excess hair before giving them a bath will go a long way into keeping that dead fish or gasoline smell from surfacing. Not to mention making sure you’re using shampoo safe for dogs with sensitive skin will also help! Bathing too frequently because you feel they have been dirty enough to warrant two baths within a week would only irritate their skin more!
  • If you’re not sure, ALWAYS ask your vet. They will be able to help you determine how often to give your dog a bath and what shampoo will work best with their coat type.

6) Find out what type of coat they have rather than over bathing them. Remember that brushing before the bath is just as important in order to remove excess hair and dirt which can cause foul smells if left on the skin for too long after the bath has dried. Brushing also helps get rid of any loose fur they may have so it doesn’t clog up their skin pores causing infections down the road possibly resulting in “why does my dog smell like fish“.

7) Make sure you use enough but not too much shampoo.

Concrete steps to take care of your dog are always needed. The more you know about why does my dog smell like fish, the less likely this is to happen in the future.


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Written by Sammy

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