Reasons Behind Why Does Your Dog Smell Like Fish


If you are facing the problem of fishy smell of your dog, you must have a question in your mind why does my dog smell like fish? So in this article, we have mentioned the main reasons of fishy smell in dogs.

The body odor of dogs can be unpleasant just as that of humans. Dogs that smell like fish are one of the worst problem. Dogs don’t seem to care how bad they smell because they don’t seem to care about it.

Humans use deodorants and perfumes frequently and bathe regularly to avoid or mask bad odors, but dogs don’t care. We often find dogs attracted to putrid things, like trash and dead animals. A dog’s feet, ears, and rear tend to have smelly odors.

Due to the presence of specialized glands that produce oils in those areas, yeasts and bacteria naturally colonise those areas. Dogs that suffer from allergies or other disorders may develop abnormal levels of these yeasts and bacteria, which make them smell particularly bad.

Causes of Fishy Smell in Dogs

It’s not uncommon for dogs to emit fishy odors. The presence of a fishy odor in your dog’s hair is most likely not a major issue if your dog eats fish or takes fish oil supplements. Other than that, there may be a medical condition going on with your dog if she smells like fish.

The common causes of fishy odor in dogs include dental difficulties, gastrointestinal disorders, infections, and some anal gland disorders. An overgrowth of bacteria causes most of these problems.

The Reasons Your Dog Smells Like Fish

Identifying the source of a fishy smell is key to narrowing down the issue if you notice your dog smells fishy. Below you can find out what you need to do if your dog smells like fish for the most common reasons.

Almost all of us pet parents do not brush the teeth of our dogs on a regular basis, and this causes most of our dog’s breath to smell bad. In some cases, fishy breath is caused by one or more of the following:

1 – Dental Problem


It’s possible that your dog has dental problems if dog’s breath smells like fish. The structures around and supporting the teeth are infected and inflamed in periodontal disease.

Dogs over the age of three are more likely than their younger counterparts to exhibit periodontal disease. Your dog may have periodontal disease if you notice large amounts of tartar, which represents yellowish or brownish material stuck to the teeth, or if his gums are red or puffy.

In order to prevent the disease from progressing, your veterinarian should treat periodontal disease as soon as possible. Regular professional dental cleanings under anesthesia and daily home dental care are the best ways to deal with this disease.

Your veterinarian should examine your puppy’s mouth and teeth to rule out specific tooth problems if your dog’s breath smells like fish due to broken or abscessed teeth.

2 – Digestive Disorders


It is common for dogs with food allergies or intolerance to burp excessively and have difficulty digesting their food, which can result in fishy breath.

If you suspect your dog has an allergy to food, your veterinarian may recommend that he consume a prescription hypoallergenic diet. It may also cause foul breath when you have acid reflux, also known as gastro-esophageal reflux or GERD.

The symptoms include regurgitation, drooling, lip licking and air swallowing. Symptoms can be controlled with anti-acid medications given by a veterinarian on prescription.

Dog’s Butt Smells Like Fish


While facing this issue, have you ever asked your veterinarian why does my dog smell like fish? Fishy smells are likely the result of an issue with your dog’s anal glands.

Anal glands and anal sacs are fluid-filled structures that are located just inside the anus. There are often small, yellowish sacs filled with foul-smelling liquid that can range in thickness and color from thin to thick. Anal glands in dogs naturally release when they poop or when they are afraid. You may notice while cleaning dog poop.

It is possible that certain dog breeds may not express their anal glands properly, resulting in problems like impaction and rupture. Anal gland disorders may be caused by obesity, chronic diarrhea, constipation, allergies, and environmental factors.

It is unknown exactly what causes certain dogs to develop anal gland problems. There is a possibility that your anal gland is causing you to scoot and leak anal gland contents and you are excessively licking the area.

Your dog may develop a swelling adjacent to her anus if the anal glands are impacted. It is common for ruptured anal glands to leave an open wound near the anus.

The following symptoms should be reported to your veterinarian if they appear on your dog. If your veterinarian thinks that anal glands are necessary, he will perform a rectal exam and express them if necessary. It is a good practice not to routinely express anal glands in dogs who do not have any symptoms of anal issues.

The external expression method, which is widely practiced by groomers, is considered by some to be over-expression and can harm the anal glands in the future. In dogs suffering from smelly diarrhea, anal gland irritation, weight loss, high fiber diets, hypoallergenic diets, prescription medications may relieve their symptoms.

For dogs whose anal glands do not respond to any of the above treatments, surgical removal of the glands may be recommended.

The Smell of Fish in your Dog’s Pee


In dogs with urinary tract disorders, fishy-smelling urine may develop. There are many possibilities for foul-smelling urine including urinary tract infections (UTI), bladder or kidney stones, and prostate disorders in males and bladder cancer.

Take your dog to the vet if, when smelling her pee, you notice that it smells unusually pungent. A thorough examination by a veterinarian usually begins with a urinalysis (urine test) and a urine culture.

An infection will be treated with antibiotics, if one is found. Your veterinarian will typically recommend X-rays and/or an ultrasound to help diagnose your dog’s abdominal problem if your pet’s symptoms include bloody urine and straining to urinate.

Do Dogs With Fishy Odors Have a Problem?

Your dog may smell fishy if the smell persists for more than a few days. You should take her to the vet. Dog owners may have a hard time detecting problems that veterinarians are trained to pick up on and can help determine what treatment would best suit your pet.

Most issues in dogs can be treated more easily and more cost-effectively when diagnosed early. So if your dog have fish smell more than few days, you should go to vet instead of thinking why does my dog smell like fish?

Your Dog Smell Fishy: How to Take Care of it?

In the case of a dog with that unpleasant, fishy odor, pet parents can help prevent it. If you feel why does my dogs breath smell? A soft toothbrush or finger toothbrush, along with an enzymatic dog-safe toothpaste, will help to alleviate bad breath in your dog.

You can also help to fix bad breath with oral rinses containing chlorhexidine, dental chews, and prescription dental diets available from your veterinarian.

The brushing alone will not resolve bad breath in dogs with gingivitis (inflamed gums) or more advanced periodontitis, which will require professional dental care.

If your veterinarian performs a dental cleaning on your dog, make sure that she has X-rays taken. A dental root abscess can be detected and treated with this procedure that may not be visible otherwise.

A gastrointestinal ailment may also cause your dog to have fishy breath, but if your veterinarian has ruled out a dental problem, she may suggest a special diet, or a pet medication, to treat the gastrointestinal ailment.

Maintaining a regular grooming schedule is also crucial for dogs with long hair. Nevertheless, you should ask your groomer to refrain from regularly expressing your dog’s anal glands because this can cause more problems.

Veterinary examination of your dogs anal glands may be needed if they are licking or scooting. Your veterinarian can express them if they are full, which should stop odors and discomfort.

Furthermore, to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy and to ensure that her digestive system is healthy, it’s important to feed her a complete and balanced diet.

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Luke Grayson
By Luke Grayson

I'm Luke Grayson co founder of The Dogs Wiki and dog lover person. Plays the role of content writing and keyword selection with proper research.

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