Why do dogs smell after being in the sun? 9 Reasons and Tips to Control it

Why do dogs smell after being in the sun? 9 Reasons and Tips to Control it

Article Reviewed by Dr James Berman, Sydney Vet Clinic. Learn More about Dr James.

Why do dogs smell after being in sun?

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I have noticed this many times, I have a Cavapoo and whenever I take him outside In the sun even for a few minutes he smells very bad once he is inside the home.

I do not notice that smell when I am outside with him.

After doing a bit of research I got to know a few things. Here is what I found.

Why do dogs smell after being in sun

9 Reasons dogs smell after being in sun and how to control it

1. Food your dog eats

Certain foods can produce a particular kind of smell in some dogs, and it’s more noticeable when their fur is hot – that is if they have had a stroll in the sun.

It could be it’s some oily substance being excreted. In particular, try switching off dry food for a while, or from corn-based to rice-based, and see if that helps.

Dogs’ Fats and Oils Come from a Variety of Sources

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in a variety of foods, including fish oils (herring, salmon, etc.) and flaxseed and canola oils. 

Pork fat, chicken fat (or any bird fat), safflower and sunflower oils, as well as corn and soybean oils, are all common sources of omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acid sources include fish oil, walnut oil, and flaxseed oil (vegetable oils).

2. Your Dog’s breath

From bad breath caused by dental problems to foul-smelling flatulence caused by an intolerance to an item in their diet; our adorable furry friends can produce quite an unpleasant aroma. 

It may be that your dog smells anyway but in contrast to the fresh air from outside these stenches are more noticeable. 

A persistently smelly dog is likely a dog in need of ear or teeth cleaning and regular mouth wash (or who has something else medically wrong), or in need of a better diet (healthy dogs who do not have naturally oily coats should not smell).

However, If a dog only smells for a short while after being outside isn’t unusual.

Bathing is really only necessary if the dog is actually dirty, bathing too frequently actually makes a dog smell more, because it causes more oil to be produced than normal (because the oil gets removed during the bath) – most of the time doggy smell comes from the inside (ears, teeth, skin, health or diet), not the outside.

List of the best and trusted Dog Mouthwash,  toothpaste & Brush set that can be purchased from Amazon. I use most of these products for my Pooch.

Why do dogs smell after being in the sun? 9 Reasons and Tips to Control it

Dog Mouth Wash

Toothpaste and Brush set

3. Reaction to something outside, or even sunlight

if it’s a reaction to something outside or even sunlight. If so, you might want to consult a vet about this

It could be Stinky glands or Oil in the coat or both could be aggravated by heat/sunlight.

Both can be (temporarily) cured by a dog groomer. 

Well, when you get in from your walk you take your coat off and if your trousers were wet then you would change those. Dogs don’t have this luxury. 

The scents of the great outdoors will cling to clothes and hair rather than your skin.

So once you’ve removed a layer of clothing you’ve removed most, if not all, of the smell. Unless dogs have been wearing their coats they can’t do this.

Seasonal or food allergies can cause inflammation of the skin which leads to excessive secretion of oil from certain glands in the skin, producing a musty smell.

A poor diet can contribute to this condition and can also be the cause of other problems including yeast infections, which also give off a foul odour.

This is because scent molecules move closer together when cold. 

The combination of moist, cool air results in a scent that is heavy and closer to the ground. This makes it much easier for a dog to track the smell.

4. Dogs have natural odours.

Naturally, dogs produce secretions with the primary function of producing a scent that other dogs will recognise them by and mark their territory. 

Whilst out and about dogs produce their scent around other dogs so the smell will be more prominent when you return home. 

If we went through what your dog goes through during an average walk we’d probably jump straight in the shower when we get home and wash out clothes. 

From rolling in the grass, roaming through a bush and running through muddy puddles. 

How to keep your dog Fresh and smelling good

5. Dogs smell when they are wet

Why do dogs smell after being in the sun? 9 Reasons and Tips to Control it

While the scent of a wet dog is not pleasant, what is it that causes our furry pals to smell so terrible when they are wet?

The primary reason is microscopic organisms such as yeast and bacteria that dwell beneath and on their fur and skin. 

Chemical substances are produced by these microbes as waste.

When your dog’s fur becomes wet, these germs are moved, and their odours reach you more quickly. 

Additionally, dogs’ coats are inherently oily, and when this oil combines with water, a foul odour results.

Also Read: Nifty tips to keep your dog fresh and clean

6. Skin Infections

Skin infections, for example, are another atypical disease that can create malodors in dogs. 

Skin infections are most commonly detected in dogs with overlapping folds of skin, such as Bulldogs, although they can affect any dog. 

Their occurrence can be caused by skin irritation, such as that which occurs when the folds of the skin are deep and retain an excessive amount of moisture and bacteria, or by excessive scratching as a result of skin allergies or other conditions. 

In response to skin irritation, your dog may be producing either an excessive amount or an insufficient amount of oil. 

This is especially true if you have been giving your dog regular baths in an attempt to counteract the scent or discomfort.

7. Your Pooch’s anal sacs

Then there are the anal sacs, often known as scent glands, which typically operate in the background, discreetly. During faeces, healthy anal sacs will secrete a tiny amount of secretion. 

They have a strong musky odour, which is usually beneficial to other canines.

 Again, this aroma is unique to each dog and is used to identify them (this is why dogs tend to sniff each other’s buttocks before greeting one another). 

Occasionally, though, the anal sacs become clogged and incapable of draining. 

When this occurs, the glands may swell and become unpleasant for the dog, who may respond by excessively biting and licking the anus, exposing the glands to abscess and infection. 

This will necessitate a veterinarian visit for drainage and treatment.

8. Fungi Infections

Things can become uncomfortable when microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi invade, or when the body’s functions fail to function properly. 

For instance, certain breeds of dogs are prone to ear infections. 

Typically, this affects dogs with excessive ear hair or dogs with large floppy ears, although any dog might have an ear infection. 

Ear infections can have an odour that ranges from strong to rotting, depending on their severity.

9. Dogs sweat! Heck ..Yes!

Though dogs do not sweat in the way we do, they do occasionally sweat lightly from their follicles. 

Each dog’s perspiration has a different scent, even if it just smells BAD to us, and that helps them to mark their territory as well.

Another source of a bad smell on your dog could be his anal glands. 

Originally used to mark territory, the anal glands are located on the inner side of the anus and sometimes they can become filled and even inflamed. 

If you’re noticing a smell that doesn’t go away after your dog has been inside for a few minutes, consider having his glands checked.

This smell is different from the “wet dog” smell and is rather strong.

List of the best and trusted Dog perfumes, Cologne  & Diffusers that can be purchased from Amazon. I use most of these products for my Pooch.

Dog Perfumes

How to stop dogs from smelling when outside

Washes that are effective. Before you rush out to give your dog a bath, keep in mind that most veterinarians recommend giving your dog a bath once every few weeks at the most.

Bathing too frequently might result in dry, itchy, and flaky skin, which are all unpleasant side effects. 

When bathing your dog, make sure to use a high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner, and make sure to thoroughly rinse the fur after scrubbing.

By carefully drying your dog with a towel or a silent drier, you can avoid the stench of a wet dog.

Don’t Take them out in the rain if at all possible. If you just have a small window of time in your day to walk your dog, this may be more difficult to accomplish than it appears, but try to avoid walking your dog in the rain if at all possible.

As previously said, the combination between water and your dog’s natural oils will result in bad odours, therefore if you can wait until the rain has ended and the ground has dried, you will prevent the foul wet dog scent when you return.

Keep their hair/fur as short as possible. In particular, if your dog is of a breed whose hair grows continuously, this is critical to remember. 

Why do dogs smell after being in the sun? 9 Reasons and Tips to Control it

Taking your dog to the groomer for a trim on a regular basis will help to keep the post-walk odours at bay because there will be less hair for the odours to cling to.

Additionally, frequent visits to the dog groomer will result in frequent and thorough washing and drying of your dog’s fur, which will help to reduce the presence of unpleasant odours even further.

Make sure their jackets and harnesses are clean. If you have taken your dog for a long walk on a rainy day, 

it may be worthwhile to throw their coat and/or harness in the washing machine for a brief wash after they get home.

Just as with our own outer layers, clothes and fabric can be used to trap hoarding odours and benefit from a wash to keep the problem from getting worse and spreading.

After everything is said and done, as much as we adore our four-legged pals, their odours after a stroll can be… unpleasantly unpleasant.

Recognising that their hairs cling on to odours and that their natural oils react adversely with water will assist us in beginning to avoid the stench from accumulating.

Use of dog coats, thorough washing and drying of their fur, and other measures should assist to eliminate post-walk odours and allow you to enjoy every step of a stroll with your greatest furry buddy, according to the RSPCA.

Also,Read our Article

25 must-haves for every dog owner(simple and easy checklist)

About Content Reviewer & Vet Expert OnBoard: Dr Maya Zamir Malvern Vet Clinic. Dr Maya is passionate about pets and loves sharing her knowledge and research with you.

At Pet Paws Hub, we strive to be the ultimate resource for learning everything about Owning & caring for your pet!

Learn More about Vet Dr Maya

Why do dogs smell after being in the sun? 9 Reasons and Tips to Control it

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