Dogs are typically a joy to have around. They bring an infectious sense of positive energy anywhere they go.
That’s why many people adopt these furballs into their homes. However, they do come with their fair share of issues.
For instance, dogs tend to be quite messy, and they can also be a bit stinky. Sometimes that odor is a result of a long, sweaty day at the park.
Yet, at other times, the scent seems to appear out of nowhere. This can be a little alarming to pet owners, especially if the canine smells a little fishy.
So, what can you do when your dog’s butt smells like fish? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the strange odor.
We’ll also discuss what you can do about the unpleasant scent.
- The main causes behind your dog’s butt smelling like fish.
- The best ways to handle the stinky issue.
- Some scents are a cause for concern while others aren’t.
Dog Odor Overview
Dogs have a natural scent that most of us are familiar with. It’s a bit yeasty, with musky solid undertones.
Typically, this isn’t an unpleasant odor. It can be a little overpowering, but it’s not all that bad.
So, if you’re sniffing a particularly foul smell, it’s possible your pet needs medical attention.
Depending on the nature of the odor, the underlying cause can change. For instance, if your dog is giving off a sweet scent, it may suffer from diabetes.
Yet, a stinky, fishy smell usually indicates an issue with your pet’s anal glands.
Dog Anal Glands Overview
Dogs are born with two anal glands, one on each side of the anus. These are oval-shaped sacs that contain a chemical with a particularly intense scent.
This fluid is unique to each pet, which means every canine has a distinctive smell. Because of that, dogs can use this chemical to mark their territories.
They’ll excrete some of the liquid and rub it against various objects in an area.
Although canines don’t always have full control over these glands. If they’re frightened or stressed, they can involuntarily release anal fluids.
This will create a faint fishy smell in the air. Most of the time, this isn’t a cause for concern.
It’s normal for a dog to express their anal glands now and again. Yet, if it happens too often, or the odor becomes overpowering, there may be an issue with the sacs.
Unfortunately, to get to the bottom of the scent, you’ll have to examine the dog’s rear, specifically its anus.
Here are a few signs you can keep an eye out for:
- Inflamed, red anal glands
- Excessive itching of the anal area
- Blood or pus in the stool
There’s also another way your dog can signal that its anal glands are swollen. They’ll drag their rear end on the floor.
Dog Anal Gland Diseases
Once you’ve identified the anal glands as the issue, we can take a look at what’s causing the odor. There are a few illnesses that can lead to a fishy stink.
1. Excessive Diarrhea
Anal glands will continuously produce fluids. To ensure they don’t overfill, dogs will excrete a small amount of liquid when they have a bowel movement.
This keeps the canine healthy and in tip-top shape. Usually, you won’t even be able to pick up on the scent.
Yet, if your dog has a continuous case of diarrhea, you’ll notice the odor, eventually.
That’s because the anal glands won’t be able to excrete fluids regularly. That, in turn, will lead to an impacted and full sac.
Over time, the liquid will dry up, harden, and turn into a paste. This substance has a strong fishy smell.
So, the next time the anal glands excrete, the odor can be overpowering.
That’s why you must focus on providing a healthy diet for your canine. Ensure that they eat well-balanced meals to keep their bowel movements in check.
Anal gland infections are another common culprit behind the fishy smell. If your pet doesn’t do a good job cleaning up after bowel movements, bacteria can gather around the anus.
From there, they’ll travel up the anal gland ducts. These are the tubes that allow dogs to release anal fluid.
This will contaminate the sacs and lead to a few diseases. The illnesses will cause the glands to swell up, which can force the ducts to shut.
Because of that, the fluid inside will dry up and stiffen.
The easiest way to deal with this issue is to visit a vet. They’ll help you express your pet’s anal glands and prescribe medication if necessary.
Tumors are benign growths that can show up on anal glands. As they get larger, they’ll envelop the sacs and stop them from functioning normally.
So, even if the tumor isn’t cancerous, it can still cause health issues.
You’ll have to make an appointment with the vet to resolve this problem. They’ll be able to remove the growth and get your dog feeling as right as rain in no time.
Preventing Fishy Odor in Dogs
While anal gland issues are typically easy to resolve, they can be quite a nuisance. The odor on its own can linger for days and stink up a large area.
For that reason, it may be a good idea to try to prevent the problem altogether.
There are a few tips you can use to help you with that. These include:
- Exercising your dog regularly
- Keeping a close eye on your canine’s behavioral patterns
- Providing your pet with a well-balanced diet.
Figuring out why your dog’s butt smells like fish can be tricky. Usually, the underlying issue is with the anal glands.
Although, there are a few conditions that can cause the sacs to act up. For starters, continuous diarrhea can lead to an impacted gland.
Other than that, infections and tumors can cause the sacs to overfill with anal fluid. This, in turn, can release an overpowering fishy odor.