My Puppy Stinks Even After a Bath

Puppies are cute, cuddly balls of loving energy. Okay, I really like puppies! Having said this, they are also little devils in that they are just starting out in life. This means their conduct can be scarily bad and they can have odd bodily issues whether they have short hair like Puggles or long hair like Great Pyrenees puppies. If you are reading this, it is probably because your puppy stinks even after you give it a bath.

Reasons for the Stink

There are three basic reasons a puppy or really any dog will smell bad consistently. They boil down to:

  1. Improper or incomplete washing,
  2. Using the wrong shampoo, and
  3. Medical problems.

Puppy stinks even after a bathBathing

Washing a puppy is much like washing a small child. You really need to wash the complete body to get at those odd smells and odors one would never imagine something that small could produce. This means washing your dog between the front and back legs. You also need to get the ears, which can act like some seriously bad smelling incense. Don’t be shy. Get the entire dog front to rear and top to bottom.


I don’t recommend using human shampoo with a dog. Their coat is different than your hair and the shampoo can have odd, unintended effects. This can include stripping essential oils from the puppy, which makes their coat receptive to pretty much anything they run, step and roll in. This can include things like, oh, feces, dead animals and other lovely smelling items.

Medical Issues

Dogs develop health problems just like you and I do. The interesting thing is their problems tend to, well, smell.

A lot.

If you wash your dog thoroughly and they still smell bad while being dried off, you have a medical problem. There are a few different potential causes.

There is no polite way to breach this subject. We are moving to the rear of your puppy. Dogs have anal sacs on either side of their rectum. The sacs are used for scenting and what have you. They smell as lovely as you might imagine. They are also supposed to naturally release their fluids. Modern dog food, however, can cause a dog to not pass feces naturally. This can result in the anal sacs becoming plugged and the smell can be horrendous.

Now the fun part.

You need to manually relieve the sacs by squeezing them lightly. This should be done during the bath and you should not be directly behind the puppy. The sacs will squirt fluid a foot or two. Severely nasty. If you try it and it doesn’t work, take the puppy to the vet because the sacs may be infected or impacted.

Dogs also can get heat spots or be allergic to things in their environment. While you and I start sneezing when this occurs, the dog will get runny eyes and their skin can start to smell badly. This is due to a rash like symptom, but one you can’t see under the fir. Again, a trip to the vet is well worth the time and cost in such a situation.

Your dogs ears represent a small part of their body. Having said this, it is amazing how stinky they can become. A puppies ears tend to drag on the ground and what have you. They can get dirty or pick up bacteria that turns into a nasty gunk. To see if your puppy has an issue, pull back an ear and take a whiff. If your eyes water from the stink, you’ve got some nasty ears. Clean them!

If your puppy stinks after a bath, the good news is it is almost never a major health problem. Even if there is a health problem at the root of that god awful smell, your vet should be able to treat it. The key is to simply make sure you don’t let things get out of hand. Try the steps above. If they don’t work, get your little ball of fur to the vet sooner rather than later.

Annie Klacks

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