How To Get Rid Of Fishy Smell From Dog? A Complete Guidelines

Is your dog spreading a fishy smell? I went through the same situation a few months ago, so I had to go through a lot of research. It took time, but I finally figured out how to get rid of fishy smell from dog.

What you will have to do depends on the source of the smell. Most of the time, the smell comes from your dog’s anal gland. If that’s the reason, you need to have your veterinarian or groomer empty the anal gland manually.

However, other reasons can induce fishy smells on your dog too. Each reason will require a different approach to solve. Read the full article and get some thorough insight to find out more about the causes and solutions.

How To Get Rid Of Fishy Smell From Dog

Anal Gland Secretion

Your dog has an anal gland on either side of its anus. All dogs do. It produces unpleasant odor secretion that works as a communication medium among dogs.

Anal gland secretion explains why your dog often sniffs another dog’s anus or even feces. It’s a way of scent marking for them. When your dog defecates, the anal gland becomes empty.

Slightly smelling anal gland secretions are perfectly normal for dogs. Fishy smells, however, are not. If your dog is producing fishy smells from the anal area, you should get cautious before things get serious.

A fishy smell from anal gland secretion could be a sign of anal sac disease. Or maybe it’s nothing to be worried about. Either way, it’s better to be sure.

Remember that anal gland diseases are common in small dog breeds. If your dog doesn’t belong to this group, you should look out for other reasons.

What to Do

If you feel like your dog is in pain, immediately go to your veterinarian. Most of the time, manually emptying the anal gland solves this issue. Your groomer can also do this chore for you. Or, you can learn it yourself if you can stand the odor.

Be careful while manually expressing your dog’s anal glands. Don’t do it very frequently, or your dog can get sick from the process. Perform this only when your dog won’t do it on its own.

Fishy Breath?

Bad breath is nothing to take lightly. It can be an early stage of kidney diseases. However, when your dog eats funky-smelling things, its breath can end up smelling fishy.

Look out for your dog’s food habit to find out if that’s causing the issue. If it’s not, maybe you should consider consulting a veterinarian.

What to Do

Make sure you brush your dog’s teeth at least two times a week. Be careful about your dog’s is food habits. If you consider a veterinarian, follow the diet provided by him.

Give your dog a chew toy between brushing schedules. A chew toy can help remove food residue remaining in between your dog’s teeth to provide a cleaner mouth.

If Your Dog’s Urine Smells Fishy

Remember that your dog’s urine is not supposed to smell fishy. Even if they eat all kinds of dirty things, their urine smells close to human urine. When the urine smells fishy, there’s a chance of urine infection.

What to Do

The wisest thing you can do in this situation is to consult a veterinarian. Run necessary tests to monitor blood cells, protein, and the potential presence of bacteria. If your dog has a urine infection, a course of antibiotics should clear up the urine.

If Your Female Dog Smells Fishy

If you notice your female dog discharging foul-smelling secretion, you should consider the possibility of an infection. The infection could be either vaginal or uterus induced. A fishy smell is an indicator of something wrong.

When your dog is suffering from a uterus infection called pyometra, she’ll discharge white-yellowish secretion. It’s often because your dog hasn’t been spayed or the uterus’ stump caused the condition if the surgeon left it.

No matter why your female dog smells fishy, it’s better to take action and look for possible solutions.  

What to Do

It’s always best if you consult a professional when there’s health safety at stake. Considering that you’ve explored the possibility of an anal gland and still facing the fishy discharge issue, it’s time you visited a veterinarian.

For your dog’s health and safety, consult a professional and follow any instructions they offer to get your dog better.

If Your Dog’s Body Smells Fishy

You’ll often notice your dog rolling over dead animals or stinky objects. I don’t know why they do it, but it can lead to a fishy odor on their bodies which is really annoying. If you don’t keep your dog on the leash outdoor, your dog may roll over stinky dead animals.

As gross as the act is, the smell is worse. You can try few things to remove this smell.

What to Do

You should try a deodorizing shampoo to wash your dog if you want the smell gone. Normal shampoos often fail to remove the fishy smell from the fur. Deodorizing shampoos are specifically made for this kind of situation.

If you are more into homemade solutions, you can try squirting lemon juice and rinse it after 5 to 10 minutes. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda also help remove the fishy smell off your dog.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Smelling Fishy?

  • Keep your dog clean. Wash him whenever he gets dirty from playing. Don’t let the smelly particles sit on the fur.
  • Brush your dog’s teeth twice a week at least. Give him chew toys to keep the teeth clean.
  • If you ever suspect anything or notice anything unfamiliar, consult your veterinarian immediately.
  • Follow the diet your veterinarian provides. If your dog is supposed to stay on a strict food habit, be careful to ensure it.


If you come across any unfamiliar bad odor, try consulting your veterinarian as soon as possible. It’s probably nothing, but it’s better to be certain.

When your dog’s anal glands are full, they will likely leak out a stinky, pungent odor. Sometimes you will spot brownish material in places your dog sat, such as on the carpet, on the furniture, or on your lap

Bacterial skin diseases, fungal skin diseases, dandruff or seborrhea, and ear infections can have fishy smells. If you suspect any of these, it’s time to seek professional help.

Bottom Line

So, that’s how to get rid of fishy smell from dog. We all love our dogs from our heart’s core. When our dog is suffering, we get restless very easily.

 It’s important to keep patience and seek where the fishy smell is produced from. Depending on the source, what we will do varies. We must identify the real reason for the annoying fishy smell.

Sometimes it may turn out nothing, and that’s the best-case scenario we can hope for. To ensure that the smell doesn’t turn out to be a serious medical condition, we should immediately consult a professional whenever we notice anything unusual. With caution and smartness, we can keep our dog happy, as well as healthy. 

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