Hanford Veterinary Hospital Blog
Bad Pet Smells Mean Poor Health
People that struggle with bad breath, stinky feet, and odoriferous bathrooms tend to have looming health problems. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is an equally strong link between the ways animals smell and overall health.
While certain pet smells that simply come with the territory, a truly “off” odor can definitely signal that something is wrong.
A Way of Life?
Whether it’s bad breath, smelly paws, or a foul-smelling rear end, many pet owners accept the variety of pet smells. However, when pet smells linger or they become more intense, these seemingly surface smells may be the result of underlying health problems.
Don’t Ignore Pet Smells
Pet smells can be the result of the following potential health issues:
- Poor oral hygiene (gum inflammation and infection)
- Periodontal disease
- Ineffective grooming (check for any mats near the rear end that could be trapping urine or feces)
- Allergies that cause skin itchiness and infections
- Fungal, parasitic or bacterial infections
- Ear infections
- Overgrown yeast populations (particularly found in the ears and the deep folds of skin), possibly caused by hormone imbalances
- Urinary tract infections that make urine smell particularly potent
- Unbalanced or incomplete diet
We strongly recommend that pet owners schedule a wellness exam to rule out larger medical concerns that may be causing various pet smells. Often, with certain diagnostic tools we can discern what is going on beneath the surface.
Since a shockingly high number of adult and senior pets struggle with periodontal disease, a proactive approach to routine oral care is essential. Daily brushing at home, when paired with professional exams and cleanings 1-2 times a year, can combat this significant threat to overall health. Plus, a clean pet mouth always smells nice!
It’s Not Their Fault
Overweight or obese animals, as well as pets with osteoarthritis, can have trouble with self-grooming and cannot reach their rear ends. They may benefit from regular professional grooming and daily clean ups after they go to the bathroom. Infected anal glands can also cause intense odor and must be dealt with promptly.
Check Them Out
It is always a good idea to inspect your pet’s body for anything that could cause unusual pet smells. It is not uncommon for pets to sustain bite or puncture wounds, scratches, and other injuries that result in infection or abscesses. In addition to abnormal pet smells, you may notice a loss of appetite, lethargy, and self-protection when their wound is touched.
Good Pet Smells and Overall Health
The bottom line is that, like humans, pets don’t stink when they’re feeling well. Alternatively, when they aren’t feeling great, revolting pet smells usually indicate ill health.