Why Do Dogs Sometimes Smell Like Fish?

Most dogs give off a slight odor of their own. However, if the four-legged friend smells clear, dog owners should investigate the causes. This also applies if the dog smells of fish. Find possible causes of fish odor in dogs and what you can do about it.

Why Does a Dog Smell Like Fish?

Suddenly you get an unpleasant smell of fish in your nose. The more you sniff, the more certain you are: your dog smells like fish! Now is the time to find out why. Does the whole dog smell of fish or individual areas of the body? If the entire dog smells like fish, the following may be behind it:

Dog exudes the smell through the skin

Food intolerance or illnesses can lead to the dog giving off unpleasant fumes all over the skin. After a certain time, people’s noses will also notice it. Metabolic diseases or tumors can cause a dog to give off unpleasant odors. Then the fish smell usually develops slowly, so that many dog owners only notice it late. Does your dog suddenly smell like fish? Then a fish meal could be behind it.

Fish stink in the dog’s fur

One harmless cause of a dog’s fish odor is that he has wallowed in something smelly. Then the smell occurs suddenly. For example, feces or urine from wild animals such as foxes can smell very unpleasant and sometimes fishy.

Why Does the Female Dog Smell Like Fish?

A healthy bitch shouldn’t smell like fish. If female dogs smell fish in the genital area, diseases of the genital organs can be the cause.

Female smells like fish from her vagina

If a female dog smells unpleasant from the vagina, this can be a sign of uterine infection (pyometra). Uterine infections occur particularly often around four to ten weeks after a heat period. Other symptoms of pyometra include:

  • greater thirst
  • vaginal discharge
  • stomach pain
  • apathy

If a female with any of these symptoms still smells fish from the vagina, you should contact a veterinarian. Because uterine inflammation can quickly worsen and become life-threatening. A more harmless cause of a fishy odor coming out of the vagina is a vaginal infection. It mainly affects young females and can be itchy. Vaginal infections often heal on their own.

When the female dog in heat smells like fish

Males, bitches in heat literally smell miles against the wind. For humans, on the other hand, the following applies: Most females in heat hardly smell any different than usual during the heat. However, it is possible that a female in heat may smell differently to fine human noses – for example of fish. If symptoms of inflammation appear, you should ask your veterinarian for advice.

Dog Smells Like Fish From Its Mouth

Healthy dogs don’t smell out of their mouths – not even of fish. An exception may be if your dog recently enjoyed a fish meal. Food with a high fish content can cause your four-legged friend to smell fishy for a while – even through the skin. Fish chews can also cause this. However, if a dog constantly smells of fish from its mouth, you should have this clarified by the veterinarian.

Dog Smells Like Fish From the Rear of the Bottom

Do you have the impression that the area around your dog’s anus in particular smells like fish? There are several reasons for this.

Inflammation of the anal gland in dogs

In dogs that smell of fish in the area of the anus, an inflammation of the anal gland may be the cause. The anal glands are remnants of “stinking glands” that were used by the dog’s ancestors to scare off enemies. So it’s no wonder that an unpleasant smell can come from them. Usually, the anal glands empty when defecating. Especially in small breeds of dogs, anal glands can easily become blocked, causing them to become inflamed. Inflamed anal glands can produce a liquid that smells very unpleasant – sometimes like fish. In this case, it makes sense to visit the vet. He can tell if the anal glands are inflamed and blocked. A professional squeezing of the anal glands is important. If there is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are needed to help the dog.

Dog poop that smells like fish

If dog feces smell like fish, this is mostly due to the fact that the dog has had a fish meal. In rare cases, illness is behind the fishy smell of excrement. These can be intestinal diseases or, in rare cases, parasites. If your dog’s feces smell like fish without having eaten fish, speak to your vet about it. He can track down the cause of the fish odor using fecal samples or blood tests.

How Do I Get Rid of Fishy Smell in Dogs?

It is not an inflammation, the dog looks healthy and you do not know the cause of the fishy smell? Then two measures can help.

Bathe your dog to get rid of fishy odor

If the dog smells like fish, bathing can be one of the first sensible measures. Use a shampoo for dogs that is tailored to the pH of the dog’s skin. If you don’t have one on hand, you can use baby shampoo.

Change of food against fish odor in dogs

If your dog’s food contains a lot of fish, feed them fish-free for a while. But even if there is no fish in the food, there may be a fish odor. The dog may have a food intolerance and cannot digest the food well. Often there are other symptoms such as flatulence or diarrhea. Switching to a high-quality, grain-free feed can help.

My Dog Smells Like Fish – When to Go to the Vet?

Whenever you suspect that inflammation may be behind the fish odor, you should visit the veterinarian with your dog. Even if your four-legged friend continues to smell unpleasant after a long bath, the vet can help to find the cause.

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