Why Does My Dog Smell of Fish?

We love our dogs, and there are many reasons why. No matter the size or breed, a dog is a reliable and loving companion and one that brings many years of pleasure and enjoyment to the whole family. Taking a dog for a walk, throwing the ball in the garden, cuddling up to it at home – all are pleasures that come from owning a dog, but there are some less pleasurable experiences!

One, which all dog owners will experience at some time, is that of unusual odours; smells that emanate from dogs – particularly at the rear – can be quite unbearable, especially that horrible fishy smell that comes about every now and again. So, what’s it all about, what does it mean, and how can you deal with it? Let’s have a look!

The Anal Glands

It’s all to do with the anal glands – or anal sacs – that all dogs have. These contain a substance that emits a powerful smell. When you see your dog sniffing another dog’s rear end – or vice versa – it is the anal glands they are checking out. The glands are there to give other dogs an idea of the current availability of the dog in terms of sexual or physical condition.

In normal situations, the fluid that causes the odour is cleared out when the dog goes to the toilet, but if a blockage occurs, you get to be party to the smell you really don’t want to know about! What can you do about it? The best option is to seek the services of a vet who will have experience in squeezing and clearing anal glands in dogs. It’s not pleasant for the animal but it is a brief procedure, and the vet will be able to perform an examination to check for any signs of further anal gland problems.

Preventing the problem

As with all such conditions, there are preventative measures you can take to ensure your dog’s anal glands do not get blocked. A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fibre is essential, and if you think this might not be what your dog is getting right now, you can talk to your vet about a new diet and try your dog on different mixtures. Some dogs, however, just tend to get blocked glands every now and then, no matter what you try, and you can learn to empty the glands yourself. However, it’s not a pleasant experience, so we recommend you check with your vet on a regular basis to make sure your dog leads a comfortable life.

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