Why doesn’t my dog shampoo stop the smell?

I have a year old Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese, and I would like to find a good shampoo to remove his doggie smell. The shampoo I use...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Jan 26th 2007


I have a year old Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese, and I would like to find a
good shampoo to remove his doggie smell. The shampoo I use now only
lasts for one day, and he starts smelling stinky again. Help!!!

Rae Ann
Giddings, TX

Your dog’s shampoo may not be the problem.

Many high quality pet shampoos are available for dogs and cats. If you are using a shampoo that is specifically designed for pets, and if you are thoroughly working it into his hair before rinsing it off, and if he is not swimming in dirty ponds or rolling in mud puddles, he should smell good for several days.

However, there are several medical conditions that can cause a pet to develop a bad odor despite frequent baths. Skin infections are most common. In addition to having an offensive odor, pets with skin infections may have hair loss, itching, scabs, or red skin.

As well, glandular conditions, digestive problems, ear infections, and dental disease can cause pets to smell bad.

I recommend that your pet have a checkup to ensure none of these problems is present. If he gets a clean bill of health, your vet can offer bathing tips that will help him smell better longer.

There also is a chance that something else is going on here. In my practice, I frequently see perfectly healthy and clean pets whose owners object to their smell. In these cases, there is not much that can be done. The people involved have very sensitive noses, and they are reacting to the natural and unavoidable scent of their pet. Over time, most people get used to the way their pet smells.

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