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Why Does my Dog’s Skin Smell Bad and Itch?

Written by: Dogster Team

Last Updated on February 26, 2024 by Dogster Team

yorkshire terrier, dog, pet

Why Does my Dog’s Skin Smell Bad and Itch?

I have a 7yr old female Yorkie. She has had itching and patchy hair loss over the last year. I have had her to two different vets. One says it’s yeast, the other an allergic reaction. I have been feeding her Duck/Potato and she has had no change. What can I do to help her? She has an odor to her hair/skin after a couple of days so she is getting baths 2xs a week.

Donna
Russellville, AR

I suspect your dog has both a skin infection (with bacteria and possibly yeast) and allergies.

Itchy skin is the hallmark of allergies in dogs. Malodorous skin is often a sign of a skin infection.

Dogs can be allergic to many things. Fleas are the number one cause of allergies in canine companions. If your dog isn’t already on a good flea preventative I would recommend that you start one regardless of whether she has a visible flea infestation.

Food allergies also can cause skin problems in pets. Duck and potato diets are hypoallergenic, but your dog may be a rare reactor to a protein in her food. You therefore could consider switching to a different hypoallergenic diet.

Finally, environmental allergens can cause symptoms like you describe. Dogs can be allergic to pollen, mold spores, dust mites, cockroaches, chemicals, detergents, cats, and even humans. Preventing exposure to these allergens can be difficult. Allergy testing is required to identify these allergies.

Man complaining about dog smell
Image Credit: ajr_images/Getting Images

Once the skin is weakened by allergies, bacteria, and yeast can proliferate exuberantly, leading to skin infection with an unpleasant odor. Skin infections exacerbate itching and baldness.

Bacterial infections respond to antibiotics. Yeast infections can be diagnosed with a non-invasive test called skin cytology and can be treated with anti-fungal agents. You should talk to your vet about an antibiotic trial and skin cytology.

Finally, although your dog’s problems truly sound like a combination of allergies and skin infections, remember that other things could be going on. Certain parasitic infestations and auto-immune diseases may cause similar symptoms.

dogster paw divider

Consider Your Shampoo

You must consider all of your dog’s sensitivities before investing in a pet shampoo. Does it offer soothing properties? Will it rehydrate dry skin, calm redness, and ease dermal discomfort? You don’t want to inadvertently be causing any damage to your pets skin or worsening symptoms without even realizing it.

Our Favorite Products

Selecting the right shampoo and conditioner makes the world of a difference when grooming your pup. Our favorite products are the duo by Hepper. The Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is formulated with aloe and oatmeal to soothe skin and hydrate the coat. The Pet Conditioner works at eliminating tangles and taming frizz and static. Both products are pH-balanced and formulated with pet-friendly ingredients, free of harsh soaps, chemicals, and dyes. Give this duo a try to heal and nourish your dog's coat, and leave them with an irresistible just-left-the-spa cucumber and aloe scent. 

Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates

At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool pet company!

 


Featured Image Credit: Pezibear, Shutterstock

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