Select a Topic
- What Causes Pet Odors?
- Pet Odors and Bad Breath
- Pet Odors Caused by Systemic Illness
- Pet Odors from Poor Hygiene
- Help for Pet Odors
What Causes Pet Odors?
Pet odors can be due to obvious causes such as coming into contact with garbage, being sprayed by a skunk or otherwise getting into mischief. When no obvious external cause is present, chronic odor can point to potential dietary and health problems that need to be addressed.
Cats are better about grooming and keeping themselves clean than dogs. If you have a cat that suddenly stops grooming or cleaning itself, it is a definite sign of health problems. Dogs tend to have a stronger natural odor than cats, however, persistent odors even after bathing are also cause for concern.
Pet Odors and Bad Breath
Halitosis, or bad breath, in pets can be a sign of dental problems like abscessed teeth, gingivitis, ulcers or periodontal disease. Cats are especially vulnerable to oral inflammatory diseases that can lead to inflamed gums and mucous linings of the mouth. Dogs are known to have unpleasant breath, but overpowering odor that lingers is usually a sign of dental disease like tartar buildup, stuck debris or broken teeth.
If your pet shows no obvious signs of dental disease or disorders and bad breath persists, it is likely a sign that something else is going on systemically like a digestive disorder, kidney problem or sinus infection.
Pet Odors Caused by Systemic Illness
Cats are naturally cleaner and less smelly than their canine counterparts. A strange odor emanating from a cat that doesn't have an obvious external cause is likely due to systemic illness. Obese cats or older cats with arthritis sometimes struggle to fully groom themselves. There may be remnants of urine or fecal matter in the fur that cause a lingering odor. Hyperthyroidism, kidney disease and chronic skin conditions can also cause a greasy buildup that smells bad.
Dogs are more prone to odors and will often smell bad when they accumulate a buildup of oils on their skin and in their fur. If bathing doesn't eliminate the odor, there is a chance your dog may have yeast overgrowth affecting his skin. Other conditions that can cause chronic odor in dogs are ear mites, ear infections and kidney disease.
Pet Odors from Poor Hygiene
Cats are usually very clean due to diligent grooming. Poor hygiene is rare, but happens in some cats due to injury, arthritis or obesity making it difficult to reach certain parts of the body while grooming. Occasional bathing should help. If you have a meticulous cat who suddenly stops grooming, it is an indication of a more serious health problem and an appointment should be made with a vet immediately.
Dogs should be bathed periodically to stay clean and odor-free. There are several factors that determine how often a dog should be bathed and groomed, including lifestyle habits, hair length and skin condition. Dogs that spend most of their time outdoors will require more frequent bathing than a small indoor dog that rarely goes outside. Dogs that are not bathed will eventually develop a bad odor when oils and dirt that coat the skin and fur build up and become rancid. Pungent odors that linger after bathing indicate a potential health problem and a vet should be consulted.
Help for Pet Odors
All pets should be bathed with gentle, all-natural cleansers to avoid irritating or overdrying their skin. Stinky Paws Pet Wash is completely natural, fragrance-free, pH neutral and biodegradable. It provides gentle yet effective cleansing for both cats and dogs.