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Do Dalmatians Smell Bad: How To Fix Doggy Smell In Dals

At times, a Dalmatian may develop a bit of an odor. If this happens to your Dalmatian, this article will discuss the potential causes and what steps you can take to address the issue.


Are Dalmatians a Smelly Breed?

Dalmatians are a generally odor-free breed and rarely have a strong doggy smell that you might be familiar with. Routine brushing along with the occasional bath should suffice to keep your Dalmatian clean.

Thankfully, Dalmatians are a naturally hygienic breed with very little doggy odor.

If you are considering getting a new dog, but are put off by that pungent dog smell we’re all familiar with, a Dalmatian is a good choice.

So why is this?

Why Aren’t Dalmatians a Smelly Breed?

Firstly, Dalmatians partake in a lot of self-cleaning. Much like how cats constantly lick their own fur, most dalmatians will groom themselves in a similar fashion. This has a significant impact on how clean their coat is.

Secondly, Dalmatians have a short coat single-layered coat. The benefit of this is that muck and dirt have very little to cling to, and usually fall off before it can cause any hygiene issues.

And, that’s pretty much it!

There are times, however, when your dal might not smell like roses, so let’s cover that below.

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8 Reasons Why Your Dalmatian Smells Bad

If your Dalmatian has started to smell bad, it’s likely due to one of the following reasons.

  1. Overbathing
  2. Yeast infections
  3. Dirty paws
  4. Bad bread & dental issues
  5. Skin issues
  6. Dirty coat
  7. Ear Infections
  8. Anal sacs

1. Overbathing

In order to keep our Dalmatians clean, we will occasionally need to bathe them. But there’s a huge consequence to bathing them too frequently.

Overbathing will start to strip away the natural oils found in the coat and on the skin. These natural oils are essential for keeping your Dal healthy, clean, and odor-free.

In response to not having any oils from overbathing, the body actually starts to over-produce more oil in response. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing! The oil will make your dal greasy, dirty, and eventually, very smelly.

2. Yeast Infections (Yeast Dermatitis)

Yeast infections can be caused by a range of different issues and can develop in a few typical regions of the body.

Yeast infections occur when bacteria build-up to the point it gets out of control. The bacteria itself can smell, can cause further skin issues if left untreated.

Most yeast infections occur in skin folds, the ears, the paws, or in any kind of moist, humid area of your Dalmatian’s body.

Typical symptoms of a yeast infection include bad odor, scratching, red irritated skin, hair loss, greasy coat, crusty skin, dry skin, sores, whitish bacteria growth, and ear infections.

3. Dirty Paws

The paws are a typical culprit of bad odor in all dogs. This, however, isn’t to be confused with a slight corny smell, which is actually totally normal. It just shouldn’t be at a repulsive level.

The paws are home to the main sweat glands in your Dalmatian and are therefore a prime place for yeast infections and bacteria overgrowth. As explained above.

Additionally, the paws are the first point of contact to the ground and therefore step in a wide range of unknown substances when outside. Whether it’s in your own yard or at the local dog park, your Dal could have trodden in other poop, or something foul or rotten.

4. Bad Breath / Dental Issues

Bad breath can come from digestive issues, when your Dal has a bad reaction to certain ingredients, or it can be caused by bad dental hygiene.

Most owners admit to not brushing their dog’s teeth. This is a big mistake considering gum disease is primarily caused by plaque and bacteria build-up which can be prevented with daily brushing.

Plaque, tartar, and bacteria don’t only contribute to a deadly disease, but they will also leave your Dalmatian with extremely bad breath.

Recommended Read:
Do Dalmatians Have Spots From Birth?

5. Skin Issues

Apart from yeast infections, there is a range of other skin-related issues that can all contribute to a bad smell.

Issues like ringworm and folliculitis can eventually cause dry skin, which in turn can lead to a bad smell.

Dry skin can be caused by an extensive range of issues, and in most cases, results in excess oil production from the skin to compensate. And as I mentioned before, this only leads to further odor and a greasy coat.

6. Dirty Coat

It could be a simple reason such as your Dalmatian rolling in something rancid during your last walk.

Even the most well-trained Dalmatians will have the urge to roll in things they shouldn’t from time to time.

Whether it’s a muddy puddle, rotten food or other animal poop, if your Dalmatian has rolled in something, he could very well be the cause of the odor.

It only takes a second for your Dal to dive on the floor and wiggle around, it may have happened while you weren’t looking. So be sure to give his coat a thorough inspection.

Additionally, swimming in lakes or rivers can also cause the coat to smell bad later on. It’s best to let your Dal swim in the ocean or paddling pool only.

7. Ear Infections

Believe it or not, ear infections are both reasonably common, and very smelly.

Most Dals will experience at least a few ear infections throughout their life, and will at the same time, be the source of a strong smell, that’s initially hard to locate.

When your Dal smells funky, the last place you think to check are her ears.

If your notice your Dal to be scratching at her ears, shaking her head, or just paying more attention to that area than usual, it could indicate an ear infection and a vet appointment will be necessary.

8. Anal Sacs

Last, but certainly not least, your Dal might have impacted anal sacs which can cause a foul stench.

There are two anal sacs located just inside the anus. These sacs secret a substance that is primarily used for marking their scent. A small amount of secretion comes out when your Dal poops.

Unfortunately, however, due to a number of reasons. These sacs can become impacted, and when they do, the secretion might sit around the anus and will not cleanly cut off after each poop. The secretion has a very strong fishy smell (described by most).

If you notice your Dal to be scooting along the ground, paying extra attention to his behind, then it’s worth a veterinarian check up to remain on the safe side.

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How To Prevent Your Dalmatian From Smelling Bad?

To keep your Dalmatian smelling as fresh as they naturally should, there are a few healthy habits to make note of:

  • Avoid overbathing. Only bathe your Dalmatian once every 3-4 months.
  • Wash your Dalmatians paws frequently when returning back from walks
  • Brush your Dalmatian weekly (despite having a short coat)
  • Regularly inspect your Dalmatians body and coat for signs of any skin issues or dirt
  • Use baby wipes to wipe down the coat on a weekly basis
  • Start brushing your Dalmatians teeth at least 4-6 times per week
  • Gently clean out and inspect your Dal’s ears on a regular basis
  • Ensure your Dalmatian’s diet is working well for her (no diarrhea, discomfort, lethargy after eating)

On top of this, scheduling a general health check-up with your veterinarian twice a year can go a long way in preventing health issues before they happen, or develop into something worse.

When To See a Veterinarian

If you notice a strong smell coming from your Dalmatian, the first thing to do is give him a thorough inspection yourself to see if you can at least locate the source.

Check his entire body, paws, ears, mouth, bum, and inspect his coat.

If the source of the smell isn’t obvious to you then it’s best to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a physical examination.

Your veterinarian will know exactly what to check and where to look as well as ruling out underlying health issues.

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Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.