It goes with the territory for most dog owners that their mutts seem to love to roll in muck, mud or smelly water and, in the main, hate staying clean for long.

This is good news for dog groomers as it will undoubtedly mean repeat business especially during the muddy, murky months of winter.

In general, the smell of the average mutt can be minimised by regular bathing, grooming and household cleanliness.  For groomers, these problems present an opportunity as there is now a multitude of products in the marketplace that aim to eliminate smell related issues.

Some breeds smell more than others.  This is because some have greasier skin and waxier ears than others, cocker spaniels and retrievers for example. But there are additional problems that groomers need to be aware of and discuss with their clients.

Medical conditions can cause odour

However, there could also be a medical reason why a dog has a more distinctive odour. Here are just a few possible smell-producing medical problems:

  • Breath – some diseases, like kidney failure and diabetes, can cause a change in odour. In the case of diabetes a sweet odour is detectable.
  • Diseased teeth and gums – dental disease and infected gums can produce a foul odour.
  • Infected ears – bacterially infected ears are often extremely smelly.
  • Flatulence – is the odour on the dog, or from your dog? Flatulence, or “gas” may indicate a dietary or intestinal problem or be the result of a poor diet.
  • Anal glands/sacs – this is perhaps the most common cause of doggy odour that won’t go away. Anal sacs are two small scent-sacs in the area of the anus. These are a type of “marking” glands. When a dog has a bowel movement, these sacs are normally squeezed, and a very smelly, oily secretion is released with the faeces. Dogs suffering from anal problems often ‘scoot’ or drag their rear end along the ground.
  • Atopy is the inflammation of the skin that causes severe itching due to seasonal or food allergies. This condition triggers an overproduction of sebum (oil on the surface of skin) by the inflamed skin. It gives the coat an oily feel and a musty, foul dog odour.  It is also possible that food is not being adequately digested, moving slowly through the digestive tract offsetting abnormal bacteria growth. The dog may need supplements that will aid with digestion.

In the case of any accidents around the house a non-toxic cleaning solution is ideal to clean up any urine, faeces or sickness.

There are also sprays and wipes available for removing any surface dust or dirt from pets.

Toothpaste is available for dogs and cats to help keep breath smelling sweet and to help avoid any dental hygiene issues.

A good diet is vital for all-round health. This combined with a regular grooming regime will help to minimise a smelly coat or bad breath.

Retail Opportunities

Groomers can expand their knowledge of likely causes of odour and meet consumer demand with a range of products designed to combat odour problems.