Five Reasons Your Dog Stinks

Unpleasant odors emanating from our canine companions can be a cause of concern for dog owners. While a certain degree of odor is natural, persistent and pungent smells may indicate underlying issues that need attention. In this article, we will delve into the top five reasons behind unpleasant dog odors and provide practical remedies to address them. Let’s explore these reasons and discover effective solutions to tackle them head-on.

Reason 1: A Yeast Infection 

Yeast overgrowth is a common cause of unpleasant odors in dogs. The musty, pungent scent associated with yeast is often likened to moldy bread or cheese popcorn. Yeast infections typically affect the ear canals or paws of dogs, with the latter sometimes referred to as “Frito feet” due to the similarity to corn

chips. Common signs of yeast overgrowth include smelly paws, a musty odor, excessive scratching, itchy paws, and butt scooting.

To address a yeast infection in your dog, it’s crucial to assess their diet. Ultra-processed, starch-heavy foods like dry kibble can encourage the growth of bad bacteria, allowing yeast to thrive in your pet’s body. While topical remedies such as medicated shampoos and sprays can provide temporary relief, a lasting solution requires a dietary change to prevent the recurrence of yeast overgrowth.

Reason 2: Gas Attacks

While it’s natural for dogs to pass gas, excessive or foul-smelling gas may indicate an underlying issue. Simply keeping your dog away from the trash might not be enough to control their gas. An unhealthy diet can be a significant contributor to your dog’s stinky gas. We can assist you in finding the best diet tailored to your dog’s health needs, helping alleviate the problem.

Reason 3: Bad Breath

Puppy breath can be endearing, but when bad breath sets in, it can be quite overpowering. Typically, bad breath in dogs is the result of bacterial buildup in

Bad breath dog odor

Poor dental health, tartar accumulation, infections, or periodontal disease can contribute to foul-smelling breath.

their mouths. Additionally, poor dental health, tartar accumulation, infections, or periodontal disease can contribute to foul-smelling breath.

Dog owners often find it challenging to maintain their dog’s dental health, but it doesn’t have to be a hassle. Check out our blog post on various methods to keep your dog’s dental hygiene in check, ensuring fresh breath and overall oral health. Check out our blog post on different ways to keep your dog’s dental hygiene in check. 

Reason 4: Anal Glands

Dealing with malodorous anal glands can be unpleasant. These glands are located on the sides of a dog’s rectum. Normally, healthy anal glands should not emit any odor. However, if you detect a fishy smell, it could indicate a problem with your dog’s anal glands. Symptoms such as leaking, a pungent odor, butt scooting, or signs of pain may indicate the need for expressing the anal glands, which requires a visit to your vet.

Reason 5: Lack of Grooming

Regular brushing of your dog between baths is vital for removing dirt, dead skin, and other debris trapped in their coat, effectively reducing unpleasant smells. Thorough brushing goes a long way in keeping your dog stink-free.

Grooming wipes and deodorizing sprays can also help your pet to smell fresh in between baths. Another simple trick to keeping your dog clean is to keep their bedding and toys clean. It keeps both your dog and house smelling fresh. 

The Good, Better, and Best Dental Care for Your Pet

Your pet’s dental health is an important piece of their overall health and wellness. Oral disease can be caused by diet, genetics, or poor oral care. Poor dental health can lead to other ailments, which is why pet owners should learn how to care for their pet’s teeth early.  As with most ailments, prevention of oral disease is key. Taking preventative steps saves you the time, stress, and money it takes to treat oral disease down the road. 

Good preventative care should:

Canine dental cleaning

Without routine dental care at home, veterinary dental cleanings may be necessary.

  • Remove tartar and plaque
  • Prevent tooth decay and gum disease
  • Kill harmful bacteria
  • Help prevent plaque
  • Freshen breath

Good: Food and Water Additives 

Teef! Supplement

What it is: A very fine, tasteless, and odorless prebiotic-based powder you add to your dog’s water.

How it works: Teef! promotes healthy teeth, gums, and fresh breath by encouraging the growth of healthy bacteria in the mouth. 

How to use: Add Teef! powder into your pet’s water bowl.


DentaTreat Supplement 

What it is: A powdered cheese enzymatic meal topper for cats and dogs.

How it works: The first four ingredients are actually dried cheeses, which aside from being super tasty, makes your pet salivate. The saliva activates the enzymes that help to break down some of the sugary starches left in your pet’s mouth after eating and helps flush out some of the bad bacteria.

How to use: Sprinkle it over your pet’s meal or spread across your pet’s teeth and gums with your finger. 

*Pro Tip: Picky eaters (and kitties) LOVE the smell and taste of DentaTreat. After all, who doesn’t love cheese!?


Canine Dental Wipes

What they are: Small round medicated wipes formulated to clean your dog’s teeth and gums.

How they work: Dental wipes remove and prevent dangerous plaque, tartar, and bacteria for optimal oral health and hygiene.

How to use: Working from back to front, wipe medicated pad on the inner and outer teeth and gums. For best results, use twice daily after each meal.

NPP Pick: Nootie dental wipes

Better: Chew, Chew, Chew!

Natural or Synthetic (Dog) Chews (Nylabone, Benebone, Antlers) 

What they are: Natural and/or synthetic chews designed to scrape plaque off your dog’s teeth and massage the gums. Synthetic chews (Nylabone and Benebone) have unique shapes and textures infused with flavors.

How they Work: These physically scrape off plaque and tartar and massage the gums while your dog chews on them. They will naturally wear down gradually as your dog chews.


Digestible Canine Dental Chews

What it is: A digestible chew that targets plaque and freshens breath. 

How it works: Dental chews are soft enough to bend but tough enough to pull plaque and tartar as your dog chews on them. They typically contain non-toxic oils (such as rosemary, peppermint, or lemongrass) to freshen breath. 

How to use: Give these to your dog once daily. They will be chewed and digested in one sitting.

NPP Pick: Merrick Fresh Kisses

Best: Diet and Routine Dental Care

Raw bones (recreational and meaty bones) 

What they are: Meaty bones (such as chicken, duck, or turkey necks) are mostly meat and cartilage and will be consumed entirely. Recreational bones (beef marrow bones) have small amounts of meat/cartilage attached and will be chewed but not consumed entirely. 

How they work: These physically scrape off plaque and tartar and massage the gums while your pet chews on them. 

How to use them: Introduce raw bones into your pet’s diet slowly. Start with short chewing sessions that are 5-10 minutes in duration and gradually increase chewing time. Learn more about how to safely feed raw bones here. 


Minimally Processed Fresh Food Diet: 

What it is: A fresh food diet rich in minimally processed protein and fat from animal sources, with little to no starchy carbohydrates. 

How it works: While diet will not necessarily clean your pet’s teeth, the minimal carbohydrate percentage in a raw food diet means less bacteria that cause oral disease – which is the best step you can take to prevent the growth of plaque and tartar. Raw food diets also contain natural dietary enzymes that protect the teeth and gums. Lastly, these diets do not contain harmful aflatoxins and skip the chemical compounds that put stress on your pet’s immune system. 

How to use: We recommend using commercially prepared raw food items as a compliment to your pet’s diet or as a complete meal. 


Regular Teeth Brushing: 

This is the gold standard in preventative oral care for your pet. Leftover food particles stuck between teeth and gums are swept away with brushing motion. For maximum benefits, brush your pet’s teeth daily after meals. 

How to do it: It’s best to introduce teeth brushing as a regular occurrence for your pet, so it becomes part of your daily routine. Start by using your finger to massage the teeth and gums. Once they have adjusted to your finger in their mouth, you can start using a finger brush, and then graduate to using a pet toothbrush. 

Pets are unique and there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to dental hygiene. Take time to find what your pet likes and what works best for your pet’s dietary needs, genetics, and lifestyle. 

Myth: Kibble Cleans My Pet’s Teeth.

Fact: Kibble contains large amounts of carbohydrates (sugars), creating an environment where bad bacteria thrive – often leading to bad breath, plaque, and gum disease.


Pro Tip: While no diet can actively remove existing plaque, fresh or raw diets can help protect your pet’s teeth and gums by maintaining optimal stomach pH, which is required for the body to combat bacteria that leads to oral diseases.


Read More in our Dental Health Month article

What Causes Dog Tear Stains? Plus Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

If you’ve noticed tear stains on your dog’s or cat’s face, you’re not alone. Tear staining is a common concern among pet owners, and it can be caused by various factors. While blocked tear ducts and certain breeds are often associated with tear stains, there are other underlying causes that complicate the issue. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the different factors contributing to tear staining and provide practical solutions to prevent and treat this condition. From proper grooming techniques to dietary adjustments and specialized products, we’ll help you find the most effective strategies to address tear stains and restore your pet’s vibrant and clear eyes.

Tear staining, more often than not, is noticed on white pets but can affect any color pet. It makes the color of the coat around the eyes a brown, red, or copper color. It has always been believed that tear staining comes from epiphora (or excessive tear production) – but that’s not always the case. 

Two main factors to consider with tear staining:

  1. A blocked or maldeveloped nasolacrimal duct (where your pet’s tears are formed), can cause overproduction of tears that can lead to tear stains.
  2. Certain breeds have a greater deposition for tear staining.  The most commonly affected are small breeds with longer hair coats. Some examples would be Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Bichon Frise, Maltese, Toy Poodle and others.

dog with tear stainIt’s a common misnomer that the only cause of tear staining in our pets is the overproduction of their tears. Aside from a blocked tear duct and breed, there are plenty of other causes that complicate the main factors listed above:

  • Corneal injury or ulceration
  • Entropion (eyelashes are turned inwards and rub against the eyeball)
  • Infection of the eye 
  • Ear infections (bacteria, yeast)
  • Certain medications
  • pH imbalance
  • Red meat in the diet (iron and other minerals)
  • Poor diet (e.g., excess carbohydrates, vitamin or mineral insufficiency/excess)
  • Stress
  • Teething issues (especially in puppies)
  • The use of plastic food/water bowls 
  • Water Quality

Why are tear stains brown?

The brown color of tear stains comes from porphyrin – iron-containing molecules that come from break down of hemoglobin. These molecules can be excreted through the GI tract, saliva, urine, and tears! The majority of pets have these molecules in their tears, but some pets have more molecules than others, which results in staining. 

Prevention & Treatment for Tear Stains in Cats and Dogs

Trim the Hair around the Eyes

To prevent irritation and inflammation, keep the hair around your pet’s eyes trimmed shorter than the rest of their coat. This helps to avoid hair getting into their eyes and causing discomfort.

Evaluate Your Pet’s Diet

Take a close look at the appropriateness and quality of your pet’s food. Opt for foods that contain high moisture, quality protein, and minimal carbohydrates. Foods with excessive carbohydrates can promote inflammation in the body. Also, steer clear of preservatives, fillers, and additives, as they can trigger inflammatory reactions. Pay attention to the carbohydrate content in your pet’s diet, including treats.

 Monitor pH Levels

pH imbalances in your pet’s body can affect tear staining. Certain medications prescribed by veterinarians, such as omeprazole and Pepcid, can raise stomach pH levels and lower pepsin levels. This can lead to malabsorption and maldigestion. Discuss any medications your pet is taking with your vet to understand their impact on tear staining.

Consider Protein Sources

The protein source in your pet’s food can contribute to tear staining. Red meats, which are high in iron, can intensify tear stains in some pets. If your pet is prone to tear stains, consider eliminating red meats from their diet to see if it helps. The additional iron and magnesium in red meat require extra effort for the body to break down, putting additional stress on the liver. Excess iron intake can lead to an overproduction of porphyrin, the compound responsible for the brown color in tear stains.

Evaluate Drinking Water Quality

Tap water, particularly well water, often contains iron and magnesium, which contribute to the formation of porphyrins. Using filtered water to provide your pet with clean drinking water can help prevent or treat tear stains.

Use Specially Formulated Shampoo

To clean up existing tear stains, opt for specially formulated dry shampoos or waterless shampoos. These products offer better control and are gentler around sensitive eyes, reducing the risk of irritation.

Choose the Right Bowl Material

Avoid using plastic bowls for your pet’s food and water as they can harbor bacteria more easily than glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bowls. Bacteria from the bowl can transfer to your pet’s coat and lead to infection. Regardless of the material, make sure to clean your pet’s bowl regularly with soap and water to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Surgical Option for Entropion

In cases where entropion (inward rolling of the eyelid) is the cause of tear stains, surgical intervention may be necessary. This procedure requires your pet to undergo anesthesia, and the surgeon will remove a section of skin on the eyelid to correct the condition.

Medications, Minerals, and Vitamins

Certain medications, minerals, and vitamins can help treat infections and ulcerations associated with tear stains. Consult with your vet to determine the appropriate options for your pet’s specific condition.

Avoid Overuse of Antibiotics

Overusing antibiotics can disrupt the healthy bacteria in your pet’s gut, which play a role in reducing inflammation. If your pet frequently requires antibiotics, work closely with your vet to identify the underlying cause of recurring infections and find alternative solutions to minimize antibiotic usage.

Topical Solutions for Tear Stains

Nootie offers an affordable and veterinary-quality pre-soaked wipe that helps to remove buildup and prevent staining around the eye. 

EarthBath also offers a waterless eye wipe, although it’s not formulated specifically for tear stains. This product is made with natural and organic ingredients, which help provide a preventative and maintenance solution for less severe staining.

Remember the ears! A high-quality ear cleaning solution can help remove buildup and keep ears and eyes clean. Some ear related issues can contribute to inflammation, including the eyes. Some of our favorites include EarthBath, Earth Animal & Kenic. For stubborn ear buildup, or dogs who spend a lot of time swimming we like Liquid Health’s ear cleaning solution. Our team would be happy to help you pick out the best option for your situation.

Supplements to Help Tear Stains

Omega 3 fatty acids are known to be lacking in most diets for pets and even humans. A high-quality fish oil, manufactured under stringent standards, can effectively reduce inflammation. Additionally, human studies demonstrate the beneficial effects of essential fatty acid supplementation in addressing eye problems [1]. To ensure the highest quality, opt for fish oils packaged in glass (not plastic), stored in the refrigerator, and ethically sourced. We recommend brands like Nordic Naturals, Thorne, and Omega Alpha, all available on our shelves.

Other Tear Stain Solutions

Regular exercise is important!  Just like humans, canines and felines benefit from regular exercise to reduce stress, maintain a healthy weight and promote proper digestion. Exercise promotes blood flow, oxygenation and therefore helps to effectively cleanse all organ systems, including the skin and liver! In addition, regular exercise can help keep bodyweight in check. Excess bodyweight – even a pound or two in cats and dogs – can increase inflammation on many levels. It’s a simple and seemingly small detail that makes a world of difference!

Reduce or eliminate high carbohydrate snacks. Instead, opt for freeze-dried meat, jerky and chews instead of biscuits. The majority of pet biscuits contain minimal or no meat, instead being filled with ingredients like flour, tapioca, molasses, maple syrup, potatoes, and other starches and sugars. These directly influence the amount of inflammation within the body. Some of our favorite pet treats include Small Batch, and Northwest Naturals. You can even supplement some frozen raw food as treats for a healthy and high value treat! Our team will be happy to show you their favorites too – just ask!

Be attentive to additives/preservatives, red meat and excess carbs in your pet’s food. These often tend to cause inflammation and irritation, resulting in tear stains. A fresh, well-balanced diet is best in pet’s who suffer from tear staining! Just remember that it may take several weeks to months to see a difference – patience and consistency will eventually pay off!


  1. Bhargava R, Kumar P, Kumar M, Mehra N, Mishra A. A randomized controlled trial of omega-3 fatty acids in dry eye syndrome. Int J Ophthalmol. 2013;6(6):811-6. doi: 10.3980/j.issn.2222-3959.2013.06.13. PubMed PMID: 24392330.