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How to get rid of wet dog smell?

Updated on January 15, 2009

Have you ever considered why the dog that you keep regularly groomed would still have a wet dog smell? The wet dog smell is one of the reasons why some dogs ends up in the streets abandoned by people who profess to be dog lovers. A dog owner who doesn’t know better would associate the abhorrent smell of the dog to good grooming. When the dog is bathed and the nasty smell persists, the dog would end up in a shelter.

Wet dog photos

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The dirty dog

The most common reason why dogs have a wet dog smell is poor hygiene. The dog may be just plain dirty and a bath would take care of the problem. Dogs are really very active animals that have the propensity to dig and to roll on anything that has an obnoxious smell.


The wet dog smell can be the result of a skin condition known as atopy. Food or seasonal allergies would cause extremely itchy and inflamed skin. This skin condition causes an overproduction of oil on the dog’s skin. The abundant oil on the fur and on the skin is responsible for the dog’s musty smell. Moreover, the bacteria that give the dog its wet dog smell flourish in the sebum.

The wet fur of the dog

The wet dog smell causing bacteria thrives on the dog’s wet fur. This is the reason why some dog owners are puzzled why dogs would still have a musty smell in spite of the fact that the dog is frequently bathed.

The cure

Nothing would really beat a good wash to remove the obnoxious odor of the dog. Dogs that are plain dirty can be transformed into a sweet smelling pet, one that will be allowed to share the master’s bed. The magic cure is nothing but a bath using dog soap and dog shampoo. After the bath dog powder and a dryer are the next magic tools. The dog’s hair must be totally dried to prevent the build up of nasty odor causing bacteria. A towel would suffice for a short haired dog but for breeds with thick and long hair, a dryer is really a must.

If the nasty smell is due to the dog’s sensitivity to allergens, no amount of bathing will remove the wet dog smell. For this you will need to consult a vet as soon as you are able. The vet will prescribe the right medication that will alleviate the itching and the inflammation of the dog’s skin.


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