Senior pets are those described as being over the age of 7naturally take place. Certain conditions may arise in older pets that can cause a distinct aroma in your furry one. If you are wondering why your older dog smells bad, we can get to the bottom of the stinky situation.

The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center are here to explain the reasons behind senior pet odor.

Health Conditions that Cause Older Dogs to Stink

Most dogs have a certain doggie smell to them. After all, they roll around and wander through gross things on their walks and during play. They actually even have an instinctual drive to cover their own scent by rolling around in other stinky smells. 

But it’s true that older dogs often develop a certain unpleasant smell over time. We have outlined a few conditions that can be the culprit of your sweet, yet smelly dog.

  1. Dental disease Dental disease, or periodontal disease, affects up to two-thirds of dogs over the age of 3. Along with rotting teeth, gingivitis, infection, and tooth loss, comes a great deal of odor, referred to as halitosis. Poor dental care in their early years can lead to dental disease later in life, which is a serious condition that affects your pet’s overall health.
  2. Kidney disease Kidney disease, like dental disease, affects your dog’s breath. If the kidneys are not functioning as they should, the entire body experiences negative repercussions as the toxins build up in the system. Your pet’s bad odor could be caused by a kidney condition that can lead to kidney disease and possible kidney failure without treatment.
  3. Diabetes While most dogs with diabetes have mouth odor, it can smell oddly sweet to some pet owners. Some report that the odor is more on the foul side. The condition that causes this is called ketosis. Diabetes affects the body’s ability to produce insulin, which leads to dangerously high levels of sugar in the bloodstream
  4. Incontinence – Senior pets can sometimes lose their ability to regulate their urine stream and become incontenent. Urinary leakage can be caused by several conditions, including infections, tumors, and kidney disease, among others. 
  5. Allergies or skin conditions – If your pet deals with dermatitis caused by allergies or other skin problems, they may become smelly. This is especially true when they are biting and scratching so much it causes hot spots, fur loss, scaling, dryness, and infection. 
  6. Lack of grooming – As pets get older, they may suffer from arthritis and mobility conditions that prevent them from grooming themselves as much as when they were younger. This can lead to foul odor if not given regular baths by their owner.

If Your Dog Smells Bad

Your dog may never smell like a scented candle or bouquet of flowers, but if their normal scent turns sour, we can help. Foul odor is often a red flag warning of another medical condition that should be addressed.

Call us for a thorough examination so we can get your pet the treatment they need to feel better (and smell better, too).