The Wet Dog Smell: Why It Happens and What You Can Do About It

May 12, 2022 by admin

You know the smell by heart. When your dog romps in a sprinkler or splashes at the beach, the thought of that smell is always in the back of your mind. Add in the heat and humidity of Singapore, and the smell becomes your constant companion — always at your side, like your precious pet.

Why in the world does water, which is supposed to clean things, make your dog smell as bad as a bag of garbage?

Here’s what happens. Buried in your pup’s fur are tons of tiny microorganisms (bacteria and yeast) that emit miniscule bits of musk. These tiny creatures don’t hurt your dog at all, but their excrement stays in his fur, even when you bathe him. The emissions are odorless when dry, but the minute your four-legged friend pounces into a puddle or paddles through the pool, the water breaks down the chemical bonds within the bits of excrement. Out comes the smell, making you wrinkle your nose and hold your breath. Since humid air concentrates the foul odor, your dog training in Singapore might be smellier than it would be in less humid climates.

So now you know the real cause of the wet dog smell, you know that you can’t really prevent it. However, with a few simple tricks, you can do a bit of damage control and minimize the odor. First, buy dog shampoo that is specifically designed to get deep into the fur and root out those microorganisms and their byproducts. Some shampoos just cover the smell; you want the kind that will go for the source of the scent, while still remaining safe and gentle for your pet.

Bathe your pooch regularly, as often as your local vet advises. After each bath, dry the dog off thoroughly. Make sure he doesn’t roll around outdoors until he is completely dry. Gently cleaning your dog’s ears also removes bacteria, which are sources of bad smells. Brush out dirt, grass, and other particles that collect in your pup’s fur each day. Avoid scenting your dog’s fur, since products with fragrance may negatively affect your pet’s health.

If your dog still seems smelly, even when he is fairly dry, look for other sources of odor. Like humans, dogs can have stinky breath. With a deliciously flavored doggy toothpaste and dog toothbrush, clean your canine’s teeth every day. If the dog dislikes the brushing process, train him slowly and reward him for good behavior during this important phase of hygiene.

Of course, laundry day is key to keeping your pup smelling reasonably good. Wash your pet’s bedding often, with a safe, fragrance-free laundry detergent and no fabric softener. Dry the bed thoroughly via sunshine or dryer.


With a few changes in your dog’s hygiene routine, your experience with dog training, as well as day-to-day, should quickly improve. Keep in mind that the smell will never disappear completely because of the humidity. When you do what you can to minimize the odor and simply accept the rest, you can relax and enjoy one of the most important parts of your life– having fun and bonding with your dog.