If you’ve owned a dog before, no matter what breed they are, you have probably noticed that they will sometimes have a unique smell, and sometimes that smell is not so pleasant!
Australian Shepherds specifically will oftentimes have unique smells. The different smells coming from the dog can be caused by a variety of reasons including infection, poor diet, health issues, improper grooming, and many others.
If you are curious to learn more about why your Australian Shepherd smells and how to eliminate those odors, then keep reading!
Why do Australian Shepherds smell?
If you have ever noticed a smell coming from your Australian Shepherd, you are probably not alone. Oftentimes Aussies will have certain smells that can indicate different things going on with their bodies.
Many factors can be the cause of your Australian Shepherd having a certain smell or odor. Some of the reasons for a smell coming from your dog can be a minor concern or may indicate something more serious such as infection or health problems.
Here are some of the most common reasons why an odor may be coming from your Australian Shepherd:
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- Natural oils — Since Australian Shepherds have a double coat and are made for being in the water, their skin produces natural oils to help protect their skin and coat. A buildup of those oils is oftentimes a reason why you may smell an odor coming from your dog.
- Poor diet — It is important to keep your Australian Shepherd on a good diet not only to ensure that their health stays in good shape but to keep any smells away too! Avoiding foods with too much corn or soy is best for keeping bad odors from coming from your pup!
- Yeast infection — It is common for Australian Shepherds to develop yeast infections. These infections can be caused by multiple factors including allergies, changes in their environments, exposure to humidity, certain medications, poor nutrition, etc.
- Rolling in smelly substances — Australian Shepherds love being outside, especially when they get to roll around in the grass. It is no surprise that they will become dirty from spending so much time outdoors.
- Swimming — Because of their double coat, Australian Shepherds will hold more water than other breeds. It is important to dry them well after swimming or bathing to ensure that water doesn’t stay on the skin or fur, this can cause an odor!
- Health problems — One of the more serious issues that are indicated by an odor coming from your Australian Shepherd is certain health issues. Some of the most common health problems that can be indicated by smell are diseased gums/teeth, bacterial infections, anal gland problems, etc.
- Skin issues — Australian Shepherds are known to have skin allergies, most often because of food allergies. If the skin becomes irritated, your dog may bite or pick, which can then cause lesions that become infected, producing an odor.
Note: Lesions may also occur if the dog develops parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites, etc.
Why does my Australian Shepherd smell like certain foods? (cheese, fish, chips?)
Some Australian Shepherd owners become concerned or curious when they notice a very specific odor coming from their dog.
If an Australian Shepherd has the smell of cheese, fish, or chips coming from them, this can indicate several different things based on what smell your dog has.
Cheese, fish, and chips, are the three most common specific smells that Australian Shepherd owners will smell coming from their dog, this is what it means:
- Cheese smell — Often caused by an ear infection, specifically a yeast infection. Signs of yeast infection in the ear include a cheese-like odor, red and itchy ears, wax buildup, head shaking, or debris coming from the ear. You may notice the odor coming from your dog’s paws and ears the most!
Tip: Keeping the hair between the footpads trimmed is the best way to eliminate any odor coming from the paws!
- Fish smell — A fish smell coming from your Australian Shepherd can indicate multiple issues such as ear infection, anal gland issues, infected tooth, gas, skin infection, UTI, or your dog just needs a bath!
- Chip smell — This unique smell is typically caused by natural bacteria. Some people believe that this smell could come from the food that the dog consumes, seeing as there is corn in a lot of dog foods.
Thankfully, the chip smell isn’t bad and is normally curable by maintaining the dog’s grooming, especially around the paws and ears where the smell is known to be worse.
Note: If an Australian Shepherd develops an excessive amount of ear infections, this may be a sign of hypothyroidism. This should be checked by your vet so that the necessary precautions can be made to keep your dog in good health!
Why does my Australian Shepherd smell sour?
If your Australian Shepherd has a sour smell that is similar to vinegar it can be an indication of a problem with their urine. A sour milk smell can also indicate a yeast infection, anal gland problems, or other infections.
These types of smells should be further looked into by a vet.
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Why does my Australian Shepherd smell musty?
A lot of Australian Shepherd owners are familiar with a common musty smell coming from their dog, but they don’t know why It is there.
A musty smell coming from an Australian Shepherd is usually a sign that they have been in the water, and that they haven’t been dried off enough.
After swimming, bathing, or any other water activities, it is very important to dry your Aussie completely. Because of their double coat, they are harder to dry. If an Aussie is not dried properly, it will develop a musty odor.
Smells can usually be eliminated by properly drying the dog. It is important to pay close attention to drying specific areas of the body including the armpits, groin, ear, and tail areas; these are the most common places where bacterial infections can occur!
Note: Don’t worry if your Aussie has a slight smell still even after bathing, this is oftentimes caused by the natural oils on the skin!
Being outside a lot can cause an Australian Shepherd to have a musty smell. This smell can come from your dog rolling in the dirt, water, grass, and any other outdoor area.
Aussies are known to roll around in the grass, oftentimes either for fun or to mask their scent, but normally they do this solely to get their owner’s attention.
It is a good idea to give your Aussie a bath if they have been outside, just in case they have rolled around in something that will cause an odor.
Tip: Keeping a close eye on your dog when doing outdoor activities is one of the best ways to ensure that they don’t roll around in something they shouldn’t! Bringing some water and a towel can also help keep them clean while playing outside!
Why is my Australian Shepherd farting so much?
Feeding your Australian Shepherd human food is the most common cause of their excessive farting. Foods like beans, peas, dairy products, spicy food, and highly processed and fatty foods are likely to make your dog fart more. Occasional flatulence is normal, but excessive farting can be a sign of a more serious health issue.
Your dog’s flatulence is caused by an excess buildup of gas or air in your dog’s intestinal tract and colon.
This gas is caused by your dog’s inability to digest the food it is eating. This makes it so that instead of the food and nutrients being absorbed properly it’s sitting in the stomach and colon and causing it to ferment which is then expelled through the anus as the not-so-sweet smelly gas.
Note: You can read more about why dogs have gas and what to do about it in this article. Shiba Inu Farting (What You Need to Know)
Australian Shepherd bad breath
As most dog owners know, bad breath is common with dogs no matter what breed they are. There are many reasons why our dog’s breath can smell bad, some reasons are not concerning, but bad breath can also be a sign of a more serious problem.
Australian Shepherds can develop bad breath for several reasons, they may have dental problems or health issues, or they have simply eaten something that has caused an odor!
Health issues that are oftentimes determined by bad breath in Australian Shepherds include diabetes and kidney failure. If your dog has excessive bad breath, this may indicate gum disease as well.
Unfortunately, the most common reason for an Australian Shepherd having bad breath comes from dental problems. Tartar buildup causes plaque and cavities that can cause an Aussie’s breath to become bad.
Thankfully, there are many options available to eliminate an Australian Shepherd’s bad breath. Some include brushing the teeth (which can be done at the vet, or at home), dental chews or dental sticks, and mouth wash!
Tip: One of the most popular methods for eliminating Australian Shepherd’s bad breath is using coconut oil! Not only does this help their breath but it can also benefit their skin and coats!
Simply keeping up with your Australian Shepherd’s dental hygiene is the best way to avoid any bad odors coming from their mouths.
Note: If a dog’s teeth are in bad shape, or they do not do well with having their teeth cleaned, a vet may put your dog under general anesthesia to do their teeth cleaning. Australian Shepherd Teeth Complete Guide (Cleaning, Problems, and More)
Do Australian Shepherds smell worse than other dog breeds?
Have you ever wondered what the smelliest dog breed is? A lot of people consider whether or not their dog is prone to smelling when considering whether or not to get a new dog.
While all dogs will smell if they are not bathed and groomed consistently and properly, the Australian Shepherd is known to smell even worse than other breeds if they are left ungroomed. If they are groomed properly Australian Shepherds will rarely smell bad.
Because of their dense, and water-resistant fur, they are more likely than other breeds to hold onto bacteria, dirt, etc. that will cause specific odors. However, other dog breeds have double coats that can develop odor too.
Since Australian Shepherds are also more likely than other dog breeds to develop ear infections and skin issues, they are more prone to developing odors. Thankfully, these are usually easily treatable.
Australian Shepherds are very active compared to some other breeds, meaning that they are also more likely to become dirty quicker too! There is no need to worry though, as long as you are keeping up with your Aussie baths and grooming, they should smell good all the time!
Note: There are many products available for Australian Shepherds that are meant to keep their skin and coat in good condition while also eliminating odor.
One of the most popular scents for Australian Shepherd shampoos is lemongrass and aloe which provide great hydration and odor elimination!
Australian Shepherd odor control
If your Australian Shepherd has an odor, you probably want to figure out how to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Thankfully, there are many different remedies for getting rid of any smells coming from your dog!
Some of the most common ways to get rid of a dog’s odor include diet change, grooming, cleaning, and several others.
Here are the most important ways to eliminate odor coming from your Australian Shepherd:
- Keep ears clean
- Brush the fur more often
- Diet change
- Consistent bathing and grooming (although, not too much – this could dry out the skin!)
- Using an odor-eliminating shampoo
- Keep skin/fur dry
- Keep any bedding or toys that your dog uses clean
Tip: Avoid using any fabric softener when cleaning items that your dog uses, this may cause your dog to have allergies.
If your Australian Shepherd’s odor is not going away and different remedies aren’t helping, it is best to take your dog to the vet and have them checked.
A veterinarian will be able to provide services that are not available anywhere else, or not easy to provide to your dog at home such as saline rinses and antibiotics that can get rid of certain infections and odors.
If you notice your Australian Shepherd is developing dry skin from being bathed too often, thankfully, there are other remedies that can eliminate odors that don’t include bathing your dog!
Some helpful products that can eliminate odors from your dog without having to bathe them include:
- Dog dry shampoo — This is a great alternative to bathing your dog with water and shampoo. This type of shampoo consists of a powder-like substance that will soak up excess oil and leave your dog smelling and looking great!
- Dog wipes — Used to wipe off debris from paws, ears, eyes, etc. these wipes can work great in eliminating odor by getting rid of anything that sticks to your dog’s body! These wipes are also offered as antibacterial wipes which can help with cuts and infections.
- Odor spray — Great for on-the-go purposes, just spray your dog a few times and whatever odor they have should be lessened, or completely eliminated!
- Pet odor absorber air freshener — This product is great for eliminating odor without having to use any products on your dog. This helps get rid of any odor coming from your Aussie that has made its way around your living space.
- Paw balm — This product is not only great for hydrating a dog’s paw pads, nose, etc. but can also help eliminate odors that may be coming from their paws!
UP Next: Australian Shepherd Hair Care (Complete Grooming Guide!)
While we strive to give the most accurate and helpful information about your pet’s health that we can, this article is meant to be informational only and not medical advice. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified veterinary health care provider regardless of what you have read on this site or elsewhere.