Why Your Dog Smells Like Fish (Especially his Breath)

Dog's Back

Does your dog smell like a fish all a sudden? The sudden development of this unpleasant odor could be caused by a number of health-related issues. Here are the most common reasons.

1. Your Dog Has Anal Sac Disease

Anal Sac disease is fairly common among smaller-breed dog and can definitely cause your dog’s body to smell like fish. This usually happens when the fluids in the anal sacs aren’t completely emptied. When left untreated, an impacted anal sac will become abscessed or infected, which can be very painful for your dog.

Aside from the fish smell, other common symptoms of anal sac disease may include your dog scooting his bottom along the ground, and a sensitive reaction by your dog if your hands get too close to his tail. This disease can be treated by a vet who will wash out the sacs and give your dog the appropriate medications.

2. Fish Smell Comes from Bad Breath

Your dog may have developed bad breath as a result of poor dental health. Your dog, for example, may have dental issues like gum infections or tartar build up. It’s important to brush your dog’s teeth daily and acclimatize them to proper dental care at an early age.

Bad breath may also be a result of inner body issues like gut problems or liver disease. In addition to the bad breath, if you notice your dog isn’t his usual self then we recommend taking the dog to the vet as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis.

3. A Change in the Dog’s Diet

If you have recently changed your dog’s diet then this may have indirectly led to the development of the fish smell. For example, feeding a dog with a low-fiber diet may make him prone to developing anal gland disease. There are many commercial dog foods that are formulated for pets that need a high-fiber diet.

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian when in doubt.