Why does your dog or your ferret smell so bad?
The odor that your “furry friend” is giving off may bother you, but this is not his/her fault. Typically, the reasons behind this unpleasant phenomenon include:
- the simple build-up of dirt
- an excess of sebum, the greasy substance essential to protecting his/her coat secreted by the sebaceous glands
- the presence of bacteria and yeast on his/her skin and coat
Discover our practical solutions for eliminating these nasty odors and making life sweeter with your little buddy.
Does my pet just need a good bath?
This is usually the first thing that springs to mind, and why poor hygiene is at the top of the list.
For a good deep cleanse, regular washing with an appropriate shampoo will do the trick.
Shampoo cleanses the fur and also sanitizes the skin without drying it out. The simultaneous action of shampooing and massaging the skin helps remove dirt from the coat.
If you’re short on time, a quality, rinse-free foam is recommended.
When the skin microbiota is disrupted
Sometimes, a malodorous coat is caused by an imbalance of the microbial flora on the surface of the skin.
Not that all bacteria are harmful, in fact, far from it. The microbiota found both in the gut and on the surface of your pet’s skin contain a vast number of microorganisms which all live together in perfect harmony.
The exception is when a colony of pathogenic bacteria multiplies excessively; this upsets the balance of the flora and can cause skin problems.
Could the culprit be seborrhea?
Just like humans, dogs and ferrets can also suffer from seborrhea. When produced in excess, sebum has the potential not only to make the skin look greasy but to also cause unpleasant odors.
Certain breeds of dog are more prone to this than others, such as Cocker Spaniels, German Shepherds, Basset Hounds and Dobermans.
Our ferret friends have the unfortunate reputation of giving off a strong musky smell. This problem comes from both their skin and anal glands, a worry especially present in uncastrated males.
Against bad odors, there are solutions!
Trying to mask any unpleasant odor from your animal with something sweet-smelling is completely pointless. Firstly, it would be uncomfortable for your pet, and secondly it won’t address the source of the issue.
Thankfully, there are natural substances such as essential oils which, when used properly, can help regulate the activity of overly active sebaceous glands and correct imbalances of the microbiota.
And finally, let’s not forget the power of prebiotics! These nutrients may help stimulate the growth of the ‘good’ kind of bacteria and help strengthen skin’s own natural defenses.
And of course, it is always advisable to consult with your local veterinarian, since the offending odor could be a sign of another condition, such as skin infection, hormonal disorder, etc.