Everything has a smell, sometimes pleasant or at least not offensive, other times, not so nice.
Dogs (humans too) have what’s considered normal odors produced through sweat glands. But when the odor is objectionable, it’s time to look for the cause.
There are a number of reasons why your dog is smelly.
Bad breath can be offensive. Examine your dog’s mouth including teeth and gums. Plaque buildup, rotted teeth, abscess, gum disease, all can produce foul odors. Your vet will conduct a thorough examination including asking for the health history, to find the reason for the odor.
Check your dog’s ears for signs of infection. The inside of the ear should be a light pink with no discharge or wax buildup.
Anal scent glands are another source of repulsive odors. Some dogs have to have their anal glands expressed manually. Normally they are emptied during a bowel movement. If they become impacted, the glands produce a foul odor. If the glands are impacted, painful, swollen and have open sores, your dog should be seen by the vet as soon as possible.
Dogs with skin disorders can have a strong smell. Allergies and other skin problems can cause itching, loss of hair, skin irritation, sores and infection, producing odors. Have your vet examine your dog to determine the cause.
Then there’s the possibility that your dog has rolled in something s/he finds very attractive, but not so much to you. That means it’s time for a bath. Try to use a dog shampoo that contains all natural ingredients so as not to irritate your dog’s skin further. If after bathing, the odor persists, check with your vet.
In any case, if you’re not sure about where the odor is coming from or what to do, it’s always the best procedure to consult with your vet.