Why Old Dogs Smell

There is no reason for a nasty or rank odor to be coming from your pet unless they have gone outdoors rolling on all the disgusting things they can. Most dogs do have a slight doggie smell, of course. Unless there is an issue, there shouldn’t be a stench that is unsettling.

Generally speaking, elderly dogs don’t smell awful unless they have a serious medical condition.

  • Chronic gum disease In dogs, periodontal or tooth disease is a major contributor to odor. Halitosis is one of the signs that your dog has dental problems, decaying teeth, or a plaque and tartar buildup. Since more than two thirds of elderly pets will develop some form of it, the majority need regular dental cleanings to prevent the issues caused by periodontal disease.
  • Urinary incontinence, or the inability of a pet to “hold it,” is another issue that frequently affects elderly pets. Some dogs experience muscular atrophy in their urinary tract over time. If a pet doesn’t have bladder control, urine spills onto its fur, which over time results in stench unless frequently bathed.
  • Conditions of the skin and allergies
  • The majority of allergic pets suffer from persistent infections and skin disorders. This might result in foul odor from hot areas, fur loss, and infection to dry and peeling skin. Skin problems can make your pet uncomfortable as they attempt to scratch and bite away the itching. We can treat your dog’s skin disorders in a number of methods, including allergy testing to identify the offending allergens.
  • kidney illness
  • Because the kidneys are not properly removing toxins from the body, which then builds up in the system, renal illness can frequently cause a mouth odor. A pet’s general odor becomes unpleasant as halitosis progresses.
  • Diabetes
  • The millions of pets who have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, an endocrine illness, face health hazards. Diabetes can lead to a state known as ketosis, where the body is compelled to burn its fat stores. This may cause a weird tongue odor that is a mix of offensive and faintly sweet.
  • Lack of grooming
  • As they age, your pet could become less willing to groom themselves, which results in untidy and unclean skin and coat conditions. Odors may develop if you don’t prevent them with weekly washing and maintenance. If your pet doesn’t express their anal glands, this could be exacerbated. Without this, the oils may be impacted and result in extra odors. Your pet’s best friend in keeping them healthy and smelling great can be your expert groomer in Wheaton.

Help! My Older Dog Stinks

We can identify the source of the smell if you are dealing with a Pepe le Pew through a careful investigation. We can identify your pet family member’s ailment based on bad odor to ensure they receive the care they require.

How can I prevent my elderly dog from smelling?

Finding the source of your dog’s bad odor is the first step to curing it.

Visit your dog’s veterinarian right away. The veterinarian will be able to identify any underlying physical issue that may be the source of the odor, including:

  • Incontinence and kidney disease
  • stomach and bowel problems
  • dental issues
  • Even basic dental care, daily brushing, and dental chews can significantly enhance your dog’s odor!

The next step is to examine your dog’s grooming and sleeping habits if your veterinarian rules out any physical causes for his odor. Is his coat tidy and free from tangles and knots? Does he have clean sheets to sleep on, and do you immediately wipe up any poop?

When a dog is dying, do they have a smell?

Many of these symptoms are also signals of diseases that can be treated. A trip to the vet is necessary to have your dog inspected if he exhibits even one unsettling change, especially if he has been doing well up until that time. Your veterinarian can advise you as to whether your dog’s condition is treatable or whether he faces more serious difficulties based on the examination and any diagnostics that are conducted.

Senior dogs frequently suffer from diseases like diabetes mellitus, liver failure, renal failure, cancer, and heart failure. When these illnesses are detected early, they are frequently treatable, but as your dog ages and his sickness worsens, his condition may get worse. When several diseases are present at once, it can be more painful and challenging to treat them.

Extreme Weight Loss

Senior dogs frequently lose weight, and it usually begins well before death. The dog loses muscular mass as he ages because his body is less effective at digesting protein, which is a normal part of the aging process. Increased protein in the diet that is simple to digest can slow this process.

Weight loss can also result from illness, either as a result of decreased hunger brought on by illness or as a result of the body being under more stress. Cancer patients who lose a significant amount of weight are said to have cachexia. Cancer cells need a lot of energy as they perpetually divide and spread, and this need for energy can cause your dog’s muscles and fat reserves to break down.

Even if the dog is still eating substantial meals, weight loss frequently quickens as the dog gets older or sicker.

Lethargy and Fatigue

Older dogs snooze a lot. Your dog will start to sleep more and become more easily worn out as his life draws to a close. Instead of going on walks and other trips like he used to, he could decide to stay at home on his dog bed.

Poor Coordination

Your dog’s muscles and nerves lose some of their former functionality as his body matures. His coordination will deteriorate due to the decrease of muscular mass and the dysfunction of proprioceptive neurons. He might have trouble climbing stairs, getting around barriers, or slipping on non-carpeted floors. Some dogs stutter or have problems putting their feet in the right places when they walk. These symptoms are typically progressive, starting out as infrequent, minor bumbles that gradually increase in frequency and severity. Additionally, some dogs may twitch their muscles without meaning to.

By giving your dog non-slip surfaces to walk on and supporting him when walking and going outside to relieve himself, you can help your dog. Ramps are useful for climbing up and down stairs and onto and off of furniture, but they also serve as a spotter in case the user loses balance and falls off a narrow ramp.


Senior dogs often experience incontinence, or loss of control over the urine and/or intestines. There are numerous causes for this that may all be fully treated (for example, urinary incontinence due to a urinary tract infection).

Some dogs may urinate or defecate while they are asleep, while others may dribble urine or even urinate while moving around seemingly unaffected. Considering that our dogs naturally don’t want to soil the house, incontinence can be irritating to them. Never chastise your dog for having these mishaps; doing so will simply make him feel worse. Medication and more regular outside excursions can both be beneficial. As your dog gets closer to the end of his life, incontinence frequently gets worse.

Decreased Mobility

Reduced mobility is a typical aging sign that will only get worse over time. This could be as a result of discomfort brought on by arthritis or other old injuries, a loss of muscle mass that reduces strength, or confusion brought on by deteriorating vision. Changes in mobility frequently begin quietly, with the dog trotting after a ball rather than running, and then steadily worsen to the point where the dog can no longer jump onto furniture or into a car, struggle with stairs, or have difficulty getting up after a nap.

Making ensuring the food and water bowls are simple to reach and using a sling or harness to help your dog enter and exit the house are both helpful ways to assist your dog. He could require assistance standing up. Eventually, he might not be able to stand still at all and might have trouble walking.


Canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) and human dementia share many similarities. Early indications of CCD include fussiness, irritability, and nighttime pacing. As time goes on, your dog could act as though they are strangers or that they are becoming lost around the house and yard. When rousing a sleeping dog with CCD, exercise extra caution since they may nip or snap if they get confused about their surroundings or what is happening.

Behavior Changes

When a dog is dying, they may exhibit a range of behavioral changes. From dog to dog, the specific alterations will differ, but the important thing is that they are changes.

Some dogs will become agitated and start to pace around the house, appearing unable to settle or find comfort. Others will be unusually quiet and possibly even silent. The sleeping habits of your dog may alter. He can become irritable and challenging to manage as a result of discomfort or confusion.

Some dogs become overly dependent on their owners’ comfort and company, while others become more lonely and seek out peaceful places to be by themselves. Some dogs seem to be able to sense when they are going to pass away and will wander off to a quiet spot in the house or yard to spend their last moments.

Dehydration and Not Drinking

Water is crucial for the health of your dog. He can become less interested in his water bowl as he aged or gets worse. To improve his intake of moisture, try adding water to his meal or feeding him a canned diet.

In some circumstances, it may be permissible to administer water using an oral syringe or squirt bottle (always use a fresh container that has never contained cleaning agents), but proceed with caution. Only squirt a small amount of water into your dog’s mouth at a time while aiming his muzzle downward. Too much water forced into his mouth runs the risk of entering his lungs and trachea, leading to aspiration pneumonia and choking. The moment your dog feels water on his tongue, he ought immediately begin to automatically swallow. Sucking reflex loss is a very serious indicator.

Poor Response to Treatments

Your dog may stop responding to treatments and medications that used to keep him happy and healthy as his body ages. A dog with diabetes may need apparently unending insulin dose adjustments, while a dog with arthritis may need more painkillers. Even with medication and appetite stimulants to keep him eating, a dog with cancer may continue to lose weight and worsen.

Dull Eyes

The eyes of dogs towards the end of their lives frequently change. Your dog’s eyes could appear dull or glassy to you. When combined with other symptoms, changes in the appearance of the eye(s) can signal the end of life, albeit these changes are frequently just a sign of an eye disease on their own.

Poor Temperature Regulation

Aging and sickly dogs frequently struggle to control their body temperature, easily becoming overheated or chilly. Provide your dog with a shaded, well-ventilated spot to rest if you live in a warm region. Make sure your dog has access to a warm, snug bed in colder climates, as well as a pleasant warm space to lie in the sun or next to a radiator.

Lack of Appetite and Not Eating

Older and sicker dogs frequently struggle to control their body temperature and can quickly get too hot or too cold. If you live in a warm climate, give your dog access to a shaded, airy space to rest. Make sure your dog has access to a warm, cuddly bed to cuddle up in, a pleasant warm spot in the sun or near a radiator to snooze in for colder climates.

Lack of Interest and Depression

Dogs frequently lose interest in their favorite things near the end of their life, including walks, toys, food, and even their devoted owners. When you pay closer attention, you’ll see that your dog no longer does things like meet you at the entrance or wag his tail when you tease him with a favorite toy. At first, it could just seem like your dog is sleeping more.

Dogs with mobility issues could get depressed because they can’t do the things they once enjoyed, which can cause frustration.

Abnormal Breathing

The muscles and nerves in your dog’s body that control breathing are not immune to the body’s progressive decomposition. Your dog may begin to exhibit aberrant breathing patterns, with ups and downs in his respiratory rate even while he is at rest. Periodically, he may stop breathing, then start again.

Open-mouth breathing, straightening out his head and neck while keeping the rest of his body steady, or moving his abdomen in and out while breathing are all indications of trouble breathing. It is urgent that this situation be handled right away.


Towards the end of their life, some dogs may start having seizures. This may be brought on by metabolic disturbances brought on by illnesses like kidney failure or by issues with the brain itself. These seizures may or may not respond to treatment, depending on the underlying reason and their severity. Emergency situations include seizures that last longer than 10 minutes or that happen in a series of clusters.

Why does my dog have a rotten smell?

Similar to humans, the accumulation of plaque and tartar on dogs’ teeth is the main source of bad breath in both species. Gum disease and other dental issues are very common in certain small breeds of dogs. Another issue unique to some breeds is gingival hyperplasia, which is an overgrowth of the gums that can trap food particles and give off a foul smell.

The first step in resolving this issue is to regularly brush your dog’s teeth at home, but ultimately your pet may require professional veterinary dental cleaning. You can be compensated for a portion of the expense of getting your teeth cleaned if you have the DefenderPlus policy provided by AKC Pet Insurance (underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company).

What are the warning signals of an elderly dog dying?

If you see any of the following indications that your dog’s time may be drawing to a close, be sure to let them know: discomfort and pain. decrease in appetite. Loss of weight.

  • discomfort and pain.
  • decrease in appetite.
  • Loss of weight.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Incontinence.
  • bodily odor
  • bleak eyes