Why Does My Dog Smell Like Fish?

Why does my dog smell like fish? The answer to that question may surprise you

dog smells like fishHave you noticed that your furry friend has developed an odor recently? Does the odor smell strongly of fish? Unless your dog has the opportunity to rub herself all over the floor of a fish market, there’s a good chance that the abnormal smell doesn’t come from a fish at all.

Usually, when your dog goes to the bathroom, she’ll express a small amount of fluid from her anal glands (also known as anal sac) along with the feces. However at times, the anal glands do not empty enough or even at all. This could be the result of your dog having frequent soft stools or diarrhea.

If your dog does not secrete anal gland fluid when defecating, they may begin to get an odor which has a fish-smell to it. When full, the glands may even leak at inconvenient times. This is when the smell will be the strongest. Usually, a hard stool will help your dog naturally express her glands without any outside stimulation. However, if the glands do not get expressed, they might become impacted and painful.

Do you ever notice that your dog scoots her rear on the floor? Or does she nip at her behind in an attempt to clean or scratch her rear? These are signs that your dog’s anal glands are impacted. If your dog has impacted anal glands, you may want to consider bringing her to the veterinarian’s office or even your dog groomer to have a professional express the glands. Both vets and groomers are very familiar with this process, making it go smoothly, quickly, and comfortably for the dog.

Another option is for the dog owner to help excrete the anal sacs at home. If you choose to go this route, invest in gloves, and be sure to complete the process in a calm, confident, and quick manner so that it is less uncomfortable for your dog. To express your dog’s anal glands at home, locate the anal glands, and massage the area in an upward pattern until fluid is released. Make sure to have a wash cloth to clean up your dog and give her a nice treat for behaving!

If your dog’s anal sac becomes impacted, there is also a chance that infection could lead to further complications for your dog. If you notice any blood when your dog scoots or uses the bathroom, contact your veterinarian immediately, as this may be a sign of infection or an even more serious issue. Feeding your dog a diet rich with fiber, but without fillers will help produce firmer stools. The firmer the stools your dog produces, the more likely her anal sac will be to express on its own.

Have you ever thought your dog smelled like fish? Let us know in the comments section.


Side note: Do you run a business in the pet industry? Would you like to drive more traffic and sales to your site through a search-optimized pet blog? Get in touch with my office-mates at Lantern Content Marketing!

About Auntie Erin

43 comments on “Why Does My Dog Smell Like Fish?

  1. As I play host to older German Shepherds who frequently transiion to new homes I found your article and your insights to be highly useful and greatly appreciated.

  2. Tonight, my large male 8 month old was startled from a sound sleep and was spooked, jumped up and discharged a really horrible fishy smelling slime onto the tile floor. It was overwhelmingly bad. Is this the anal gland discharge you refer to?
    How do I get more fiber in his diet?

    1. It’s likely your dog doesn’t need more fiber if it was just one time. Usually dogs if panicked or frightened enough secrete anal gland fluid as a defense or anxiety when startled. My dog experiences the same when being held down for a procedure at the vet. 🙂 hope that helps

  3. This is really helpful but I noticed a change in behavior in my dog like she has become a bit more aggressive does this have anything to do with it.

  4. My dogs only smell fishy when they have had any food or treats that have omega oil, which nearly all Pedigree treats do, is they anything I can do other than not letting them have them

  5. Yes my dog just let off the fishy owder it is really bad its so strong I cant stand it has our whole room smelling up

  6. Yes my dog has had this smell every now and then. I thought it was food related i found when i gave him oinkers or liver it happens

  7. My dog only has this fishy odor when coming in from outside vet emptied her glands but said they weren’t bad at all thought good the odor will stop! But it didn’t

  8. Hi my 10 year old girls glands leak on a weekly basis and when she is laid down. The smell is awfully fishy! Her stools are hard due to the dry food she eats so does this mean she has a problem with them? Her bum has leaked a few times now when she’s laid next to me so its got on my clothes or its usually the bed or sofa.

    Do you think this is normal for her age etc or shall I get her checked out?

    Thank you

  9. My dog has hard stools. She is like this all the time with only maybe 2-3 weeks during the month. The smell can last for a week sometimes more. I have never seen anything swollen. She doesn’t scoot across the floor. It runs us out of the room. Our other female has never had this smell. She was fixed as a small puppy. The one that smells like 5 day old tuna that is baking on the side of a Texas highway, had 3 heats back to back & was extremely nervous before we could fix her. I’m thinking this has a huge part of this. Our other 4 dogs have never had this ever & she is he only one.

  10. My dog has fishy breath. I only smell it when he licks one of us or he is licking at the air, lol. I thought it could’ve been his oral hygiene, but I brush his teeth and buy expensive dental treats. It has gotten worse and now he’s not really eating.

  11. Our dog has a red lump on her bottom and smells fishy, the lump has gone down now looking a bit better but it’s very smelly and bless her she’s an old King Charles and we’re cleaning it with salty water but the smells so strong, just wondering what it cauld be.

  12. For awhile now my dog has been smelling like fish and I did not know what it was and today her stomach started making some weird noises and I’m not sure if it’s because she got into something outside or what.

  13. I have the same issue as Katie – “My dog only has this fishy odor when coming in from outside vet emptied her glands but said they weren’t bad at all thought good the odor will stop! But it didn’t” but it is not frequent – perhaps once every 6 weeks but lasts for a week. My parents bred German Shepherds, I have had male dogs since the beginning of time: mostly boxers (all rescues). I had never had a pitbull (Staffordshire Terrier technically) until now. He is also a rescue and a neutered male. Of all my 30+ years with dogs, I have NEVER smelled this. I was wondering if it is a “breed thing”.

    It is sooooo bad, I have to kick him out of my office. Every time I take him to the vet, they always say his glands are NOT full and are totally fine. I thought it was his teeth rotting or something but we brush his teeth, buy good oral treats, etc. Not sure what it is but I have never appreciated Febreeze so much in my life!!

    Weird.

    1. I have a male neutered staffordshire terrier as well and he smells fishy from time to time, hence why I found this blog lol his dental health is good but the only change he’s had recently would be his food! As soon as this 65lb bag is gone I’m going to switch back to his other food

  14. Just experience this with my 3 year old girl, she was just lying on me and when i moved her i had the nasty smelling slime all over me (*gag*). She immediately started licking her bum. Does it go away by itself? 😬 I have a load of washing to do

  15. ACTUALLY WHEN I THINK ABOUT THIS ISSUE , AND IT SAYS ALL OVER THE INTERNET THAT ALL DOGS DO IT , YES THEY PROBABLY DO AND I THINK THE REASON IS DOG FOOD HAS CHANGED , 40 YEARS AGO THE DOG I HAD THEN NEVER EVER DID THIS ……….. BUT 40 YEARS AGO WE DIDN’T HAVE ALL THIS CANCER AND LUKEMIA, AND ALZHEIMERS ETC ETC……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….SAYS A LOT ABOUT WHAT WE EAT NOW EH!

  16. My dog has this smell regularly. The vet has expressed her anal glands a couple of times but there was not much material. What can I use to get more fiber in her diet? I am hoping that will help.

  17. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  18. A person essentially lend a hand to make severely posts I would state. That is the first time I frequented your website page and up to now? I amazed with the research you made to create this particular post extraordinary. Wonderful job!

  19. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Cheers!

  20. Thanks for your intriguing article. One other problem is that mesothelioma cancer is generally caused by the inhalation of fibres from mesothelioma, which is a cancer causing material. Its commonly witnessed among staff in the structure industry who may have long experience of asbestos. It can also be caused by residing in asbestos covered buildings for years of time, Your age plays a crucial role, and some consumers are more vulnerable on the risk as compared with others.

  21. Interesting article. It is quite unfortunate that over the last several years, the travel industry has had to take on terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, flu virus, swine flu, and the first ever real global economic downturn. Through all of it the industry has really proven to be powerful, resilient in addition to dynamic, discovering new ways to deal with hardship. There are constantly fresh issues and the opportunity to which the field must yet again adapt and act in response.

  22. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really know what you are speaking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my web site =). We could have a hyperlink trade agreement among us!

  23. Thanks for discussing your ideas. I’d also like to state that video games have been ever evolving. Technology advances and innovative developments have aided create sensible and active games. These kinds of entertainment games were not really sensible when the actual concept was first being tried. Just like other areas of technology, video games as well have had to progress by means of many many years. This itself is testimony towards fast progression of video games.

  24. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this blog. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What a perfect web site.

  25. Amazing! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Great choice of colors!

  26. I抦 no longer positive the place you’re getting your info, however great topic. I needs to spend some time studying much more or working out more. Thank you for fantastic info I was on the lookout for this info for my mission.

  27. Download GPlus software – Auto Marketing for Youtube

    You are selling online, and do not have an effective product marketing solution. FPlus is the number 1 choice in Youtube marketing.
    Free Download Here:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vrl4EGBRKpJ2rAOEfMyIIWyfGephEjvp
    https://www.mediafire.com/file/o89ib5at4ydt6xn/GPlus.zip
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/bnvybd6v3iye9nr/GPlus.zip

    The main functions of the software

    Create a youtube channel – Create Channel – GPlus
    GPlus helps you create many different channels on youtube of the same gmail account. Thus, you can use it to perform cross-channel interactions on youtube, increase interaction for channels…
    GPlus helps you to search for videos by keyword. You can set the conditions of the videos you want to search (by rating, view …) and choose to search on multiple pages.
    GPlus supports you to scan the playlist of a channel on youtube. You can scan the number of videos in a playlist, the total number of views and the names of these playlists.
    GPlus helps you increase subscribers on youtube channels. You can use sub accounts to increase the subs of the main channels.
    GPlus will help you comment on youtube videos, and help increase likes and subscribers for your youtube channel.
    GPlus helps you subscribe to the channels you want on youtube quickly. This function allows using multiple accounts to subscribe to one or more channels, from there, you can subscribe to your own or someone else’s chanel.
    This function will help you get the Links of the Contributors of the videos on your youtube channel using GPlus software. This link allows anyone to edit your playlist without your permission, as long as there is a collaborator link, other people can edit this playlist.
    You can set up and reset your playlist: security, sort or change playlist name only with GPlus software.
    Helps you to search videos by keyword. You can find the address ID, title, view… At the same time, you can also download the background image of any video to your computer and GPlus.
    GPlus helps you check the playlist information of any channel: ID, title, number of videos…
    GPlus helps you scan and remove corrupted videos from your playlist or add, mix new videos into your playlist.
    GPlus helps you to create a series of playlists on your youtube channel. Playlist is created from the videos you find by keyword on youtube and your videos are added in the video link list.
    Scan and check proxy quickly, support scanning proxy with 1000 threads at the same time.
    Automatically find youtube video links and automatically bulk comment on found videos.

    Thx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.