Why Does My Dog Smell Like Fish?

Why does my dog smell like fish? Is it dog anal gland smell? Perhaps, these questions upset you like many others.

Even I have suffered the same issue with My Dear Dog. Oh! Yea, my dog, eats fish also. So, at first, I thought it was probably because of it.

However, I did not give her fish for a couple of days to confirm my doubt. But I was wrong. It was not for eating fish in my case. 

In the meantime, I was trying to figure out why does my female dog smell like fish. So I was reading many articles from different sources, pet forums, etc. 

As a result, I have learned some helpful information that might help you. Also, I am glad to share these experiences with all of you. 
Read More: How Long Can a Dog Go Without Eating?

What Causes Fishy Smell in Dogs?

Generally, dogs smell like fish because they eat fish, lick themselves, or get sprayed with the smell while walking through a puddle. 

Dogs may also smell like fish if they are allergic to fish oil or are vitamin B-12 deficient. The good news is that there are ways to handle the problem.

However, it would help if you started by always brushing your dog’s teeth after every meal and getting their ears cleaned regularly to avoid any buildup of oils.

Many dog owners have noticed a fishy smell in their dog’s mouths. But also, many of them don’t know this specific type of odor can indicate potential health problems. 

Unfortunately, some people may not notice the problem because the fur around a dog’s mouth often masks the scent. But other dogs may get too close and get an intense nose full of it. 

If you find yourself smelling something unpleasant while petting or playing with your dog, then it might be time for an appointment at the vet. 

Generally, a regular visit to the vet will confirm whether or not your dear dog has severe diseases.
Read More: What is a Droopy Dog, and why is it called so?

Reasons Why Does My Dog Smell Like Fish

There are many reasons why your dog may smell like fish. It could be that they love to fish, or you eat it around them to make them happy.

Sometimes the smell is not good-meaning. For example, it only smells like fish when wet after bathing. 

It may be because of polluted water or if their coat has gotten wet and the smell is transferring to their fur. 

However, below are the top 7 reasons why dogs smell like fish. Let’s begin.

1. Dog Anal Sac Disease Might be the Main Reason Why Does Your Dog Smell Like Fish

Dog anal sac disease, or anal sacs, is located on either side of the colon at the end of the rectum. It is a healthy part of a healthy digestive system. 

Usually, these sacs produce an oily liquid that lubricates and protects the dog’s skin. Therefore, it provides nutrients for the skin. 

The anal glands in dogs also contain bacteria. But this does not pose any health risk unless infected. 

If you notice your dog has developed lesions or sores around the anus, it may be the reason for anal sac disease.

MORE: How to Find the Best Dog Groomer near you?

2. If they have Kleptomania disease

Hormonal changes in older dogs can cause odors in their stools and urine when they Reach Certain Levels. This is called Kleptomania (Licking).

Aged dogs can develop an amylase chemical, making stools more firm than usual. The level at which this occurs varies with each dog and age. 

At times these levels rise while others fall. However, nearly all older dogs will have some amylase present. 

Perhaps, you notice your dog seems unusually interested in licking his stool for several hours. In that case, they may be experiencing kleptomania. 

Similarly, if the urine becomes very watery or foamy, it could be kleptomania. It will help if you do not let your dog lick his body. Doing so is unsanitary and unhealthy for him.

3. Impactions 

It’s not uncommon for dogs to have an occasional bout of diarrhea. Generally, it may be due to over-eating, consuming something they are allergic to, or even stress. 

However, when your dog’s stools are diarrhea-soiled and have a strong odor, it could be a sign of impaction.

4. Infections and Abscesses in Dog’s Body

Credit: Nattakit Khunburan

Infections and abscesses can occur in several different areas of your dog’s body. The most common forms appear on the paws, tail, ears

For example, a tail abscess is a pocket of pus between the skin and muscle tissue underneath the tail. Probably, the infection results from biting insects such as ticks and mosquitoes.

5. Anal Sac Tumors 

Anal sac tumors are often seen in dogs and can be a difficult medical issue to address due to the tumor’s location. 

Dogs with anal sac tumors usually experience excessive flatulence, emitting a strong fishy smell. Therefore, it may suffer from blood in the feces. 

However, it is essential to consult your veterinarian if you notice these symptoms or if you suspect your dog might be suffering from an anal sac tumor.

6. Yeast Overgrowth 

Yeasts are a type of fungus that can cause your pet’s gastrointestinal system problems. Yeast overgrowth is a widespread problem in dogs. 

Yeast overgrowth is another reason why does my dog smell like fish. The dog may have symptoms like smelly ears/nose, a fishy-smelling coat, etc.

Also, you can notice a drop in weight even though their appetite is still good. If so, you should take your dog to a veterinary center for a check-up.

Generally, the treatment for this condition is very simple. First, your vet will prescribe a Nystatin medication. 

It will break down the cell membranes inside the body to function correctly. This helps to clear up any fungal infections quickly.

7. Bad Breath 

Dogs can often have a bad odor which sometimes smells like rotting fish. Perhaps, your dog has an unpleasant odor.

In that case, you should first examine his teeth and gum tissues for any dental disease. 

If you find any plaque or tartar on the teeth, clean them with a veterinarian-recommended toothpaste and brush twice daily. 

You may also want to try adding canned pumpkin to his diet as it has enzymes that help remove odors from his mouth.

Dog Breath Smells Like Fish: Should We Care About It?

There are many reasons why a dog’s breath may smell like fish. Some of the most common causes include eating fish, having a tooth infection, or having a liver problem. 

If your dog has recently eaten fish, their breath will likely smell like it. 

Another reason is if your dog has a tooth infection, their breath will likely smell like pus or rotting meat. This is because an infection can cause bacteria to grow in the mouth. 

Therefore, it will release a foul odor. The canine breath may smell sweet or ammonia-like if your dog has a liver problem. 

This is because the liver helps break down toxins in the body. It can release through the breath.

Why Does Your Female Dog Smell Like Fish?

There are many reasons your female dog may smell like fish, some more serious than others. One reason could be a hormonal imbalance. 

Therefore, it is often the result of an infection or tumor. Perhaps, your dog was spayed. In that case, she may start to smell like fish due to changes in her hormone levels. 

Another common reason for a fishy smell is an infection in the urinary tract. There can be various things, such as: 

  • crystals in the urine
  • bacteria
  • stone

Suppose your dog is constantly licking her privates. She may have a yeast infection that’s causing the fishy odor. 

Finally, diet can also play a role in how your dog smells. For example, a diet high in fatty acids can increase fishy-smelling from the anal glands.

Why Dogs Butt Smells Like Fish?

Are you concerned that your dog’s butt smells like fish? You’re not alone. Many people think the same thing. 

But why does this happen?

The answer is simple: Dogs produce a smelly oil in their anal glands that smells like fish

Canines use this oil to mark their territory and identify other dogs.

Interestingly, not all dogs produce this oil. It seems more common in breeds with an intense “doggy” smell, such as labs and retrievers.

So if your dog’s butt smells like fish, don’t worry – it’s just a natural part of their anatomy!

Why Does A Dog Urine Smell Like Fish?

A dog’s urine might smell like fish for a few different reasons. Sometimes, it could be due to something the dog consumes. 

It may be a high-protein diet or seafood. It could also be because of a medical condition, such as liver disease or diabetes. 

Finally, some dogs simply have a naturally fishy odor in their urine. So, perhaps, your dog’s pee smells like fish. 

In that case, taking him to the veterinarian for a check-up for any health problems is crucial.

Natural Remedy For Dog Smells Like Fish: Video

Credit: Veterinary Secrets


It is always a surprise when your dog smells like fish. You might think that the odor comes from the raw meat in your fridge. 

Unfortunately, you get the same smell even cleaning the fridge. Generally, dog smells can be tough to take care of. But there are some easy solutions to this problem.

Have you ever been walking your dog and suddenly been hit by an overwhelming stench of fish? If so, you’re not alone in who suffered this issue. 

The truth is a lot of dogs who love eating fish smell like it. Generally, this is because fish contains a natural odor emitted from the dog’s skin.

However, this is all about why does my dog smell like fish. So, if this information about our dear dog helps you, don’t forget to share it with your friends.