Why Do Dogs Smell After Being Or Going Outside?

Why Do Dogs Smell After Being Or Going Outside?

As dog parents, we love spending quality time with our dogs and taking them outside whenever possible. It may include going on a short walk or jogging, going to the dog park, or going down to the lake where you usually play fetch with your pup.

But once you return home, you will notice a strong stink coming out of somewhere. When investigated, you will identify the reason to be your dog. The dog that was once clean and smelled pleasant may have transformed into a mess that stinks after being outside. 

So, why do dogs smell after being outside? The reasons are simple. He may have come in contact with something with an ugly smell. It could be a dirty trail; he stepped on another animal’s poop, raided through a garbage bag, or even tried to play with a dead animal rotting outside.

Either way, we all know how our dogs like exploring things with funky smells, don’t we all? So it is fair to establish a connection with your dog and another stinking thing, and you will find what makes your whole house smelly. 

Why Do Dogs Smell After Being or Going Outside?

You may go out and come home to wonder why dogs smell after being outside. And here is your answer. 

Naturally, our dogs are big investigators, and the moment they get a whiff of something stinky, they will start exploring it inside out.

That is why we should always keep an eye on what our puppies are doing whenever we are out in the open. Since the moment you let him go from the leash, there is a big chance he will run into something smelly and will rub it all over his body. 

Dogs love to smell other dogs’ feces. It is not a disorder in dogs but the smell excreted by these waste products tells a lot to our pet about the dog’s owner.

It will let our puppy know which dog relieved themselves here, their age, gender, mating possibility, health conditions, and many more.

So, there is an off chance our pet will accidentally step on it while whiffing it out. And what do you think will happen if he has long hair or accidentally rubs some of it on his fur?

Next, as we are well aware, our pups love to check out everyone around them and get to know them better. So whenever your dog is outside and sees something interesting like dirt, he will try to get near them and whiff the dirt out.

And how high do you think are the chances that this stinky animal will drop a fart bomb on your pet, making your pet reconsider his actions? And just like that, your dog will be no less disgusting than garbage. 

Also, the pet would stink the same if he found a trail of a dirt and decided to explore the trail as well.  

And being natural scavengers, you shouldn’t be surprised if you find that your pet is stinking so bad because he was raiding garbage bags left on the side of the road by somebody. The same will happen when the pet finds another animal’s dead and rotten body. 

But there is something that you should pay more attention to. Was it raining, drizzling, or had a high humidity in the air when you were going outside with your pet? If so, that, too, can make your pet smell funny.

And before you start wondering why dogs smell after being outside, you must carefully try to remember whether your pet got even a bit wet before you return home.

But what does getting a bit wet have to do with why do dogs smell after going outside? 

Dog’s fur consists of thousands of microbes nesting on his fur and hair follicles. Even though most of the time, these microbes are healthy and don’t harm your dog, they can create excretions on top of the dog’s fur, emitting a largely stinking odor when a dog is drying after being wet. 

The smell will be activated as soon as the dog’s skin comes in contact with something wet and will spread around when the water evaporates, creating a nasty stench from the dog’s body.

It has come to the attention of many dog parents throughout the history of parenting puppies as man’s best friends. 

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Stinking After Going Or Being Outside?

Honestly, no perfect dog doesn’t have a distinct odor in its body. But due to things our pet does, this smell may increase or change into something more strong. 

So another thing you must be concerned about when trying to find out why dogs smell after being outside is how to stop a dog from stinking.

The best thing you can do if the dog has rubbed something stinky on themselves is to wash them again with a quality dog shampoo.

You may have to rub the dog thoroughly off this smell with the shampoo and then dry him quickly with a few towels or a hair dryer to stop him from getting that wet dog smell in their fur. 

But there are times when washing a dog is not an option. Maybe you have already washed the dog that week, or maybe it is too cold for you to bathe him. 

Instead, you may opt for something that doesn’t include water. 

  • patting your pet’s fur down with some cornstarch
  • brushing his hair thoroughly
  • and removing any loosened hair
  • gently wiping the dog’s fur and feet with a wet towel 

These are also other alternatives for bathing your dog. You may even use a little shampoo in the water you are using to wet the towel and thoroughly wipe the hair and feet of the dog will help you get rid of any stench stuck on your dog’s skin. 

And with that, we hope you got a thorough answer for why dogs smell after being outside.

Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts. Cheers!!


  • Dominic Parker

    Dominic P. is a dog behavioral researcher who graduated from the University of Surrey and holds BVMsi (Hons) in Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has been around dogs since childhood and has unconditional love for dogs. It makes him become a researcher instead of practicing as a veterinarian. Dominic enjoys his work and likes to share his findings with dog parents to give them a better understanding of dogs’ behaviors.

    [email protected]

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