Why Does My Labrador Smell So Bad: Sniffing Out the Facts!

If you’re looking for a dog in the United States, chances are you’ll encounter one of the many Labradors. Popular opinion holds that they are nice furry companions who can be relied upon to look out for children. But, many are asking why does my Labrador smell so bad. It’s very off-putting and could even make you hate your cuddly pet. 

The good news is that unpleasant odors are no longer a problem because they can be easily remedied. It’s not just your dog that stinks; many others do, too. We know how annoying it may be to deal with a dog’s odor, especially if you have a sensitive nose and dislike the odor of puppies. It’s crucial to note, however, that a robust dog odor is not the same as a typical Lab odor.

Do Labrador Retrievers Have a Bad Smell?

Before we dig into why does my Labrador smell so bad, it’s true that every Labrador will have some degree of scent, the breed is not typically associated with a strong odor. But Labrador Retrievers are vulnerable to odiferous sinus infections and skin allergies. A common example is an unpleasant odor associated with an ear infection. Your Lab probably doesn’t have a bad smell because it’s a dog, but in the wrong situations, it can get stinky.

Why Does My Labrador Smell So Bad? The Sources of Labrador Smells

Each animal’s scent is unique. Some of these occur naturally, while others are triggered by external forces. Some of these smells can be treated if you know what causes them. These treatments can make the smells less strong or get rid of them completely. Outside of the dog’s natural odor, there are many potential causes for an unpleasant odor

You should investigate if your dog has an unpleasant odor. Unfortunately, elimination is the only option. Your dog’s unexpected smell could be due to a number of factors. Several common causes of canine odors are listed below. One or more of the following are likely to be contributing factors to the unpleasant odor in your Lab:

➡️Their Double Coat

Dogs, particularly Retrievers, can be far too entertaining at times. After a hard workout outside, your Lab may have a strange smell. Don’t be alarmed. To have fun, they might have discovered something fascinating yet odiferous and gotten down on the grass. They won’t be able to quickly get rid of the odor because of the make-up of their coat. Once they step through the door, you’ll be able to smell whatever is wrong.

The beautiful double coat that Labs are known for is also very effective at keeping moisture and dirt away from their skin. It assists them in maintaining a comfortable internal temperature all year. However, the Labrador Retriever’s double coat may also contribute to its pungent odor.

So, why does my Labrador smell so bad? It is because of their thick, double coats. Labrador Retrievers often have to deal with the accumulation of muck and grime. As a result, their skin and fur will require routine brushing and occasional baths.

➡️ They Love Water and Dirt

It’s common for Labrador Retrievers to like mucking around in both the mud and the water. In fact, your Lab is likely to start playing in whatever they can find, including dirt, mud, and puddles. Even though water can’t get through the double coat of a Labrador Retriever, dirt and moisture will build up there.

Your Labrador Retriever can take in organic substances from water because he has a double coat. Depending on the water’s composition, the coat can soak up anything from dirt and plant matter to fish and animal feces, algae, germs, and more. Therefore, if dirt and moisture are allowed to accumulate for more than a few days, your Lab is likely to develop a really unpleasant odor.

Whether your Lab got wet while playing in the rain, bathing in the pond or sea, or taking a bath, he will have a distinct odor. Labs often retain an odor even after a bath, so this is not unusual. While their fur is still wet, the smell of their natural scent is amplified, making them seem stronger.

➡️ Skin Allergies and Infections

Allergies and infections of the skin are common in Labrador Retrievers. Without help from a vet, your Lab may have serious problems with the smell because of allergies and infections. Wheat, chicken, pig, soy, sheep, cattle, eggs, and dairy are typical allergens that manifest in a child’s skin. There are many things that can lead to skin infections, such as skin allergies and underlying conditions like hormone problems. In addition, your dog’s skin is vulnerable to infection from some microorganisms.

➡️ Ear Infections

Sickness is sometimes the simple cause of a foul odor coming from your Lab. A diseased Labrador is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Since their ear flaps are so large, they are prone to ear infections, which result in a distinct “corn chip” odor. The floppy ears that are characteristic of the Labrador breed make them susceptible to ear infections, just as they are in humans. Therefore, your dog’s ears are a breeding ground for microorganisms.

Many Labradors, for instance, frequently develop ear yeast infections. When it comes to the health of your Lab, it’s advisable to consult a vet for advice. Your vet will give you a cleaning fluid or another treatment to get rid of the infection in your dog’s ear.

➡️ Bad Diet

Even if you feed your Labrador Retriever well, if you feed it the wrong things, it might smell bad. Bad breath and excessive flatulence are two symptoms of a poor diet.


The same can be said about dogs. Even the most well-behaved dogs, like your Lab, have their farting moments. When the gas appears out of nowhere, it will have a distinct odor. Each person perceives the frequency of the gas differently.

Lab gas levels that seem to be rising above normal are probably trying to tell you something. Vet’s visit is crucial, so plan accordingly. Perhaps there’s a problem with its digestion, or it just doesn’t feel right in the stomach. Bring in the vet and eliminate all other possibilities.

Sign of sickness/ illness

Even for the stinky Lab, these aromas are unusual. If there’s a strong, unusual odor, that could be a red flag. Tartar accumulation and periodontal disease can cause bad breath, so keep an eye out for them. You might be underestimating the significance of your Lab’s bad breathing. It might be a sign of canine diabetes or cancer in pets. If the odor persists or gets worse, immediately go to the vet.

➡️ Pheromones Triggers

Strong odors may also be caused by hormones. This occurs when spayed or neutered dogs still release pheromones at normal levels even though their adrenal glands are involved. They will still contain pheromones even after these processes have reduced the dog’s desire to hump or mate.

Pheromones, which dogs secrete in large quantities, are hormones that stimulate mating behavior. The purpose of these substances is to facilitate canine social interaction. Because of this, the fact that they can be recognized by smell is hardly surprising.

Why Does My Labrador Smell So Bad: Things to Consider

The following are factors to consider when dealing with your Lab’s unpleasant odor.

When it Started Smelling Bad

If the smell wasn’t always there, looking at what was going on around the time it started could help figure out what caused it. When you are finding out why does my Labrador smell so bad, consider things like a medical condition, less frequent bathing, access to unclean areas of the backyard, or increased wetness are more likely to be to blame if the odor suddenly appeared.

When it Tends to Smell Bad

It would also be useful to think about whether there is a typical situation in which the odor is present. if it has a habit of bringing in a foul smell from the backyard, perhaps it has been grazing on the grass.

How Do I Make My Labrador Stop Smelling? Fixing the Smell of the Labrador Retriever

Your dog may have any number of possible olfactory symptoms, but fortunately, they can all be treated. No need to worry about your Lab stinking up the joint while you’re around. If you’re really sensitive to odors, you might want to look into adopting a different breed of the dog instead. These tips will be helpful for people who don’t want to give up their Labs and have nowhere to take another pet in exchange.

✅Regular Brushing

You may do a lot of good by brushing your dog’s coat once a day for about ten to fifteen minutes since this will remove the dead hair, dirt, and other debris that have become lodged in the fur.

✅Occasional Baths

A monthly bath is sufficient for Labradors. If your pet doesn’t need more frequent bathing due to a skin problem, you shouldn’t give it more frequent baths than once per week. Some canines do just fine with occasional bathing (every three to six months). However, that is not possible if your dog is filthy. 

How often should you bath a Labrador Retriever? A monthly bath is a sufficient maintenance for your Lab. You should not use any kind of medicinal shampoo on your dog if not advised. Oatmeal shampoos are widely regarded as the best option for washing a dog. If your dog suffers from dry, itchy skin, an organic oatmeal shampoo may be just the thing to make them feel better.

✅Rinse Your Dog

Even after a full bath, your dog may get dirty from playing in the mud and water. Therefore, it’s okay to give them another quick rinse. A brief shower or spray might help take off any dirt that have accumulated on them. A good shampoo for a Labrador’s odor is a must. While you’re rinsing them off, you use your fingers to shake their fur and massage their skin to remove any remaining grime.

✅Doggy-Safe Perfume or Deodorizing Sprays

Until you can wash your dog again, you can use a deodorizing spray or dog-safe perfume to mask any lingering odors. You can avoid bathing your dog too often by using a deodorizing spray or perfume instead. However, remember that aerosol sprays and scents are not a substitute for washing up frequently. Instead of covering up your dog’s unpleasant odor, you should treat the underlying cause, such as an illness or skin allergy.

✅Cornstarch or Baking Soda

Sprinkle some cornmeal or baking powder on your dog’s coat when it is somewhat damp after rinsing it or giving it a bath. They might not smell as bad until they go back outside to play, thanks to the odor-absorbing properties of a cornstarch and baking soda. You should only use light dusting on their coat. Too much baking soda or cornstarch might cause a lumpy appearance on their skin.

why does my labrador smell so bad

✅Get Them to Stop Rolling in the Dirt

Hopefully, you can train your Labrador to quit rolling in messes. Look for advice on how to keep your Lab active and stimulated.

✅Change Their Diet

As was already said, if you feed your Labrador Retriever food that is bad for their health, they might start to smell bad. So maybe it’s time to think about giving your Labrador a new diet.

✅Prioritize Laundry

Unfortunately, the bedding of some pets goes unnoticed until it becomes intolerable. They don’t get that bringing the dog back into the same filthy environment it was in before defeats the purpose of washing and grooming it. Be sure to disinfect the pet’s bedding on a regular basis.

Insects and mites are less likely to set up housekeeping there as a result. It also helps a great deal in reducing the prevalence of fungal and bacterial infections, which flourish in dirty environments. Cleanliness is also an important defense against skin conditions like scabies.

✅Invest in the Right Diet

Don’t forget that your dog will emit an odor identical to the food it eats. So, spend money on good feed if you don’t want your animals to have any weird or unusual odors. The veterinarian should be consulted for advice on a suitable diet. Which diet is best for your dog depends on the dog and its specific demands. The vet can look at the situation and suggest good solutions, such as diets that won’t cause bad odors.

The dog’s odor can be diminished in different ways. You might increase the amount of raw meat in your dog’s diet and supplement it with a variety of dog-safe fruits and veggies. Certain herbs, such as parsley, can also enhance a dog’s sense of smell. The portion is another thing to remember. Avoid giving the puppy free rein with its mealtimes and instead maintain strict control.

✅Make the Vet Your Friend

why does my labrador smell so bad

Provide high-quality food, brush your dog’s teeth, and take it to the vet as often as you take care of yourself. Do not put off taking the puppy to the vet until you see an issue. Regular trips to the vet can make it less likely that your dog will have health problems in the future.

During these checkups, a veterinarian can diagnose and treat potentially fatal illnesses. Involving an expert early on can prevent certain problems from ever occurring. Frequent visits to the veterinarian can save your dog’s life and lengthen its longevity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is your home tainted by a Labrador’s odor?

Labradors can be “fragrant” due to their high oil production, which is a bummer for their human companions.

Q: How come my dog still smells after being washed?

Take your dog to the vet immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms: persistent odor after a bath, excessive scratching or licking, significant scaling, or rubbing against carpet.

Q: How do groomers give dogs a pleasant aroma?

Professional dog groomers only use dog-friendly products on their clients’ fur and skin, and that includes deodorizing shampoos. The odor-killing ingredients in these shampoos go above and beyond what other shampoos do, which is to simply mask odors for a short time.

In Conclusion

In a limited sense, Labradors do have a distinct odor. Still, you can take steps to make sure that your Lab never stinks and is always clean. To avoid unpleasant odors, remember the advice given above. More or less, an amazing dog such as the Labrador will still stands out despite of the stinky odor that it has.

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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