How Can My German Shepherd Smell Better?

A major consideration for many people considering the adoption of a dog, and especially a large breed is if they smell and how badly.

As a large breed that will most likely spend a good amount of time outdoors, the German Shepherd inspires such a discussion.

How Can My German Shepherd Smell Better

Are German Shepherds Smelly? 

If you’ve recently adopted a German Shepherd puppy or are thinking of adopting one, this may be one of several issues that come to mind.

German Shepherds are not known to be overly smelly canines, but they will smell like any dog breed.

Every breed and individual dog will have its own natural odor, so a bit of smell is to be expected.

Because many German Shepherds have longer fur coats and most have two layers of fur with a thicker layer underneath and an outer layer, they do have the potential to become smelly. Much will depend on how well-groomed they are and maintenance.

All Dogs Smell

If one must consider a downside to owning a pet and especially a dog, it is that it will smell to some degree. 

If you own a dog and it lives some portion of the day or evening indoors in your home, there will most likely be a distinctive canine smell.

It may be mild enough that it is not noticed or that it is not overly offensive, or it may be confined to a specific room or space making it more manageable.

Some dogs may be smellier than others and it may be linked to outdoor activities as well as how often they are bathed and groomed.

Why Does My German Shepherd Smell Badly?

A German Shepherd may have an odor due to its dietary habits, a lack of care and grooming, or even from a dirty dog house or an unclean bed.

1. Physical Activity and Wet Fur

Because this breed is physically active and hard-working when employed, they will be on the go most of the day. They enjoy playing, running, rolling on the ground, and even romping in the water.

German Shepherd’s fur is wet it smells

Mud has a particular attraction for most dogs as do dirty puddles of water. They also seem to enjoy being out in the rain, as the outer coats of German Shepherds are relatively water-resistant.

When a German Shepherd’s fur is wet, it smells. Even after wet fur has dried, there will still be some odor. This can be resolved with a nice bath and a quality dog shampoo. Unfortunately, other reasons may cause your German Shepherd to smell.

2. Odor Caused by Poor Diet

Food is an all-important component of your dog’s life as it is necessary for survival. If your German Shepherd is eating poor quality dog food, he or she may produce unpleasant smelly gas as well as suffer from digestive tract issues.

A low-quality product may not offer sufficient nutrients and may even cause discomfort and pain. 

Smelly complications from a poor-quality diet include:

      • Bad breath
      • Diarrhea
      • Flatulence
      • Skin odor

Consider what happens if we eat garlic in our diet. Our breath will smell as will our perspiration. This can happen with dogs as well.

Similar reactions may occur if your dog has a food intolerance. Any food intolerances should exclude those foods completely from your pooch’s diet.

See also: Top 13 Snacks That German Shepherds Like 

3. Food Variety

An excess of variety in your German Shepherd’s diet may also contribute to the production of odors. Some German Shepherds are known to have sensitive stomachs, so digestion can be more delicate. 

If your Pooch has a sensitive stomach, it’s better to limit the variety and settle initially for a good quality kibble to get him or her on a schedule. 

Once your dog is healthy and on a regular feeding schedule, you can introduce new foods and then easily recognize a food type that causes your dog discomfort or smelly symptoms.

Avoid feeding your German Shepherd from the table and any scraps left over from your dinner. It is important to eliminate any trace of condiments, sauces, spices, salt, or even herbs from your dog’s diet.

Herbs and spices are a constant in processed foods, so keep these out of your Shepherd’s diet our your dog many begin emanating smells from skin pores.

4. Lack of Grooming

A German Shepherd, particularly one with long hair, requires good grooming. Most exemplars of this breed have double fur coats, so brushing and grooming become indispensable. A monthly bath is recommended, as well as whenever your dog gets dirty or muddy.

German Shepherd requires good grooming

Regular brushing can do a lot in the way of keeping your Shepherd groomed particularly because this breed will shed. Long-haired Shepherds may suffer from heat in hot summer months and might benefit from a trim.

Dental issues can lead to bad breath causing your dog to smell. Remember that dogs pant instead of sweating, so if your dog has bad breath and is panting, you’ll probably be overwhelmed by the smell.

Dogs should have their teeth brushed several times weekly if not every day. Bacteria is always present in the mouth but if left untreated, it can cause dental decay that then leads to periodontal gum disease. With dental issues, your dog will have incredibly bad breath.

Dogs also require the occasional ear cleaning. Bacteria can form in the ears and eventually lead to bad-smelling infections. If your German shepherd ears smell, you’ll know you have a cleanliness or health issue.

If you are worried about attempting to clean your dog’s ears, ask your vet to do so at your next appointment or contact a professional groomer.

5. A Dirty Doghouse or Dog Bed

Your German Shepherd’s bed or bedding will need to be washed and cleaned at regular intervals, just as you change the sheets on your bed.

Residues, dirt, and bacteria on your dog’s fur will transfer to its bedding whether a mattress, pillow, blanket, or other. These residues will remain on bedding gradually building up and consequentially smelling.

German Shepherd DogHouse

These smells will transfer back onto your dog even after a bath if the bedding is not clean. It becomes a vicious cycle with washing everything to key to breaking it.

Also, never place any type of damp bedding, a wet blanket, or humid cushion back into your dog’s bed. All materials used should be completely dry after washing before being returned to the dog bed.

If your dog sleeps in a doghouse, it should be regularly dismantled, cleaned, and disinfected before allowing the pooch back in.

How Can I Keep My German Shepherd Smelling Better?

Take it as a given that a little smell is normal and to be expected. This said dog smells can be reduced and managed.

One thing to keep in mind is that if a smell is strong and does not diminish or go away despite baths, and precautions, it may be indicative of an underlying health issue. If you find this to be true, contact your veterinarian as it may be a symptom of something else.

If pungent smells are recent, take stock of what has changed in your dog’s life. Have you introduced a new food or changed something radically?

If so try to eliminate these factors and see if the smell diminishes or disappears. If not, a consultation with your vet is in order.

When attempting to keep your German Shepherd smelling better, follow these tips:

1.) Feed your German Shepherd appropriate high-quality food.

2.) Groom your dog with daily brushing and monthly bathing with products formulated for dogs.

3.) Brush your German Shepherd’s teeth several times weekly, also give your shepherd chew toys, dental sticks, and natural chews to clean teeth and freshen dog breath.

4.) Use a pet scent if even a little odor bothers you. These products are designed for pets and are safe.

A Final Thought

All dogs, including beloved German Shepherds, have some odor. A slight natural odor will be less of a problem than a wet dog or a dirty dog smell.

If you have taken all precautions and your dog still emanates a strong pungent smell, do not underestimate this and set up a consultation with your veterinarian.

Susan R Elliston

I have over 11 years of experience as a vet working with a wonderful variety of species of innocent and lovely animals. Whilst I still work two days a week for a local practice, I realized that I could help more people by sharing my knowledge and experience with my readers.

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