We own two Scottish terriers: a 3-year-old spayed female and 2-year-old un-neutered male. They both eat Harmony Farms dry dog food. We have noticed that the male develops a bad odor after only a few days from his bath. He is groomed and shaved regularly. Is there some reason why our male would have such a foul odor? The female doesn't have this problem. We have tried different shampoos. The groomer suggested Harmony Farms because it is all-natural. Unfortunately, the dog-food switch has made no difference. Any suggestions?
V.M., Herndon, Va Dec 20, 2010
Dogs differ individually in their metabolism and body chemistry, owing in part to differences in gender and genetics. I presume the odor is from your dog's skin, which produces various oils and pheromones. Because you are feeding a dry food, his coat may be lacking in beneficial oils, especially polyunsaturated fats. Giving your dog a teaspoon each of flaxseed oil and coconut oil in his food daily should help improve his coat and skin in a few weeks. A weekly dry bath outdoors with baby powder or cornstarch rubbed into his coat and then brushed out after a long walk will help remove odoriferous, oily compounds from his coat that his skin is secreting. A periodic (every two weeks) bath with human Selsun Blue (medicated) shampoo may also do wonders. Healthy dogs rarely need to be bathed unless they have especially oily skin or get into dirty pond or polluted lake water. Frequent bathing every few days, unless advised by a veterinarian for certain skin conditions, can actually aggravate skin problems by removing natural, protective oils and disrupting the healthy bacterial population on the skin, leading to such complications as fungal infections and staphylococcus and other bacterial invasions.
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