Do Labs Smell? 8 Reasons Your Lab Stinks!

Do Labradors smell? As one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, Labradors are cherished for their friendly nature and intelligence. However, no one wants a stinky dog in their home. Discover the truth about Labrador odor and learn effective solutions to keep your furry friend smelling fresh.

Do Labs smell 2 Do Labs Smell? 8 Reasons Your Lab Stinks!

Do Labs smell?

It is true that Labs do smell and are categorized as one of the smellier dog breeds. The Labrador retriever has a thick double skin layer that is water repellant. The dog retains a smell that tends to stick and linger longer than other dogs. 

However, with proper care, you can eradicate the smell. You don’t have to be stuck with a smelly dog when there are many solutions to explore. Labs are perfect companions. If you try some remedies, they can be even closer to you. Be open-minded and willing to try these tips.

Stay with us for more tips on how to improve your Lab’s smell. The tips given below will work perfectly. Find out which tip works best for you.

Do Labradors Smell?

Yes, Labs may smell awful when not taken care of properly. They have thick double-layered coats. The coats may get soaked with water and produce a smell. The dog tends to hold on to odors due to the thick coats.

Surprisingly, not everyone is repulsed by their Labrador smell. Some pet owners find it pleasant. One should note that there are different types of Labrador smells, just as there are with people.

No two Labrador retrievers smell the same. You will notice whenever a Lab walks into space. The distinct smell, whether unpleasant or not, is impossible to hide.

You can use some care management practices to remove the smell of Labs, such as grooming.

Guide to Labrador Retriever Competitions and Shows Preparing Your Dog for Success 10 Do Labs Smell? 8 Reasons Your Lab Stinks!

Does Biology Affect the Smell of Labs and Other Dogs?

Biology affects every animal’s odor type/ smell. This natural signature scent should be unique and important to attract mates and identify young ones.

Family members also get to recognize each other based on distinct smells.

Why do Labs Smell? – Specific Reasons for the Scent

Many people may acknowledge that Labs smell, but the big question remains why this is so. People and animals need to tell things apart by their scents. This can be a life-saving trait that every living thing needs to differentiate.

Foul-smelling items can be treated as threats. Animals use such smells as indicators that help them avoid predators, rotten food, related mates, and any other threatening thing. This way, animals can avoid getting into life-threatening situations.

On the other hand, good smells can be treated as a survival advantage. Animals can identify positive relations and good food just by the scents. Consequently, they can choose the right mating partners and enjoy fresh and safe food.

However, it is impossible to pinpoint whether Labs smell bad or good. This depends on different people. Besides that, dog owners tend to get so accustomed to their dog’s scents that it ceases to become a bother to them.

There are days that you will know when your Lab smells. This will indicate your pet needs a bath or grooming in general. The smell could also suggest that something is wrong with the dog and needs veterinary attention.

Causes of Labrador Smells

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Animals have distinct smells. Some of these are natural but external factors cause others. It helps to understand the causes of some of these smells to get suitable remedies and make the scents bearable.

Dogs will always be dogs; anything besides their natural odor could cause them to stink. Once you realize your dog has a distinctly bad smell, you must investigate. Unfortunately, the only way to do this will be through elimination.

Anything can be the cause of your dog’s sudden stench. Below are a few common culprits of dog smells.

They May have Rolled

Dogs, especially retrievers, can be too playful. Don’t be surprised when your Lab suddenly smells strange after an active session outdoors.

It is possible that they found something exciting yet stinky and got down on the grass to have a good time.

The nature of their coat will make it impossible for them to shake off the smell immediately. You will feel the bad scent as soon as they walk through the front door.

Labrador retriever rolling in grass and dirt Do Labs Smell? 8 Reasons Your Lab Stinks!
(I couldn’t bring myself to take Banks out playing in the mud for a photo, so I tried AI art. This guy is pretty cute.)


Whether your Lab was playing outside in the rain, swimming in the pool or ocean, or going bathed, wetness comes with a scent. It is not peculiar for Labs to have a smell after a bath.

The wet skin increases their natural scent to appear firmer until their coat dries.


Dogs are not different from other animals. They have their moments of farting, and your Lab is no exception. There are times when the gas may occur unexpectedly, and you will notice the change in smell.

The gas frequency happens differently for different people. While some dogs gas more than others, you need to be alert. If your Lab gasses are suspiciously more than they should, they are communicating.

You may have to call the vet to have the dog checked. There may be something off with its stomach or a digestive complication. The best way to rule anything out is to have the vet come.

Sickness/ Illness

Some scents are not typical, even for the smelly Lab. If the smell or odor is too intense and unusual, then this could indicate that something is wrong. Watch out for bad breath, as this could indicate tartar buildup and the onset of periodontal disease.

Bad breathing could be more than you assume it to be. It could be an indicator of pet cancer or canine diabetes. If such a scent worsens, the best course of action is to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Pheromones Triggers

Hormones can also contribute to strong scents. This happens in cases where dogs continue to produce more pheromones despite being spayed or neutered. While such processes help minimize the urge to hump or mate, the dog will still have pheromones since this happens in the adrenal glands.

Pheromones are stimulating hormones mainly when produced by dogs. The essence of these hormones is to communicate with other dogs. Therefore, it is not surprising that people can also feel the smell of the said hormones.

Infection and Disease

Sometimes the stench coming from your Lab is simply an indication of illness. Whenever your Lab has an infection, they are likely to provide breeding grounds for bacteria.

They tend to have ear infections because of their long ear flaps, leading to a corn chip smell.

Pay attention to the dog’s skin. If you realize that the skin is too dry or itchy, you have to do something about it. Move in fast with a remedy that will prevent scratching and cracking of the skin, as this is likely to cause an infection that leads to the odor.

Clogged Anal Glands

All dogs have small glands/ sacs on the sides of their bums. Unfortunately, these glands can get blocked. When this happens, the Lab is likely to produce a distinct smell indicating that they need help.

Consider Diet Changes

What one consumes often comes out in one way or another. The same is also true for animals, especially dogs. Your Lab could be having a particular smell recently because of the diet changes you have made lately.

Make sure to consult your vet to know which ingredients your dog needs. You must use the right food recommended for your canine. Failure to adhere to these directives can lead to strange scents.

How to Fix Your Labs Smell

While there are numerous different scents that your dog could exhibit, the good news is that there is a remedy. Your Lab doesn’t have to smell around you. Alternatively, consider choosing a different type of dog if you are very sensitive to smells.

Those willing to live with their Labs and cannot trade them for anything, then these suggestions will come in handy.

Grooming, Bathing, and Brushing the Dogs Regularly

grooming a lab to reduce smelly odors

It would be best to be careful and deliberate about grooming your Lab. It is important to brush your dog every week as this can remove any stinky substances they might have rolled in. Additionally, please pay close attention to the pup when cleaning it.

Have a grooming routine that you stick to unless something happens. Dogs have a way of grooming themselves, but this does not mean it is enough.

You could do a few things to help your Lab feel cleaner and less smelly.

  • Brushing the coat regularly to prevent bad odors and control shedding
  • Always rinsing the dog’s feet every time after playing outdoors
  • Have a bathing routine as advised by your vet
  • Clipping your pup’s paws
  • Cleaning your pup’s eyes and removing crust whenever some form
  • Trimming the coats between the pup’s paws

Make sure to clean the ears and area around them carefully. If something seems off, you may need an expert’s second opinion. What’s more, such checkups are great since they point out problems that are easy to fix.

Prioritize Laundry

Some people forget about their pet’s bedding until it is unbearable. They fail to understand that cleaning and grooming the dog has no impact if they return to the same dirty space they were in before. Make sure to clean the pet’s beddings regularly and disinfect them too.

This discourages mites and other bugs from nesting there. It also contributes immensely to minimizing infections caused by bugs and fungus since these two thrive on dirt. Cleaning also prevents skin issues such as scabies and other skin conditions.

Invest in the Right Diet

Remember that your dog will smell exactly like the food they consume. Therefore, to avoid strange and unnatural smells, make sure to invest in high-quality feeds. You can talk to the vet to recommend the right foods.

Your dog’s needs may determine what diet works for them. The vet will assess and recommend what works and recommend feeds that will not lead to bad odors.

Other tricks help minimize the dog’s scents. You could try feeding your pup more raw meats and include several dog-friendly fruits and vegetables. A few specific herbs also help improve smells in pups, such as parsley.

One other trick to bear in mind is the portion. Do not overfeed the pup; instead, make sure the meals are controlled.

Emphasize Dental Hygiene

Remember to brush the Lab’s teeth and schedule regular vet visits for professional teeth cleaning. Have the vet recommend toothpaste suitable for your dog. The benefits of brushing your dog’s teeth every day are numerous and will save you a lot of cash.

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Labrador retriever with bone is waiting at home.

You can be sure that you will not have to deal with the buildup of tartar and plaque. These are often the leading causes of gum disease and gingivitis. If you cannot access the special toothpaste for your dog, then a good toothbrush and water will do the trick.

Make the Vet Your Friend

As much as you have a grooming routine, give your dog quality food, brush your dog’s teeth, and visit the vet.

Do not wait until something is wrong with the pup to see a vet. Vet visits should be scheduled regularly as they help prevent certain things from happening to your dog.

 A vet can detect the onset of an otherwise fatal illness during such visits and commence treatment.

Some things can also be avoided if you have a specialist involved early enough. You can save your dog and help them live longer if you prioritize seeing a vet often.

As far as scents are concerned, vets can tell when an odor is typical or not. Therefore, a routine visit or seeing one when you are suspicious can be something that saves the pup. Health issues that trigger pungent smells need to be fixed before they get out of hand.

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