Why Does My Dog Smell Like Vomit? – (Vet Answered)

Your dog already has a distinct scent of his own, and it comes from the oils on his skin or the foods he consumes. If you stick your nose in your puppy’s fur or kiss the top of his head, you shouldn’t smell anything unpleasant. 

But if you feel that your pup smells like maple syrup or the stink doesn’t go away even after a bath, it’s time to visit the vet. In this article, we’ll particularly discuss why your dog smells like vomit, what could be the reasons, and how to get rid of it.  

Why Does My Dog Smell Like Vomit?

Your puppy smelling like vomit without any apparent reason is certainly an indication of an infection. In such a case, your dog will smell even after a bath, and you’ll feel this stingy smell in the whole house. Your dog’s funky or stingy smell is often the very first symptom of an infection. So apart from irritating you with a stinky aroma, the smell is causing some problems for your dog too. 

Here, I’ll briefly discuss three main reasons why your dog may become smelly. 

Ear Infection

One of the most typical reasons for dog odor is an ear infection. It can be caused by too much hair on top or in the ear canal or filth. The smell originates when water enters the ear during a bath while a bacterial infection is already there, and sometimes dog’s constant scratching can also be the reason. 

Now how to identify it? You can easily tell it by the scratches and redness around the ear and the odor coming from it. Get your pet treated if the odor is highly unpleasant, similar to vomiting, and is accompanied by a brown discharge from the ear. To prevent ear infections in the future, clean your pet’s ear after every fifteen days. 

Skin Infection

The overgrowth of bacteria results in yeast infection on the skin, and it also causes an unpleasant smell. There could be any reason behind it, including allergies, hormonal imbalance, fungus, parasites, and localized inflammation. Similarly, some overactive glands may produce excessive oils, resulting in a musty smell.

Besides that, not drying your fur buddy correctly will invite the bacteria to grow due to moisture. Use a medicated pet shampoo for the deep cleansing of the skin. It is also a good idea to bathe with a surgical scrub every fifteen days so that his body stays disinfected.

Bad Breath

Bad breath can also smell like vomit, and it may be due to your dog’s liver, kidney, or dental issues. Dirty teeth and gums are obviously responsible for the bad smell. Small-sized dogs are more susceptible to gum diseases. In any case, the buildup of plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth leads to poor health and bad breath. You should take your pet for scaling after six months and try not to feed it too much dry food.

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Smelling Like Vomit?

Dogs are a delightful addition to any family, but if your ankle biters are stinking up the house, it is essential to address the issue. There are several ways to take care of the dog and keep him smelling good. Remember to clean his ears and teeth and give him weekly baths. If the smell persists, contact the vet for a full check-up of teeth, ear, liver, and anal areas. 

Get the infection treated in the bottom area as it can cause a particularly bad odor. Discomfort, agitation, scooting, swelling in the area, and a strong fishy smell are the signs that there might be some issue with the anal area, and most probably, he needs to express anal glands. When the anal glands are full, they start leaking the sticky, pungent smell. Sometimes you’ll see spots of brownish substance in places where your dog has been sitting. Dogs often scoot when feeling the need to get their anal glands expressed. We recommend getting professional help to express your dog’s anal glands as you might not prefer to do it alone.

The dirty ears of your dog can be smelly, so clean them regularly with an ear cleaning solution and cotton balls. Also, make sure to dry them after bathing. Similarly, a dirty mouth is an obvious reason behind the foul smell. Try to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and give them dog chews, bones, and teeth cleaning toys to help clean their teeth effortlessly. If your dog doesn’t like its teeth getting brushed, a dog’s mouth spray is the solution. 

Likewise, you can brush your dog fur with a basic slick brush. It will remove any dirt or debris that may be causing the unpleasant odor. Brushing will not only keep your fur groomed and tangle-free but can slowly eliminate the body odor too.


Finally, there could be any reason why your dog ends up smelling like vomit. All you have to do is to understand the root causes of foul odor and identify the symptoms so that you can treat or at least reduce the stench. And in severe situations, you’ll need assistance from the vet.

Feeling concerned is totally normal when you first notice your dog’s stink. It is tempting to give your dog more than regular baths, but it would be of no use if the smell is due to internal infection, as then he’ll need proper treatment and medications. 


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of bulldogpapa.com. Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!