The Smells of Spring: Your Dog’s Seasonal Stinkiness

Wet yorkie dog in a bathtub to keep the spring smells away

Get Spring ready with the joy of muddy paws, the science of stinky dog smells, and tips for keeping your furry friend smelling clean.

Spring has sprung! And thanks to our beloved four-legged friends, it also comes with a distinctive seasonal smells & dog stinkiness. As the snow melts and the flowers bloom, our dogs seem to transform into mud magnets, bringing in the great outdoors, one paw print at a time. 

But why do our furry companions seem dirtier and smellier this time of year, even when they attend daycare? Let’s dive into the mucky details.

The Science Behind the Smell

Shedding Season is Open

Spring is also the season dogs are offloading their winter coats, trapping even more dirt and odor. Imagine wearing a fur coat on a warm, sunny day that collects every speck of dirt, pollen, and body odor. That’s your dog in spring.

Skin Oils: Nature’s Perfume

Dogs produce natural oils that protect their skin and coat, but these oils can also trap dirt and odors. As they spend more time playing outdoors during the spring, these oils work overtime, collecting and holding every scent they encounter.

The Great Thaw

As winter snow and ice begin to melt, parks and backyards turn into irresistible muddy wonderlands. Remember the joy of jumping into a puddle as a kid? Well, dogs never outgrow that joy. And it’s not just the mud they love; it’s the whole experience of rolling in it, running through it, and, yes, bringing it back home as a souvenir.

Our fur-babies have a whole host of microorganisms naturally living within their fur that release an odorless excrement – that is, until their fur gets wet. The abundant humidity and rain of spring activates this, making that all too familiar wet-dog-smell even more noticeable. 

Pollen: The Invisible Enemy

The beautiful spring weather also brings pollen, which sticks to everything, including your dog’s coat. It’s like nature’s glitter; once it’s on them, good luck getting it off. Pollen not only contributes to the dirtiness but can also make your dog skinkier.

Dogs can have allergies, too, just like humans. And the pollen in the air combined with the wet weather can activate skin, ear, and anal gland inflammation which can cause foul odors. Hot spots, or irritated skin lesions, can pop up, too. Your pup’s constant licking for relief can cause an unpleasant odor, as well. 

American Kennel Club

Daycare Dilemmas

If your fur-baby attends daycare, spring is a great time for dogs to frolic together in the warm weather by getting outside more often to play, socialize, and yes, roll in the muck. It’s a party on the playground, and every dog is invited. The party favor? A collection of dirt and odors.

And here’s something you may not have considered if your dog goes to daycare: There are dozens of dogs that use their shared outdoor space as a potty, and in the winter, pee and poop freezes. 

Even with stringent protocols in place for regular cleaning and sanitizing, urine and small particles of feces will still freeze and accumulate within the underlying soil, gravel, and artificial turf of common outside potty areas. And in colder regions, this happens very quickly and accumulates for months. Even the water and solutions used for cleaning can freeze, as well. 

As spring approaches, temperatures can fluctuate in a freeze/ thaw cycle before eventually staying above freezing. This creates a messy recipe for mucky, muddy, and smelly outdoor areas for a while. And our pups just love to roll around in it, too. 

Battling the Springtime Smell

Grooming: Your First Line of Defense

Regular grooming is essential to battling the spring stink. Invest in a gentle dog shampoo and bathe regularly. A quick hose down after messy outdoor playtime may be sufficient. Just be sure to dry your dog well and pay attention to any signs of skin irritation. 

Brushing regularly can make a big difference, too, by distributing natural oils and removing shedding fur. Ask your vet, groomer, or daycare facility for recommendations for a natural odor-neutralizing spray.

Allergies: The Itch That Keeps on Giving

Managing spring allergies is crucial, not just for your pet’s comfort but to prevent constant scratching and licking from turning into a source of smelliness. Sometimes, a visit to the vet for an allergy and anal gland check-up could be necessary if you notice excessive scratching or scooting across the floor. 

It’s a good idea to wash your pet’s bedding regularly, too, especially when you wash your dog. You don’t want to ruin your efforts to keep your pup clean and free of allergens. 

Communicate With Your Caregiver

Talking to your daycare’s staff about your dog’s allergies or skin conditions can help them tailor activities to avoid making things worse. They can’t avoid all the mud (nor should they, because it’s just fun), but they can be mindful about your dog’s needs.

A high quality doggie daycare will often have self-wash stations available for pet parents to use, or you can make an appointment for the daycare staff to wash your dog before you pick them up. 

For more information about bathing and self-wash, click HERE.

Key Takeaways …

It’s completely normal for your fur-baby to be a bit stinkier during the spring

Clearly, spring brings a set of unique challenges for keeping your dog clean and smelling fresh. But it’s also a time of fun and excitement for dogs. Our pets love to play outside and enjoy the warm weather just as much as we do. Expect the mess and arm yourself with the right grooming tools, allergy meds, and a good sense of humor.

So, the next time you pick up your fur-baby from daycare or come home from the dog park and wonder why they seem a bit stinkier than usual, remember this: the dirtier the dog, the bigger the adventure they had. And then go grab the water hose! 

For information about pet smells and how to eliminate them, click HERE.

If you have any questions about daycare or boarding at Dog Day Getaway or would like to schedule an in person tour, please feel free to Contact Us