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Why do dogs smell like "wet dog"?

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Posted on April 08 2018

Do you find the distinctive smell of wet dog? No matter how clean your dog is, if you take it out for a walk in the rain or if you get into a pool or play with the hose, you can invariably smell that peculiar smell in every corner of your house, car, bed or anywhere where your dog is.

If you remember, in the video of how your dog sees the world through his nose , they explained how the sense of smell works (of dogs and humans). When we inhale, the molecules that travel in the air reach the olfactory receptor cells inside the nasal cavity. These cells are the ones that translate the chemical information of the molecules into an electrical signal that reaches your brain and that's where the process that will give a name to each new smell you smell will be made.

Well, it turns out that what causes this smell has to do with all the microorganisms that live in the skin of your dog (do not panic, you also have microorganisms living in your skin).

What causes this smell is just the excrement of bacteria and fungi that live in their fur.

When these microorganisms and their poop are dry, they do not emit any odor , however, the water breaks the chemical bonds that keep the poop together and this causes that when it breaks, it releases stinky odor molecules into the air.

When this water evaporates, the humidity level of the surrounding air increases. Humid air can carry more odor molecules, just as hot air can also store more, so the combination of wet dog and sun makes the odor even more powerful.

If you want your dog to no longer smell like that, make sure you always dry it well after a bath and after it gets wet.

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