Can Food Affect the Way an Animal Smells?

photo 2009 Bukowsky18 | more info (via: Wylio)I had my 5 month old puggle puppy, Daisy, on a 'natural' dog food, which she didn't much...


Lola, My Beagle Puppyphoto 2009 Bukowsky18 | more info (via: Wylio)
I had my 5 month old puggle puppy, Daisy, on a ‘natural’ dog food, which she didn’t much like. So I switched her to another top brand, not natural. I don’t want to get into the dog food debate, but her doggy odor seems to have intensified since the food switch. Is it possible that the odor could be connected to the food change, or is just my imagination?

Should I switch foods again? Of course, I just bought another bag of the stuff I am currently feeding her.

Houston, TX

I also don’t want to get into the food debate! But you have asked an excellent question.

I have known people who consistently consumed massive amounts of garlic; these people smelled like rancid garlic. Another individual overdid it with omega-3 (fish oil) supplements, and wound up smelling like fish. All of these people exuded volatile components of the foods in question through their sweat. They therefore smelled like the foods in question, which in every case was an unpleasant thing (nobody ever seems to over do it with cinnamon and cloves).

Dogs and cats sweat only on their feet, so they’re less likely than humans to wallow in a food-induced miasma. However, volatile portions of food will be present in their saliva (which can be smelled on the breath) and urine. Animals that groom themselves (or urinate on themselves) will spread the smell all over their bodies.

So, in short, diet can affect the way an animal smells. However, I am by no means convinced that your puppy’s change in smell was related to the diet change. Puppies almost always have less doggy odor than adults. A change in smell at five months of age very probably is related to a natural change that has occurred as your puppy has matured.

Should you switch foods again? You can try it if the smell is bothering you. There’s only one way to find out whether it will make any difference.

2 thoughts on “Can Food Affect the Way an Animal Smells?”

  1. I used to feed my labrador supercoat biscuits from the supermarket. She always had a bad pungent smell. Since I changed her diet to home cooked rice, raw meat, pasta, vegetables and sardines, she doesn’t have a smell anymore. So it was definitely the processed dog food in this case.

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