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Why Does My German Shepherd Smell Sour?

Does your German Shepherd smell sour? 

There are many reasons for your German Shepherd to have a very strong sour smell.

Many of these issues are nothing to worry about but there are a few instances that may require you to visit your vet. 

Why Does My German Shepherd Smell Sour?

Your German Shepherd may smell sour because they have ear infections, dental issues, a skin infection, anal gland issues, or a urinary tract infection. There are some at-home things that you can do to help your German Shephard smell better, but it’s probably best to bring your German Shepherd to the vet.

These are 5 diseases that are commonly seen in German Shepherds that are causing them to smell sour. 

Ear infections

Ear infections can be very common in German Shepherds and can cause your German Shepherd to have a sour smell. 

These dogs love to play in the water and roll in the dirt. 

The moisture and dirt can get trapped in your German Shepherd’s ears causing them to have an infection. 

Many of these infections may cause the ear canal to become red and inflamed. 

This inflammation can also turn into pus in your German Shepherd’s ear. 

This would indicate a bacterial infection in your German Shepherd’s ear. 

Sometimes you can try just cleaning your German Shepherd’s ears with antibacterial and antifungal ear cleaner to help clear the infection.

In a very severe case, your dog may need to see your vet for prescription medication to put into your German Shepherd’s ears. 

Dental Infection

If the sour smell is coming from your German Shepherd’s mouth, this could indicate that your dog has a tooth infection. 

If your dog has brown plaque on their teeth or pus around their gums your dog will need a dental cleaning at your vet’s office. 

They may also need the infected tooth removed. 

If your dog has mild dental issues, you can give your dog a dental chew or brush your dog’s teeth at home. 

Using dental products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council will help decrease the tartar and plaque buildup.

Some great products that you can use for your German Shepherd are:

  • CET Enzymatic Toothpaste
  • Greenies
  • Finger toothbrushes
  • Virbac Dog Rawhide chews

Keeping your dog’s mouth clean and healthy will also prevent your dog from developing other medical issues such as kidney or heart issues. 

Skin Infection

A skin infection can also cause your dog to have a sour smell. 

You may notice small sores or crusty bumps on your dog’s body. These can be the first signs of a skin infection.

Many times, skin infections will need antibiotics from your vet. 

Often these skin infections are related to allergies in your German Shepherd. 

Things you can do at home to help your German Shepherd with a mild skin infection or allergies are:

  • Medicated shampoos: Shampoos such as Veterinary Formula Clinical Care can help decrease the infection on your dog’s skin
  • Oatmeal Shampoo: Oatmeal shampoos such as Pro Pet Works Oatmeal dog shampoo will help soothe your dog’s skin and coat. 

Omega Fatty Acids: Omega fatty acids are great at helping your dog’s skin. This will help naturally repair your dog’s skin barrier to be able to fight these infections. 

Benadryl: If your dog is itching you can give them antihistamines such as Benadryl to help decrease the inflammation and itching. The dosage of Benadryl is 1mg/pound twice a day. So, a 75-pound German Shepherd needs to take 3 adult 25mg tablets twice a day. The main side effect of this medication is sleepiness. If you notice that your dog is more sleepy, it is best to just decrease the amount

Anal Gland Issues

Your German Shepherd has two scent glands called anal glands located around their rectum. 

Most dogs will express these glands when they poop. If they do not these glands can become impacted. 

You or your vet can express these glands if you notice that your dog’s glands are the issues. 

There are also great supplements that you can give to your dog to help them express these glands much easier. Glandex is a great supplement that you can give your German Shepherd each day to help these glands express more easily and to stop the sour smell. 

Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections can also cause your German Shepherd to have a sour smell.

Many times, you will also notice that your dog seems painful when they urinate.

These dogs with urinary tract infections will need to see your vet for antibiotics.

If your German Shepherd continues to have urinary tract issues starting them on bladder supplements will help. 

One of the best bladder strengtheners that you can start your German Shepherd on is Bladder Support by Vetriscience.

What Can I do at home to Help stop my German Shepherd from smelling sour?

If your German Shepherd is smelling sour there are some things that you can do at home. 

These are 5 things that you can try to help your sour-smelling dog. 

  1. Give your German Shepherd a bath: Many times, a bath with some good-smelling shampoo will help decrease the sour smell. 
  2. Use doggy perfume to help them smell better: Sometimes you may not have time to give your dog a bath. Giving your dog a perfume spray will help mask the sour smell until you have time to find out why your dog is smelling sour and fix the smelly issue. 
  3. Give them Skin and Coat supplements: Skin and coat supplements will help decrease the excessively oily skin that your German Shephard has. This will also help decrease the smell in your dog’s ears. 
  4. Give them supplements for urinary issues or anal gland issues: There are usually supplements for your dog’s medical condition. Vetrascience makes great supplements for dogs with almost any health condition that will help them feel much better. 
  5. Give your dog dental chews: Many dental chews will help freshen your dog’s breath and help treat some of the common dental issues. 

If these at-home tricks do not help stop this smell, it would be best to see your vet. 

Your vet will be able to help your figure out what is causing your German Shephard to smell sour and can start them on medication and other treatments to help them smell much better. 

Final Thoughts

If your German Shepherd is smelling sour, it would be best to figure out where this smell is coming from. 

Once you can figure out what is causing your dog to smell sour, you can start treating this issue. 

There are a few at-home tips and tricks that you can try to help your German Shephard to smell much better.

If you think that your German Shepherd has a severe infection causing them to smell sour it would be best to see your vet right away.

The quicker you start treating the smelly issues the faster your German Shephard will return to normal and no longer smell.