Dog Lifestyle, Pet Health, Pets and Family

Why Does My Dog Smell Sweet: 5 Reasons Your Dog Has a Sweet Smell

Our furry companions can produce an unbelievable amount of smells, ranging from pleasant to terrifying as we explore in our article why does my dog smell bad after going outside.  

A woman in a red shirt smelling a Weimaraner dog.

Why does my dog smell sweet?

Dog’s may smell sweet for various reasons although trying to determine what part of your dog’s body is producing the smell and what factor in their environment can be very tricky. The most common sources for a sweet smell are your dog’s

  • skin and coat,
  • ears,
  • breath, and
  • urine.

So while we usually talk about the amazing olfactory senses of our dogs we turn our focus now on our senses around them and take a moment to further explore and learn why my dog smells sweet.

Reason Number One – Dog ear bacteria

If your dog’s ears are giving off a sweet smell, chances are that the sweet, yeasty smell comes from a fungal infection. Bacteria can easily grow in moist conditions and can lead to an ear infection.

Last week I took my dog Zooey to the vet and was told that she had a bacterial infection in her ears and that dogs with floppy ears and dogs who swim frequently are more prone to the growth of bacteria and infections.  

Good news is that there is an easy treatment for bacterial ear infections.

Keeping our dogs’ ears clean is an important part of their grooming routine. Regular ear cleaning can help prevent infections and the growth of bacteria in the ears.

Check out our articles on Dog Grooming:

5 Top Pet Grooming Tips You Will Be Glad You Know to Groom Your Pet at Home

Steps to Help You Choose the Best Dog Groomer; A Complete Guide 

Reason Number Two Dog Breath Smells Sweet

If a sweet smell comes from your dog’s mouth, this can be an indication of canine diabetes. When a dog has diabetes, he is unable to efficiently break down sugar to use as fuel for the body. So, it begins breaking down fat instead of sugars. This creates molecules known as ketone bodies that are then produced and accumulate in the blood.

The sweet smell on a dog’s breath can signal that your dog works to eliminate ketones through respiration and a visit to the vet should be arranged. This can turn deadly if not treated immediately.

Check out our Services Page where we partner with Wag to get you 24×7 Vet Advice.  

Reason Number Three Dog Fur Smells Sweet

Your dog may smell sweet due to a yeast infection on their skin or your shampoo choice. You may notice your dog’s sweet smell is coming from his coat or skin and not from his breath. This could possibly be due to a yeast infection.

Do some further research or take your dog to the vet so he can get the proper medication for the yeast infection. This infection normally clears up quickly once your dog is given medication.

A man in a blue shirt holding a small fluffy dog while plugging his nose.
Dog’s have unique smells that indicate a health issue

If your dog smells sweet after a recent bath, it might be the unique combination of his natural scent and the shampoo you used. Don’t worry as this will fade in time to a more normal smell.

Check out our favorite dog shampoo product from Burt’s Bees

and Apple and Honey Waterless Dog Shampoo from Burt’s Bees for quick refreshes

Reason Number Four Dog Urine Smells Sweet 

Your dog may smell sweet due to their sweet smelling urine. Sweet smelling urine of your dog may be a sign of uncontrolled diabetes or a rare disease of metabolism. According to the Doggysaurus Blog in serious cases your dog’s breath and urine can smell like maple syrup due to canine diabetes. This won’t always be the case, but if not diagnosed and treated, your dog could face some serious health issues.

This makes makes sense since Diabetes can cause excess glucose in the dog’s urine, creating that sweet smell. Excessive levels of sugar in a dog’s urine can cause it to smell of maple syrup.

Reason Number Five Ketone’s

You may have heard of the keto diet phenomenon, at times it seems like half the world is on the keto diet. Our dogs may be too and not even aware. Ketone bodies are produced and accumulate in the blood in dogs (and people). As a dog works to eliminate ketones through respiration, their breath may have a sweet odor that’s perceptible to people.

Final thoughts

Not all doggie smells are lie roses but you are not alone when dealing with an unexpected sweet smell coming from your dog. Try to narrow down the source of the smell to get an idea of what the problem might be in the event the smell is indicative of a health issue. 

If you notice any of the following signs, together with the sweet-smelling urine or breath, you definitely need to take your dog to the vet:

  • Increased urination 
  • Drinking excessive water 
  • Your dog is lethargic 
  • Losing weight even if he’s eating his meals
  • Increased appetite and eating more but still losing weight 

These are all common symptoms of dog Diabetes Mellitus. Your dog needs to be examined regularly by a licensed vet to help prevent diseases and maintain their health. 

Check out our Fun Olfactory Fatigue Cartoon in our book Motherpuppin’ Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s where we discuss everything dog smell in a fun way

Does your dog have a unique smell?  Let us know in the comments below!

Dog Smells Sweet FAQs

Why does my dog smell sweet?

Your dog may smell sweet for various reasons that may even indicate a health issue such as a bacterial ear infection, or diabetes or it may b the shampoo you or your groomer used. Getting to the reason will depend on what part of your dog smells sweet fur, breath, ears or fur.

Why does my old dog smell sweet?

Old dogs may smell sweet for various reasons but most common is diabetes or poor dental health. As the body attempts to regulate glucose a dog’s breath or pee may smell sweeter and as a dog ages an extremely high amount have dental issues and periodontal disease. Older dogs have the tendency to have some very common health issues.

Why does my puppy smell sweet?

While some sweet dog smells are off putting the sweet smell of a puppy is welcome and is the result of a puppy drinking fresh milk from its mother or its new and fresh teeth.