Asked on Nov 01, 2014

My dog smells like dead fish. Help!

My dog found the remains of decaying fish that were obviously cleaned and filleted quite some time ago near our lake home. She now smells like dead rotten fish. Anyone have a remedy to suggest? I have tried tomato juice, apple cider vinegar and numerous "specialty shampoos" and home remedies, however nothing seems to work. PLEASE Help!
  13 answers
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Nov 02, 2014
    My daughter's dog rolled in a dead deer carcass. She got her husband to give him a regular dog bath which worked. It might pay to take him to groomers and let them solve the problem.
    • Amy Lindstrom-Sternot Amy Lindstrom-Sternot on Nov 02, 2014
      Thanks so much Marion. I may end up having to take her to the groomer. Just wanted to try resolving this stinky little problem on my own first.
  • Lillyz Lillyz on Nov 02, 2014
    my dog got skunked not to long ago. The vet recommended 3% peroxide and baking soda. I think I was supposed to put a little soap in there too. I put it in a spray bottle and sprayed him with it and then took him a regular bath. Got the smell out.
  • Amy Lindstrom-Sternot Amy Lindstrom-Sternot on Nov 02, 2014
    I'll give that a try. Thank you do so much for your help Lillyz.
  • Check with the vet. If the doggie ingested some of this it may be his body odor as a result. Much like people eating garlic they tend to emit a odor for a few days. Our dog is always getting into dead animals when he hangs out with the rest of the pack on the farm. We use lots of shampoo, L'Oreal cause he's worth it and my wife works there so its cheep,, but he always comes home fresh and clean smelling. But if after all those cleanings he still has a odor, Check with vet, they may want to see the pooch to make sure something else is not going on.
  • Amy Lindstrom-Sternot Amy Lindstrom-Sternot on Nov 03, 2014
    That's very interesting. How long would this effect last if she had ingested the fish?
    • @Amy Lindstrom-Sternot Not sure, that is why I suggest you talk to your vet and get their opinion. Could be a sign of something else that you may not even be aware of and the fishy issue could just be a coincidence that has occurred.
  • Shelli Barnes Shelli Barnes on Nov 03, 2014
    I would use white vinegar. Go ahead and bathe him as usual, rinse well, then pour white vinegar all over him, let it set just for a minute then rinse thoroughly. If he still smells after he's dry, (wait a couple of days) I would sprinkle baking soda down into his fur to further neutralize the smell in his coat. Good luck :) They love that old dead stinky stuff don't they? Lol!
    • See 1 previous
    • Shelli Barnes Shelli Barnes on Nov 04, 2014
      @Amy Lindstrom-Sternot You're very welcome Amy. I failed to mention you should definitely dilute the white vinegar with warm water, don't apply it full strength. At least half and half I would think is safe as long as you rinse her thoroughly. Did she eat the rotten stuff or roll in it? Or both? Lol! That would be my guess, the lil stinkers. Depending on how long this has gone on, you really should check with a vet to make sure she doesn't have some sort of yeast infection or something else that won't go away without treatment. I hope you find something that works for you! Please share with us when you do so we can learn from this as well :)
  • Debra Debra on Nov 03, 2014
    Look on line for the Skunk odor remover recipe, it truly works. Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, blue dawn dish soap.. correct measurements will be on the recipe, but it works and is safe. Good luck
  • Amy Lindstrom-Sternot Amy Lindstrom-Sternot on Nov 03, 2014
    Thanks Debra I appreciate the idea. She's been sprayed by a skunk before and I've gotten rid of that smell in the past. This stink is definitely the worst one I've ever dealt with. Interesting stinky little mystery (or should I say stinky BIG mystery). :-)
  • Grady Grady on Dec 08, 2014
    She could have come upon dead fish once. My male bluetick coonhound ate some dead fish once and we brushed his teeth and took him to the vet and that solved the problem.
  • Amy Lindstrom-Sternot Amy Lindstrom-Sternot on Dec 10, 2014
    Thank you all for your helpful advice. Desi is back to smelling like her doggy self. I used a combination of cures and found that the odor was an internal effect due to eating the same (spoiling) fish over the course of about a week. I kept Desi on her leash or inside until I found the remains she had been feasting on - YUCK !!! The smell worked it's way out of her system - which took about 3 days. Of course her breath will never be minty fresh, but I can deal with everyday doggy breath. Again, my heartfelt thanks to everyone who shared their advice...and experiences. If I am ever stumped with a problem and need help I know I can rely on my Hometalk friends.
  • Charlie Charlie on Jun 08, 2015
    If he ate it, he will have bad breath, get a pet toothbrush and clean his tongue and teeth.
  • Deb K Deb K on Oct 11, 2022

    Hi Amy, remember tomato juice helps with skunk, it likely helps with rotten fish smell too. Glad you got it cleared up.☺️

  • Mogie Mogie on Oct 11, 2022

    We used Natures's Miracle.