Dog Smells Like Fish When Scared : 5 Ways To Prevent Dog Stinking

Dog smells like fish when scared. This is very obvious. People often say – “My dog smells like fish when scared.” You just went to visit a vet taking your dog in, then suddenly you feel some horrible odor. All the dog owners have experienced it. We all smell something fishy whenever our dog is scared. But why?

Dog smells like fish when scared. Although it is not anyone’s favorite topic to discuss, it is a very important thing to know. All dog owners have experienced their dog’s smell in some situations. Most people feel the scent is different. But for almost all of us, it feels like the smell of a rotten fish.

Dog fishy smell is not new. While it’s completely normal for a dog to smell fishy, it is not the same thing in all cases. There are a lot of reasons why a dog smells fishy. Feeling scared is also one of the reasons why dogs smell fishy when scared. This article will help you to know everything about it.

Dog smells like fish when scared
Dog Smells Like Fish When Scared – dog stinks when scared


Do Dogs Stink When They Are Stressed?

Dog smells like fish when scared. You could think – my dog smells when stressed. Do dogs stink when stressed? Dogs contain two anal sacs at their bottom. This anal sacs are full of oil secretions.

Whenever your dog is fighting with the other dog or when it is scared or stressed, then it releases a stinky smell. It is very unpleasant to humans which often smells like rotten fish. This is why a dog smells like fish when scared. But this is very normal.

If your dog always gives a fishy smell then it can be an abnormal thing, which should be treated by a vet. But if it stinks when it is stressed, then you do not need to panic much about it.


Why Do Dogs Smell Fishy When They Are Scared?

Dog smells like fish when scared. Dog odor when scared is affected by their glands. Why do dogs express their glands when scared. Dogs usually smell when they are scared due to anal gland secretions.

Can dogs spray when scared? Whenever your dog is scared then they express its anal glands. This gives it that stinky smell. While they express their anal glands, they release all the oils from their anal sacs that give you that pungent smell.

But why do dogs have their anal glands expressed when they are scared? This is due to the contraction of their sphincter muscles. It is an involuntary function in a dog, which is not in its control. Female dog spray smell when scared.

Generally, they smell fishy when they excrete too. When they excrete they spread a little of these oil secretions on their poop so that they can be identified by the other dogs in the area they live. Each dog has a smell from its body, and they are identified by it.

They use this smell to communicate with other dogs. This is the reason dogs smell each other’s bottom. If your dog still smells after glands expressed. Sometimes it smells fishy when it is suffering from anal infections. If your dog is often rubbing or licking its bottom, then it can be due to anal infections. There are several reasons why dogs smell fishy. Being stressed or afraid is one of the reasons.

So, don’t take it lightly if your dog smells fishy all the time. Whenever your dog smells fishy out of fear, check its body posture to know if it is smelling because it is afraid. If your dog is drooling, licking its lips, and having a tucked tail, then it can be due to fear. Visit a vet if it smells fishy all the time.


Can Dogs Spray When They Are Scared?

Yes, of course. Whenever your dog is scared, they empty their anal glands sometimes. They do it by spraying. This is also an involuntary function in dogs due to the contraction of their sphincter muscles. Spraying makes them smell much fishier.

However, it won’t stay for a long time. If your dog smells fishy, even after a long time after spraying, then it is an abnormal thing. Immediately visit a veterinarian, if your dog smells fishy after a long time of spraying. This is proof that a dog stinks when scared.


How Can We Prevent Your Dog From Smelling Fishy?

You could say – my dog smells like fish – this is common. Your dog smelling fishing when it is scared is an involuntary action. Neither you nor your dog has any control over it. We cannot stop the fishy smell in your dog, but we can prevent your dog from being stressed all the time. Here are some ways that can calm your dog:


  • Train Your Dog: Dog smells like fish when scared. You must train your dog so that your dog can understand your language. Train your dog starting with simple commands like sit, stand, and stay. Whenever a new person arrives at your home, you see your dog barking and making a lot of noise. This is because it does not know how to respond to it. Hearing a familiar command like stay can calm your dog at that time. Remember to train it positively with simple methods.
  • Exercise: Sometimes your dog may be stressed due to a lack of physical activity. Making it to exercise daily for some time can help it redirect its stress. Going for a walk with your dog 2 times a day, in the morning and evening is ideal. It also helps your dog to socialize. Playing with it for some time daily can also relieve its stress. But, don’t play games increases its anxiety too much.
  • Strengthen Your Bond With Your Dog: Yelling at your dog all the time can make it stressful. So, instead of shouting at your dog, talk to it in a calming voice. Do not give it physical punishment often. It can make your and your dog bond much worse. Instead use some positive punishment, if your dog makes a mess.
  • Invest In Some Dog Toys: Dog smells like fish when scared. If your puppy smells like fish, there is a solution for this. Investing in dog toys like a classic dog toy can help to calm your dog. You can also make your DIY dog toys at your home. It can save your money on dog toys.These toys can be a target for your dog. Whenever your dog gets excited, it can redirect its anger on these toys.
  • Calming Sprays: Dog stinks when scared. If a dog fear smell then you can calm it down. Spraying some calming sprays on your dog can help it relax. Here, I have a DIY calming spray for your dog. This helps to take care of a dog emitting a foul odor.


IngredientsLavender Essential Oil(6 drops).

Peppermint oil(4 drops).

Wild orange(4 drops).

Eucalyptus(2 drops).

Spray bottle(8 oz).


ProcedureTake an 8 oz spray bottle.

Add all the above ingredients in the required quantity in a spray bottle.

Fill the remaining bottle with water

Your DIY spray is ready to use now.


Remember to shake the bottle well before you use it. It contains some essential oils which not only relax your dog but also make it smell good. It does not harm your dog anyway. My dog does not smell all the time. But it gets smelly when it is scared by my blender sound.

Massaging a little bit of this spray on my dog calms it instantly. You can take a bit of spray on your palm and make your dog smell it before using it, to know whether it likes it or not.

All the above methods can calm your dog. Use these methods regularly for better results.

Dog smells like fish when scared
Dog Smells Like Fish When Scared – dog stinks when scared


Do Dogs Poop When They Are Scared?

Dog smells like fish when scared and they have a fear of smelling like poop. But they also poop when they are scared.

Do dogs poop when scared? Yes, dogs poop when they are scared. This is also an involuntary action due to muscle contraction. You can’t do anything about it. They also pace, pant, and hide when they are stressed. You should also look for these to know if they pooped due to fear.

If a dog smells like poop all the time, this may be a problem. Except for cleaning it, you don’t have an option to punish it for doing it. If a dog poops when scared, this is normal. Dog gets scared and poops is nothing new.


Do Dogs Fart When They Are Scared?

Dog smells like fish when scared, But, do dogs fart when scared? Most dogs don’t fart when they are scared. Instead dogs are scared of farts. There is a small reason behind it. Dogs mostly don’t like unfamiliar things. They usually get scared when some unfamiliar person comes home or something unfamiliar happens. Fishy smelling farts are a no-go for dogs.

So, they get afraid whenever they hear thunderstorms or something loud. Whenever they fart, they connect it to those unfamiliar sounds and get scared. They often get worried when they fart. They get much more worried if the owner gets too excited at that time.

 If it farts all the time, then it’s better to look at it’s diet. If your dog stinks when scared, give your dog food that is nutrient-dense, which contains a lot of proteins.


Why Do Dogs Smell Fishy Even After They Express Their Glands?

Dog smells like fish when scared but dogs do not smell fishy for a long time after they express their glands. If they smell fishy even after they express their glands, then there is something wrong with them. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Bad Breath: If your dog stinks when scared. It could be due to bad breath. If your dog is having any dental issues like plaque or tartar buildup on its teeth, then it may smell fishy. The plaque and tartar on its teeth often smell fishy. You must remember to brush your dog’s teeth daily. Maintain your dog’s diet in such a way that it doesn’t get any dental infections. Avoid sugar as much as possible in its diet.
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders: Dog smells like fish when scared. Your dog may be having some food allergies which can result in some digestion issues. This can also lead to bad breath. Check the whole ingredient list before you buy any food for your dog. Visit a vet to know more about its food allergies. Don’t allow your dogs to eat foods that cause digestion issues. Farts and bumps are also one of the reasons why it smells fishy when it is suffering gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Anal Sac Diseases: Dog stinks when scared. This could be caused by diseases. If your dogs bottom is smelling fishy, then your dogs may be suffering from anal gland infections.


Your dog may express all the anal fluid from its anal sacs. But sometimes all the fluid doesn’t get out and becomes dry. These cause anal sacs to impact. This is more common in overweight dogs.

They also can be having different anal sac infections which can be quite painful. They smell fishy if they have infections. If you observe your dog’s bottom being swollen or if it is licking its bottom too often, then it is suffering from anal infections. 

If it is suffering from such infections, then it is better to consult a vet.


Why Do Female Sprays Smell Fishy Sometimes?

Your female dogs smell fishy when they are scared. But it is not all the time.If your female dog smells fishy when it sprays, then it is an issue to be solved.

One of the reasons why your female dog spray smells fishy is because it can be a urinary tract infection. UTI, bladder infection, and kidney stones all can make your dog smell fishy.

This problem should be treated immediately. If it is not treated then bacteria and yeast can develop in that area and can damage your dog’s vagina causing different vaginal infections.


Final Verdict On Dog Smells Like Fish When Scared

Dog smells like fish when scared. Dogs smelling fishy when they are scared is the problem that every dog owner faces. However, we can not stop it. Dogs smelling fishy when they are scared is a natural involuntary action. But we can calm down a dog without making it stressful all the time.

Playing with them, making them exercise, investing in dog toys, and dog calming sprays can all reduce their stress levels. If it smells fishy even when it is not scared, then it can suffer from anal infections, bad breath, and digestion issues. Not maintaining proper hygiene too can make your dog smell fishier and can cause other infections.

Dog smells like fish when scared
Dog Smells Like Fish When Scared – dog stinks when scared

Bathing it regularly and taking care of its dental health can reduce its infections. Make your dog sweat to maintain its health levels.

I think, by this time you have completely understood why your dog smells when it is scared. So, next time if it poops or sprays out of fear or barks at a new member, don’t shout at it. Instead, understand its feelings and try to calm them down gently.

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