Dog owners who live near a forest, beside a river, or on a farm will be quick to tell you that there is something about stinky, decaying, items that appeals to dogs. It doesn't seem to matter if it is black swamp water, dead fish, or a pile of slimy manure, if it stinks and can be rolled in, the dog is happy. While smelling like a walking barking sewer system is a dog's idea of heaven on earth, its owners are normally less than enthusiastic. The odor emitting from their pet means that they have to take time out of their busy day to either take their pet to the pet groomer and have it bathed, or they have to bathe their dog themselves. Even then there is no way that they can be sure that the offensive odor will wash out of the dog's coat.
Dog experts believe that dogs roll in things like dead fish, road kill, and manure in an attempt to disguise themselves. What nobody knows is why they feel the need to camouflage their scent. It could be a throwback to the days when they hunted their dinner, if the prey couldn't smell them, they stood a better chance of capturing something to eat. Another reason dogs might feel the need to hide their scent is protection. They might be trying to hide from potential predators or other packs of once feral dogs. Maybe stinking like a landfill made it easier to be accepted into another pack. On the other hand it's possible that dogs roll in the stinkiest object they can find just because it feels good. Nobody really knows for sure why dogs feel the need to smell.
The quickest, most efficient way to remove odor from your dog's coat is to wash your dog. Try to use a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs. Human shampoos can strip the dog's coat of its natural oils, leaving the skin unprotected and open to rashes and infections. Dog shampoos are made to clean the dog's coat, without stripping it of the natural oils. If the dog's stink is especially strong, like the scent of a skunk, bathing the dog in tomato juice is one of the quickest ways to remove the smell.
If you have a dog that consistently rolls in stinky, smelly items, you may want to consider taking him to a professional pet groomer and having his coat clipped. The shorter coat will be more comfortable for the dog during the hot summer months and while the shorter hair won't prevent your dog from rolling in the smelly items, the shorter coat will be easier for you to wash, and will dry faster.
If you have bathed your dog and still notice a strong odor whenever it is in your presence the source of the smell might not be the dog's coat but a more serious health problem. When they have dental issues they have to breath the smells so foul that you can smell it throughout your entire house. Strong breath odor can also indicate more serious diseases such as kidney failure and diabetes. Dog's are also prone to having anal sacs that become impacted and infected, and therefore extremely stinky. If washing your dog does not seem to take care of the odor you will want to take your dog to your veterinarian and have the stinky problem officially diagnosed so that treatments can begin.