Dog Smells Like Burnt Rubber? Here are 4 Things You Need to Know

You could get a whole lot of smells coming from your dog’s body. It could be the pleasant, and enticing smell of the doggy shampoo you bathed him with. While, it can be a contrasting odor as well, a foul smell coming from his body of fart or poop. He might have played a long in your garden, so you may even get that muddy odor coming from his body.

Now, has your dog smelt of something unusual? Something that you never expected! How about a burnt rubber? Besides the unpleasantness, the smell of burnt rubber coming from your dog’s body could be scary as well.

Read on to know of the several reasons why your dog smells like a burnt rubber. Also, learn of the probable remedies to overcome the same.

Potential Causes of a Dog Smelling Like Burnt Rubber

It’s not every day that your dog smells like burnt rubber. But, when he does you need to get to the root of the problem and solve it at the earliest. Here are some of the reasons why your dog may smell of burnt rubber.

1. Your Dog Has Been Sprayed By a Skunk

One of the most prominent reasons your dog might smell like burnt rubber is that he might have been sprayed by a skunk. A skunk’s spray has an immensely foul odor likened to the smell of a rotten egg, a spoiled cabbage, or even a burnt rubber. Be it in the suburbs or an urban setting, skunks are found everywhere.

The chances of getting sprayed by a skunk are higher at dawn and dusk. That’s when these mammals are the most active. The common place where dogs get sprayed by skunks is the area surrounding their head. Skunk spray doesn’t only smell foul but may lead to dangerous side effects as well.

Your dog might roll on the ground to get rid of the scent by rubbing his body on the soil or grass. He may even paw at his face, vomit, and sneeze particularly if his face has been affected because of the spray. If they’ve inhaled the mist, it could trigger breathing problems, but that is temporary though.

However, if the spray has gotten into your dog’s eyes it might lead to temporary blindness. In rare cases, the skunk spray could damage the red blood cells of the dogs resulting in anemia.

 2. The Odor Perhaps Come From His Anal Glands

The Odor Perhaps Come From His Anal Glands

Your dog has two anal glands on each side of his anus filled with fluids emitting a metallic odor or may smell like a rotten fish. The anal glands are expressed, and the fluid is released when the dog defecates. However, the fluids could be released at times of stress, anxiety, and excitement on your dog’s end.

Perhaps if you’ve taken him to watch the fireworks, or there is a thunderstorm all of a sudden, and so on. Under such circumstances, you could sense a foul smell coming from his bum like a rotten fish or a burnt rubber.

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When the anal glands haven’t been squeezed for a while, then an abscess might form and burst through your dog’s skin. The outcome could be a pungent smelling discharge.

3. Your Dog May Have Burnt Himself

This could be a serious issue. If your dog came in contact with any heated surface like a fire pit, grill, warming pad, or heating lamp, he may have injured and burnt himself.

The result is the burnt smell coming from his body. If that’s the case, the symptoms may be visible as well. Look out for inflamed patches and blisters on your dog’s skin. If you identified that your dog had burnt himself, then do not delay in contacting a vet.

4. Signs of An Infection Or The Outcome of a Bad Habit

Signs of An Infection Or The Outcome of a Bad Habit 

You will mostly get abnormal odors from your dog’s mouth, ears, and skin. It could be that they haven’t been cleaned well, and a lot of dirt has accumulated in their body. It’s also possible that your dog has mouth sores or dental issues.

Your dog could even be suffering from coprophagia. This means that he is inclined toward eating feces. A medical condition or a psychological issue could either trigger this behavior.

Though in the case of all the situations mentioned above your dog might not exactly smell like burnt rubber. But, he’ll stink and the foul smell could replicate anything that has a bad odor, be it burnt rubber, or rotten eggs.

Steps to Identify and Address the Issue

When you get the smell of burnt rubber from your dog’s body, the first thing to do as an owner is to identify the root cause. The earlier you get to the problem, the better it will help to find a solution. Here are some things to do from your end.

  1. Since skunk spray is one of the main reasons your dog smells of burnt rubber. You would have to understand if that’s the case or not. Did your dog start smelling of burnt rubber after he returned home from a walk? Do you notice your dog rolling on the ground and trying to rub or brush himself?
    Is he showing more serious symptoms as well like drooling excessively, vomiting, rubbing his eyes, and face, or sneezing? Well, you have guessed it right then. Skunk spray could be the reason. You’ll notice these symptoms right away or within a few hours of being sprayed. Do not delay in consulting a vet.
  2. Do you find the odor mostly coming from your dog’s bum? It could be a problem with his anal glands. Perhaps the fluids weren’t expressed and they’ve started oozing out, resulting in a pungent smell.
    You might see your dog scooting his bum as he moves around. He may even be biting or licking the base of his tail frequently. In severe cases, you may notice pus or blood from his rectum. This too needs a vet’s intervention at the earliest.
  3. Did your dog go too close to any heat source? Do you notice inflammation and spots on his skin? Does he show any other signs of discomfort? This could mean that he has burnt his skin, resulting in the odor.
  4. Check your dog’s teeth well, and also keep a watch on his overall health. If he is drooling a lot and has swollen or inflamed gums then there are chances that he is suffering from dental problems.
    Besides, if you see your dog showing signs like vomiting, lessened appetite diarrhea, and so on, alongside the foul smell, it could mean he is suffering from liver problems.
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Whatever the reason, early intervention will help you arrive at a quicker solution to the problem.

Treatment and Prevention Tips: 4 Different Ways

Treatment and Prevention Tips 4 Different Ways

When you’ve identified the reasons behind the burnt rubber smell on your dog, the next step involved is its treatment.  You should first consult a vet in the case of serious issues, and alongside following his advice you can also follow a few remedies at home. Besides the treatment, you would also have to find preventive measures to stop the issue from occurring again.

1. For Skunk Spray

Treatment: For skunk spray, the moment you see the symptoms, the first thing you should do is talk to a vet. It could be that your dog appears smelly, else he is fine. But at times he could show severe symptoms. These include vomiting, rubbing his eyes intensely, etc. In such cases, medical help is the need of the hour.

Besides talking to the vet, neutralizing the skunk spray is of utmost importance. Certain commercial products are available at the chemists’ that will help remove the skunk odor. Go for the vet-approved ones.

However, if your dog has had the encounter during the late evenings or at night, you won’t find most of the chemist shops or vet clinics open then. As an alternative, you’ll have to try something at home itself to give your dog instant relief.

Well, a de-skunk shampoo is one of the best home remedies. Hydrogen peroxide (3-4 parts) when blended with baking soda (1 part) and dish detergent (one teaspoon) will make for a good shampoo to remove the skunk odor. You should use the solution fresh or when it is bubbling to get quick results. Be cautious and ensure that the shampoo doesn’t get inside your dog’s eyes. It could even lead to blindness.

Prevention: The best way to prevent your dog from getting sprayed by a skunk is to keep him indoors after dusk. Also if you have a yard where your dog plays quite often, guard it with a double-wire electric fence to keep skunks away. Putting skunk repellents around your yard or garden might help to a certain extent.

2. Regarding Fluids in Your Dog’s Anal Glands

Regarding Fluids in Your Dog’s Anal Glands

Treatment: When your dog has a problem with his anal glands, and if there is discharge oozing out of it, the first and only thing you need to do is to contact the vet at once. Do not go for any home remedies, as that could make the matter worse.

Prevention: Dogs are mostly able to release the anal gland fluids automatically when they pass stool. However, if they have issues and they aren’t able to do the same, then a manual expression of the fluid is needed. Owners should never try to take the fluid of the dog’s anal gland on their own unless they are taught to do the same by a vet.

Also, having the vet squeeze the fluid out of your dog’s anal glands is always better. Inappropriate methods could lead to pain or infection. Moreover, if there is any abscess beforehand, then the vet is the best person to treat the same. When fluid is squeezed off the anal gland regularly, this will prevent leakage.

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3. For Burns

Treatment: If you identify that your dog has burns on his body, then immediate treatment is needed. You must keep your dog immersed in cool or saline water as a first-aid measure.

Once you’ve done that to provide quick relief to your dog, you should consult a vet at the earliest. If you aren’t able to get in touch with the vet or emergency services, continue the treatment further.

After cleaning the affected area with saline water, coat it with silver sulfadiazine if you have one in your first aid box. Then cover the burn with dry dressings or sterile. Remember, silver sulfadiazine could lead to side effects like pain and irritation. Dogs allergic to sulfur products shouldn’t be given this ointment.

Prevention: As a preventive measure, you’ve got to be cautious. You must keep electrical cords and heating pads out of your dog’s reach. Moreover, when you are using a hair dryer on your dog, you should ensure that the temperature isn’t that high. The skins of dogs are thinner than that of their human counterparts. This makes them susceptible to burns.

4. For Other Issues

Treatment: If the pungent smell is because of dental problems, liver problems, or any other underlying issue, a vet’s intervention is needed. He will address the concern and treat it as per your dog’s requirements.

Prevention: Regarding dental problems, maintaining oral hygiene would help. Brush your dog’s teeth two or three times a day. This will help minimize the chances of tartar buildup.  Regarding liver problems, maintaining a proper weight, a healthy diet, and a regular exercise regime may help to a greater extent.

When to Seek Veterinary Assistance

When to Seek Veterinary Assistance

If your dog smells of burnt rubber and he isn’t behaving normally, then a vet’s intervention is needed. If your dog is sprayed by a skunk, then he will show a lot of physical symptoms like vomiting and sneezing. Moreover, if the spray has gone into his eyes, the hazard could be even greater.

Moreover, be it burns or anal gland expressions, all of it would need to be consulted with a vet, lest your dog’s condition may aggravate increasingly.

Q. Can smelling burnt rubber be bad for your dog?

If the reason why your dog is smelling of burnt rubber isn’t diagnosed at the earliest, then the symptoms could get worse with time. It’s then that burnt rubber could be bad for your dog.

Q. When can your dog’s breath smell of burnt rubber?

If your dog mostly eats feces or if he licks his anal glands a lot, chances are that his breath could also smell like burnt rubber.


To sum it up, do not panic if you get that burnt rubber smell from your dog’s body. The sooner you identify the problem, the quicker you’ll be able to solve it. This will help relieve your dog of the underlying condition. Maintaining overall hygiene, and keeping a close eye on your dog, especially when he is outdoors, could help solve a lot of problems.