5 Ways to Deal With a Musty Smelling Pup After Swimming

It is not uncommon for pups to smell like wet laundry after a swimming session. The damp smell usually fades as the fur dries out but quickly appears when fur babies retake one or more dips. This can be especially the case for dogs with thick coats.

Instead of complaining, puppy owners can look for hacks to reduce the dead fish smell their four-pawed friends pick up while swimming in the ocean water. At the same time, little peppers can be susceptible to infections, allergies, sickness, etc., when they venture out in the water on a summer dog vacay.

Pet insurance for dogs can’t pay for grooming your smelly dog, but it can cover your dear puppy’s diagnosis and treatment during accidents, injuries, pet health emergencies, and more. Dog insurance is available in different levels of coverage. So, explore pet insurance policies, inquire about pet insurance costs, then request and compare quotes across insurers to get the best-fit plan for your furry baby.

While you consider getting a medical financial backup, read this article to understand why puppies can smell musty after swimming and learn a few tips on minimizing the musty smell.

Why do puppies smell different and bad after swimming?

The dog’s coat functions to protect them from the sun, water, and cold. A thick (and/or oily) coat can prove helpful for a pup, especially in water. It acts as a water-resistant layer while the puppy swims in the pool or beachside; the puppy’s fur dries faster once out of water because of its water-repellent nature and shields them from extreme weather.

However, the downside to having a thick coat is it can trap/absorb organic constituents floating in the water. For instance, algae, bacteria, fish, or other water creatures’ eliminations, plant remnants, and dirt are some common organic ocean water components that can get stuck amidst a puppy’s fur. The trapped organic matter can significantly contribute to the musty smell a wet puppy spreads.

One word of caution here, a puppy having skin infections can leave behind an even worse foul odor. Talking to the vet about the dos and don’ts is best before taking an already-infected puppy for a swim. For a swimming episode to be a pleasant experience, listen to what the puppy has to say and seek the vet’s permission.

How to minimize the musty coat odor after swimming?

Follow the below-mentioned steps as soon as the puppy has finished its swimming routine.


Use a hose pipe with a faucet to cleanse your fur baby at the end of the day’s swimming schedule. Spraying warm water at moderate pressure can remove much dirt and odor from your furry little one’s coat.


If your puppy loves swimming and can be called a habitual swimmer, it may be best to have their coat cut short or trimmed at the groomers regularly. Please first speak with your vet because for many breeds this isn’t the case – even double-coated ones.


Check for pet-safe deodorizing sprays that you can use on your puppy’s coat as a temporary fix until they are given a refreshing bath.


Use vet-recommended medicated shampoos, conditioners, etc., to get rid of the strong-smelling chlorine and other foul odors, especially if your puppy has skin infections/allergies.


Wrap your puppy in the towel after bathing it and gently blow dry using a pet-hairdryer. It is best you don’t wait for the fur to dry on its own. Remember, moisture breeds bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms, raising the risks of infections.

Be financially prepared to handle pet health issues like infections as diagnosis and treatment bills can quickly run from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Pet insurance for dogs can help you to manage your annual pet health expenses effectively, across accidents, illnesses, and more. You can start by inquiring about various pet insurers to know the pet insurance cost. Later you can assess your puppy’s health needs and affordability to purchase the best-fit pet plan.

Jack Smith

Hussnain Khatri, I am a content writer, Founder And Owner of Extant News.

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