We adore our dogs, but occasionally their odor isn’t the best. Dog odor is one thing, but what if your dog starts to smell like something particular, like burned hair?  Is this typical, or do you need to be concerned? For a variety of causes, including a real burn, dogs may smell like burnt fur. In this post, we’ll discuss some potential reasons of the peculiar odor and tell you what to do if it appears in your dog.

Does Your Dog Have Burns or Just Smell Like They Have?

One straightforward explanation for why your dog smells like burnt hair is that they may have actually been burned. Heating sources like lights or warming pads can accidentally burn dogs. It is a widespread issue for dogs who have just undergone surgery.

Some of the equipment used to maintain your dog’s body temperature while they are under anesthesia can burn their skin or fur. If your dog gets too close to a bonfire, barbeque, or portable fire pit, they could also get burned. Burns hurt and are typically noticeable. They are difficult to adequately cure and necessitate immediate medical intervention.

Additional Reasons Your Dog May Smell Like Burned Hair

Skunk Spray

Skunk spray has a stench that has been compared to burned hair in the past. The effects if your dog discovers a skunk can be pretty repulsive. Skunks inhabit not just rural areas but also urban areas and suburbs, particularly at dawn or night.

Skunk spray is so foul-smelling that it can cause your dog to throw up. The chemical, which is sulfur-rich, can also hurt your dog’s eyes if it comes in direct contact with them. Occasionally, consuming skunk spray might result in anemia or low red blood cell counts.

Anal Gland

It usually smells “fishy” when fluid from a dog’s anal glands is produced. However, the scent might change, particularly if your dog has an infection of the anal glands. Your dog may have overactive or diseased anal glands if they are the source of the burnt hair odor. An affected gland may be the cause of your dog’s bottom scooting on the ground or chewing and licking underneath its tail.

Dental Illness

Dogs, especially tiny breeds, frequently experience dental and gum issues. Unpleasant dog scents can also be caused by dental disease. Make sure their teeth aren’t the issue if your dog has a burnt-hair odor.

Bad ears or skin

The most common causes of dog odor in dogs are skin and ear infections. Your dog may emit a different stench, possibly that of burnt hair, or yeasty like bread, depending on the source of the infection.

How to Handle a Dog Who Smells Like Burned Hair

If your dog has an unpleasant burnt hair odor, carefully look for any burn damage or scorched fur. As we previously indicated, burns need to be treated by a veterinarian very away. Look for indications of other health issues, such as your dog scratching their ears, scooting their bottom on the floor, or having difficulty eating, if you don’t see any obvious burns.

Make a visit to your doctor, especially if you detect any of the other symptoms we listed, to find out what is actually causing your dog to smell like burnt hair.


As you can see, there are a number of causes why your dog can have a burnt-hair odor. Even while this may not be your dog’s typical scent, it could be a sign of a number of medical issues that require attention. Make an appointment with your veterinarian whenever you observe a change in your dog, even if it’s only a new, unpleasant odor.