Friend's house smells like dog.

My friend’s house is clean, but it smells like wet dog 90% of the time. She has 2 dogs, both sweet, but one is older and doesn’t get bathed often enough. He stinks. You pet him, your hand stinks. He leans on you, that part of you stinks. He also has a goopy eye that freaks me out, but I digress. He’s a good boy, he can’t help it.

I honestly don’t think she smells it anymore. My kid won’t sleep over there because he comes home and all his things smell like dog.

Other than the Eau d’Canine, we like them a lot - and we like their dogs, even the sketchy one.

Sometimes I want to comment, but I can be blunt and my social filter isn’t all that trustworthy. Should I just hold my nose and enjoy my friends?

Say something but remember the key is TACT.

Start with the dogs “goopy eye”

Say something like, “I’ve been noticing that dog’s goopy eye, have you had him checked, 'cause I think something’s really wrong, as he smells bad. Is that from the eye?”

Then she might say “I don’t smell anything,”

“Maybe you’re used to it, I’d get that eye checked, 'cause the old guy smell a bit off”

See how you can kind of lead into a conversation

When the dog is in close proximity I would say something like “(dog’s name) needs a bath!” and then “why don’t we give him one?”

I admit this advice might seem a little extreme, esp if you have little or no experience doing this. But for me, good friends are just too few, and I have not only always liked dogs but have also had a lot of experience giving dog’ baths, having always had a dog throughout my life.

At any rate, I don’t think it’s too bold to at least make a comment that the dog needs bathing.

I don’t know what the dog smells like, but some dogs have skin issues that are VERY hard to treat that make them small awful. I know, because I used to have such a dog. She may very well know that he stinks, but can’t do anything much about it. I know I couldn’t.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t talk to her about it, but if she says she’s bathed him and nothing helps, that may be the issue. We went to several vets and nothing was ever fixed, so it can be a real problem. I would try to avoid embarrassing her if that’s the case; if she is doing all she can, knowing others think she’s dirty may make it worse.

Dog people are in their own world and will not appreciate your critique. If you can offer something that may help, they might take that and run with it as long as it’s not predicated upon “their home being a stench.” I don’t mind smells myself. Even a skunk is Ok with me within reason. But then I like most animals anyway. I associate the smells with favorable memories. If you are a dog person yourself, your “help” will be more acceptable.

nuke 'em from orbit

I think I could find a way to casually ask about the general health of manky dog and use that as a lead in.

I really think she’d be mortified if she wasn’t so acclimated to the smell.

And if it’s something that can’t be helped, then I’ll just deal with it and pat the old furball on the head anyway. Maybe just not the goopy eye side.

Bring one of those giant house-burner Yankee candles over when you visit.

Ugh - you have my sympathies. We went to visit my sister last summer, and they had I think it was four dogs total in the house (from three different families) - that friggin’ house stunk to high heaven of dogs. I think about all I would do is just not visit over there - ask them to do things out of the house or invite them over to your house (and sorry, your house is a dog-free zone).

Chances are your friend knows. If she leaves her house at all, she has to notice the smell when she returns.

So either she doesn’t care, or she’s unable to bathe the dog (is it a big dog?), or she’s bathing the dog but the dog has other issues. Definitely the goopy eye could be causing the stink.

How about “Did Fido roll in something dead?”

Years ago I knew an older lady who had a really stinky dog. She was unable to bathe the dog, but when a friend offered to do it for her, the lady took offense and refused to let her in the house, actually yelled and chased her off the porch.

The robots smell awful!

(You all know the rest…)

OTOH, as a dog person for decades, I would like to know if my house smells funky. As a matter of fact, I tend to ask my non-doggy friends when they come over since I’m sure I don’t smell it any more, if for no other reason than allergies have pretty much destroyed my sense of smell.

Another reason for mentioning it is the way you describe the older dog - if it’s true he isn’t getting bathed as often as the other dog, then that could be why he stinks, but it could also be all kinds of health reasons. Unless dogs are getting into smelly things, they shouldn’t need to be bathed all that often as long as they are healthy and well groomed (dead hair stuck in the coat tends to stink). Anyway, it could be a favor to the older dog if the owner took him to the vet to check if he has a skin condition, bad teeth, a problem with his diet, hot spots, etc.

FWIW, not ALL dog people are unreasonable about their animals, any more than ALL parents are sure their precious kiddos can do no wrong.

I have a 12yo Lab with chronic skin issues. She gets what amounts to yeast flare-ups, and it makes her reek. Her ears are the worst, and that’s probably what’s making your friend’s dog smell too. The problem is that I have to walk a fine line between keeping her non-stinky and overbathing, which can actually exacerbate the problem even with medicated shampoos. She also is on Ketoconazole every so often to beat back the beasties in her system. It’s a harsh drug and I hate to use it too often, but it does make her less stinky and itchy.

I think trying an offhand comment, not judgmental & maybe a little joke-y, about old dog smell or the smell of old age or something and see how it’s taken might be a first step. Or just ask an honest and please-educate-me type question about the eye or problems the old guy is having. Since you do seem to actually like the dog despite the smell your concern should come through and she’ll know you care and aren’t just wearing your judgy pants.

I wouldn’t tell anyone their house stank when they asked any more than I’d tell them what I really think about their kids. That’s a fat butt question.

Shrug. I guess I’m lucky that my friends are honest with me. Perhaps the difference is that I really doubt that my house stinks.

I have read this sentence several times. And I know you’re a very coherent person, Cat Whisperer. So the conclusion is I really need to stop drinking.

I have a dog and have been in some really stinky dog houses lately. They make me gag. I hope the fact that I can still smell it means that my house doesn’t stink but I would want to know.

I like Marxxx’s example conversation that focuses the smell around the dog’s eye. Even if it’s not true it seems more tactful.

Nah, it’s probably me - this wouldn’t be the first time something was obvious to me and not other people (or vice versa). :slight_smile:

What I meant was that I wouldn’t tell someone (other than close family members) that their house reeked of dog, even if they asked me, any more than I’d tell them what I really think about their kids, even if they asked me (I’m not a big fan of kids, but I do my best to keep the parents from knowing that).

There’s always a way.

“I don’t think so, but you know about my allergies.”
“Oh, is that what that is?”
“Who cares? Get one of those Yankee Nuclear Candles.”

They all mean, “Yes, but I don’t care. However, your mother-in-law might.”

That proves Cat Whisperer’s point.

How’s that? I’m not saying that it isn’t possible that my house smells like pets (tho it most likely smells like the husband’s cigarettes), I’m just saying that I doubt it stinks.