Why Does Dog Food Smell so Bad? Everything You Need To Know

Those who have a dog, always have a thought lingering inside their head. Why does their dog food smell so bad? This has been a question for decades now, and we will reveal the truth today.


Dog food smells bad because of palatants and animal by-products contain in them. The animal by-product leads to the actual smell of cooked or raw meat when on the other hand palatants are chemically created to smell delicious to the dogs, which contributes to a potent smell.

  • Animal By-products: This is one of the main reason dog food smell bad. The smell can be different when you look at different brands, but most of them include bone meal, raw meat, poultry backs, and necks.  Some brands use kidneys, livers, lungs, and spleens. We all know if we leave raw meat on the counter it will stink to high heaven. And as dog foods are created with them, it doesn’t smell good.
  • Palatants: This is the biggest reason your dog food smell is so potent. Dogs tend to have more cells in their nose than they have in their taste buds.

They have 125 million sensory cells inside their nose. It is more than humans, but they have less taste bud cells than us. So ultimately, we can see that the smell of food is really important for dogs than taste.

They will eat anything and everything if it smells good enough. This is why manufacturers use palatants. Palantants are artificially created chemical compound which are used in dog foods in powder or liquid form. They add it to trick the dogs that they are eating the most delicious food ever.

Well, you don’t worry about the animal by-products. According to the Clinical Nutrition Team, animal-b products are safe for your dogs to consume. They add great nutrition value too. Also, by the same law, anything that is not safe or edible can’t be considered as an animal by-products.

As you know, palatants are artificially created; you may think it is safe for your dogs to consume. They are either meat-based or plant-based. They are usually low fat, grain-free, non-GMO, natural, and hypoallergenic, which means that palatants are created in such a way that it is safe for your dogs to consume.

However, we don’t stand by this statement for all dog food brands. You need to research your brand of interest so that you can be sure your dogs are healthy and fair.

Now that you know the major reasons why your dog foods smell so bad, there is nothing to worry about. But be sure that your dog food is not expired. Because if your dog food has gone bad, it can also smell and not safe for your dogs to consume.

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