Why Do Wet Dogs Stink? Here Comes The Chemistry

Wet dogs smell bad. We all know that. But why is it that every time Rover hits the H20 — even when he takes a bath — he ends up smelling like that?

According to a new video from the American Chemical Society (above), that wet dog smell comes from the tiny microorganisms, such as yeast and bacteria, that live on your dog’s fur.

“These organisms excrete stinky volatile compounds,” Kirk Zamieroski, the video’s writer and director, says. “When your dog gets wet, the water displaces and liberates these organic volatile molecules from the surface of the dog’s fur, allowing them to find their way right into your nose.”

Ugh. But at least now you know.

How did dogs become our pets in the first place? Check out the “Talk Nerdy To Me” video below for the untold story of dog domestication.

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