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Dogs often have different scents at different times due to places they’ve been, what they’ve eaten, or current health conditions. While you can expect your dog to smell, whether it’s bad breath or stinky fur, one smell that many people don’t realize is that puppies smell like maple syrup. Surprisingly, dogs smell of maple syrup more often than you think, but that doesn’t make it any less egregious.
For such a pleasant smell, you might be surprised to know that this doesn’t bode well for your pup, especially if he hasn’t eaten any maples in the past day or two. That’s why dog owners should always be aware of their dog’s smell.
The smell can come from the puppy’s fur or breath and is usually strong. At first, it may seem harmless, but over time it can increase in intensity, making those around it uncomfortable.
This guide is designed to help you determine the cause of this odor on your dog and offers solutions and preventive measures. With that being said, let’s take a look at why your dog smells like maple syrup.
The Reason Why My Dog Smells Like Maple Syrup
If you’ve recently noticed a sweet maple syrup smell on your dog’s breath or coat, read on in this section to find out why.
There are several reasons why your dog might be able to smell this without being exposed to maple syrup, some of which we’ll highlight below:
1. Canine diabetes
Like humans, dogs suffer from diabetes, and one of the symptoms is often the smell of maple syrup. If you smell this smell from a puppy, it could be a sign of canine diabetes.
There are three types of canine diabetes: Type I occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin; Type II occurs when the body does not make full use of the insulin it produces; and Type III is caused by hormones, usually during pregnancy.
It helps if you watch where the smell is coming from as this will help diagnose the problem. A maple smell in your dog’s breath or urine is likely a sign of canine diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is the most common and forms when the immune system attacks cells that produce insulin. Type III diabetes, on the other hand, is rare but can occur during pregnancy.
Since diabetes causes a lot of sugar in the blood, it is excreted through the dog’s urine and breath, which smells like maple syrup. Other symptoms include weight loss, increased urination, increased appetite, and thirst.
2. Urinary tract infection
A urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause urine to have a strong, foul-smelling smell, but when a UTI is accompanied by certain bacterial infections, the urine can become maple syrup-smelling. A UTI may cause difficulty urinating, so be careful.
3. Yeast infection
Sometimes, the maple syrup smell comes from a dog’s fur rather than urine or breath. In such cases, a yeast infection is the most likely cause.
The area around the ears and nose of puppies is the most common place for yeast infections because they can collect moisture and encourage yeast growth. You may also find this infection between the pads under the dog’s paws.
Yeast infections are usually caused by a yeast infection caused by a weakened immune system. Environmental and hormonal challenges can also lead to yeast infections. Some symptoms to look out for include itchy ears and nose, hair loss, inflammation and local irritation.
4. Exposure to maple syrup
Sometimes, there’s nothing in it and your dog has just been exposed to maple syrup. Check your maple syrup jar and your pup’s mouth for traces of gunk, which could indicate it has licked the maple syrup. Check the dog’s body and under the paws, as it may be walking on or sitting in the syrup.
5. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds smell similar to maple syrup, so when your dog eats fenugreek seeds or their supplements, it will smell like maple syrup. First, make sure the smell is from its breath before cross-checking what it eats for fenugreek seeds or its supplements. However, fenugreek seeds benefit a dog’s digestive system and treat skin problems.
What if my dog smells like maple syrup?
If your dog smells like maple syrup, you have to take it seriously, even if the smell isn’t offensive. The smell could be from your puppy’s fur, breatheor urine, so you have to watch out for those.
The first step in solving a problem is to find out the cause. Solving a problem depends on the cause, and the solutions vary.
1. Exposure to maple syrup
When the reason is simply exposure to maple syrup from sitting or standing on it, the solution is simple and you don’t need to worry about anything serious.
Before you attribute its smell to contact with syrup, you must thoroughly inspect its fur, paws, and under its mouth for maple. You should also check the maple syrup in the kitchen for any signs of disturbance, which would indicate that your dog has been there.
Small servings of natural maple syrup are safe for your dog, so there’s nothing you need to do. However, maple syrup that contains xylitol can be toxic to dogs, so you should watch your pup closely for any discomfort and take them to the veterinarian.
2. For canine diabetes
You must take your dog to the veterinarian for a proper examination before diagnosing canine diabetes; however, you should observe the dog for signs of the disease.
Usually, the odor comes from urine and breath. You may need several tests to determine your dog’s diabetic status, such as pancreatic blood tests, blood counts, and urinalysis.
Treatment includes dietary adjustments to produce insulin in mild cases, while giving puppies twice-daily insulin injections is also a popular way to add insulin to the bloodstream. It is helpful to use a prescribed formula that contains balanced ratios of all essential nutrients.
3. Against Yeast Infections
When fur smells like maple syrup, a yeast infection may be the cause, but you may want to check for other symptoms, such as itchy ears and inflammation of the area.
To diagnose your dog’s yeast infection, the veterinarian will use an exchange of the puppy’s ear to confirm it under a microscope.
Prescriptions such as antifungal creams and ear cleaners are the best way to treat mild cases. In more severe cases, you may need oral antifungal medication. Remember to use only as prescribed by your veterinarian.
My dog’s fur smells like maple syrup!
If your dog’s coat smells like sweet maple syrup, your dog may have a yeast infection. When you cuddle your dog, the sweetness that lingers in your nostrils is evident.
The infection leaves the dog’s fur and skin with a sickening maple syrup smell. Yeast infections are common in and around the ears and nose because residual moisture encourages yeast growth.
Your best bet is to have the veterinarian perform the required tests, which include examining the contents of the swab under a microscope. In rare cases, a dog may not have a yeast infection and be lucky to have a sweet smell.
My dog’s breath smells like maple syrup
Sometimes it’s not the fur that smells like maple syrup, but the dog’s breath. Breathing maple smell can signal serious illness, so you must take immediate action to prevent complications.
Once you rule out the possibility that your dog has consumed maple syrup, another possible cause could be underlying canine diabetes.
Pay more attention to symptoms such as frequent urination, weight loss, increased appetite, and excessive drinking. Take your dog to the vet for an examination and follow-up treatment.
Is there a plant that makes dogs smell like maple syrup?
Let’s say you’ve overcome a health challenge, or your dog was exposed to maple syrup, and that’s off your list of potential causes. You might want to check out plants that smell like maple, which could be why your dog has that sweet smell.
Some plants can make your dog smell like maple syrup, such as beetroot. This wild plant is also known as California rot because it is native to the area, and its other names are “Lady Tobacco” and “California Eternal.”
This beautiful plant grows in the wild and in woodlands. The flowers and leaves have a maple-like smell that can stick to your dog if he eats it or rubs it in its fur.
Frequently Asked Questions
Follow this section for frequently asked questions about dogs smelling like maple syrup, and we’ll answer them. You may find the answer to this lingering question.
California marijuana is not poisonous to dogs, but you may want to be aware if your dog consumes unhealthy amounts.
While diabetes is not the most common dog disease, it is relatively common, with approximately 1% of dogs developing diabetes in their lifetime.
It is safe for dogs to consume natural maple syrup in small amounts, as too much sugar can lead to various other problems. Maple syrup that contains xylitol can be toxic to your dog.
While maple syrup smells sweet, you should find out why your dog has this smell, as it could be due to an underlying challenge. Other times, there’s nothing to worry about because the dog may have stepped on or eaten a small portion of your maple jar.
The key is to find the possible cause, diagnose and if necessary treat your dog. Some of the leading causes of dogs smelling like maple syrup include canine diabetes and yeast infections. Early detection and treatment can prevent complications.
Dr. Lillian is a DVM with a passion for raising awareness about dogs. She shares her expertise through her blog at canineweekly.com and provides animal care services including internal medicine, dermatology, and urgent care. Dr. Lillian is dedicated to contributing to animal welfare.