Dogs, among many other animals, produce oil that gets attached to hair follicles. Water activates volatile chemicals. "Wet Dog Smell" is more common in hunting and cold-weather breeds, and less common in other breeds. Some people (their hair) may also emit a similar scent.
Wet dog odor consists of many notes, some of which are actually pleasant, but they are overpowered by others that are not. It is a combination of sulfur, musty and fecal odors.
Benzaldehyde smells like almonds or cherries. Phenyl acetaldehyde's smell is fresh, sweet and strong, like rose to hyacinth and lilac. Acetaldehyde smells like roasted nuts or dried out straw. Phenol (present in human and animal waste) has a distinct odor that is sickeningly sweet and tarry. 2-Methylbutanol smells like alcohol. 3-Methyl-1-butanol odor is more like whiskey. P-cresol is a major component of pig odor and human sweet attracting mosquitoes. It is present in manure. Its smell is coal-tar like. Dimethyl sulfides have a cabbage-like smell. It's a compound in rotting meat odor attracting flies. 1-Octen-3-ol has green, moldy and meaty smell, also attracting mosquitoes. It is present in spoiled wine and some mushrooms. 2-nonanone and 2-nonenal are components of tobacco smoke. nonanone is more fruity & cheesy. This methyl ketone is a flavor component of blue cheese. 2,3-diethyl-5- methylpyrazine has a burnt, musky, nutty, roast, vegetable and somewhat earthy smell.