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Do Dachshunds Smell Bad? Breed Facts & FAQ

Written by: Brooke Bundy

Last Updated on July 13, 2024 by Dogster Team

miniature chocolate dachshund standing on rock

Do Dachshunds Smell Bad? Breed Facts & FAQ

While any dog can stink, Dachshunds aren’t notoriously any more smelly than other breeds. Although they shed moderately, they’re considered to be relatively clean dogs who can go for long periods of time without seeing the tub. In fact, they only need to be bathed every 3 months or so unless they become particularly muddy at the dog park. If your Dachshund smells awful, you should check them for signs of illness, such as ear infections, skin problems, or anal glands that need to be expressed.

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Top 4 Reasons Your Dachshund Smells Bad

1. Full Anal Glands

You know that funny move where dogs scoot along the carpet? That’s usually a sign that their anal glands need to be manually expressed. Your dog has two sacs located near their anus that are filled with a foul odor that releases every time they poop. To humans, it smells a little like rotten fish mixed with a fart, but to dogs it’s their signature scent that shares key factors about their age, health, and sex.

Most dogs fortunately possess the capability to express their own glands, but some don’t. Chronic inflammation or poor diet often prevent them from expressing their glands properly, but the issue is also more commonly seen in smaller dog breeds in general, which means genetics may play a role.

Since most dogs can express their glands naturally, you shouldn’t try unless it’s absolutely necessary. Some dogs can lose the capability to express their own anal glands if someone does it for them, and you certainly don’t want to be doing that for their entire life unless you need to.

Dachshund butt
Image Credit: HPK Images, Shutterstock

2. Ear Problems

Your Dachshund’s adorable ears may be the site of the unrelenting stench. Mites, infections, and built-up earwax can all cause unpleasant odors. Black specks resembling coffee grounds often accompanied by an excessive amount of wax signify ear mites. While this condition is easily treated, you’ll need to take your Dachshund to the vet to receive a prescription for ear drops.

If your dog has an ear infection, their ears will likely smell funky and may appear unusually red on the inside. Your dog may howl if they’re touched there, and they might even have a low-grade fever. Your vet will likely need to examine their ears to determine if the infection was caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal source. After cleaning out their ears, they’ll usually give you ear drops to treat the problem at home.    

3. Skin Infections

Slick, oily skin with a moldy or sour odor may be a sign that your dog has an external yeast infection. Your vet will likely prescribe medicine to your pup to remedy the problem and may recommend diet changes to prevent it from recurring. Unfortunately, some Dachshunds seem prone to skin issues. You might want to talk to your vet about switching your Dachshund’s food to an allergy-friendly diet with anti-inflammatory ingredients to see if that helps, especially if they experience frequent GI upset or ear infections.

sick dachshund with a bandage on his leg
Image Credit: kees luiten, Shutterstock

4. Bad Breath

Did you know that 80% of dogs develop periodontal disease by age 3? Unless they’re chomping down on food (or our fingers during the puppy stage), we might not think about our Dachshund’s teeth very often. However, it’s critical to keep up with your dog’s oral health with daily toothbrushing and professional cleanings as recommended by your vet.

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How to Keep Your Dachshund Smelling Fresh

Thankfully, it doesn’t take much effort to keep your Dachshund smelling good. You should bathe them every 1-3 months with a sulfate-free shampoo that doesn’t strip their coat. We like Colloidal Oatmeal Shampoo by Hepper because it doesn’t contain any harsh or harmful ingredients such as soaps or parabens. Plus, it endows them with a long-lasting cucumber scent.

While your Dachshund needs only quarterly bathing, you might have to wash their hind quarters more frequently if they have an upset stomach or after an anal gland expression. To keep your Dachshund clean, you can wipe them down after a moderately dirty trip to the park. Otherwise, they’ll bathe themselves and stay relatively clean.

You will need to brush them, however, at least once or twice a week. Brushing distributes their natural oils across their coat, which nourishes their fur and prevents them from developing any greasy spots.

Your Dachshund’s teeth need to be brushed daily in order to keep their pearly whites in top shape, and tame doggie breath.

Besides hygiene, be sure to feed your Dachshund a healthy, well-balanced diet to avoid excessive gas and help prevent scooting. If you do all of these things, your Dachshund should be generally stench-free. If they still smell like a skunk, it’s probably time to see a vet.

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If you’re hesitating about adopting a Dachshund because of the possible stench, you can breathe a pleasant sigh of relief. While no living creature may be strictly odorless, Dachshunds aren’t known to be particularly stinky. If you do smell a foul odor emanating from your hound, you should probably examine them for any medical issues such as ear infections or blocked anal glands. Otherwise, maintaining a regular grooming routine that includes weekly brushing and daily tooth-brushing should keep them smelling fresh in between baths.

Featured Image Credit: David Pecheux, Shutterstock

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