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Dachshunds, like any other dog, are prone to certain unpleasant smells. But is what you’re smelling normal? Or do they have some underlying issues that need to be looked at immediately?
Are Dachshunds Smelly?
A dachshund on a good grooming and bathing routine has no real reason to smell. If they do smell even though their coat is being well managed this could be a sign they’re unwell. Skin infection, dental issues, poor diet, or allergies could all create unpleasant smells.
In this post you’ll discover the top 9 reasons why your dachshund smells as well as 8 ways to keep them smelling fresh. Some are easy solutions while others require immediate or even medical attention.
Let’s jump right in to see what might be causing your pups unwanted smell.
Table of Contents
9 Reasons Why Your Dachshund Smells
1) Long Overdue For A Bath
The most obvious reason your dachshund is smelly is because your pup is simply overdue for a bath.
Many people wait until their doggo is giving off a rather unpleasant smell to bathe them. If you find yourself in that situation, give them a good scrub down with some dog shampoo.
Important note: Be sure you fully rinse them as well as dry them off properly.
Failing to rinse the shampoo out of their coat completely can cause your dog’s skin to become irritated. And in worse cases these skin irritations can also contribute to a poor smelling doggo.
Also, a dog that isn’t completely dried after a bath can give off a ‘musty’ smell that lasts quite long after their bath.
So while it’s important to bathe your dog to remove a bad smell, it’s also important to fully rinse off the shampoo and completely dry them to avoid other unwanted smells.
Simply put, atopy is an allergic reaction from an airborne allergen.
And atopy can be quite common in dogs.
When a dog has these allergies it can make their skin become inflamed.
Because of this, their body attempts to heal itself by secreting oil from their skin which can create an unpleasant smell.
If you notice alongside their new smell that they’re constantly scratching, they could be having an allergic reaction.
3) Their Food (gas attack)
Some dog’s stomachs are much more sensitive than others.
And if your dog is eating something that isn’t agreeing with them, they’ll likely pass gas more often than you’d like.
Not only can a bad diet produce gas attacks, it can also make your dachshund smell due to lack of nutrients.
If their food isn’t giving them the necessary nutrients they need, you’ll notice their skin is dry and flaky and they may even shed more than they normally do.
Unhealthy skin can also give off an unpleasant aroma.
A dog’s diet is super important and very closely linked to if they’re fresh smelling or off-putting.
4) Skin Disease Or Infection
Yeast infections, ear infections or diseases that affect your dog’s skin will almost always produce an off-putting smell.
If you notice a smell around your dog’s head they could very well have an ear infection.
Ear infections are more common in dachshunds because of their floppy ears.
Floppy ears easily collect moisture.
And warm wet areas are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria.
A skin disease that’s known for producing an unpleasant smell is Seborrhea.
And according to PetMD, a common symptom of Seborrhea is greasy, oily skin that smells bad.
So if you notice your dog’s skin is dry and flaky, oily and greasy, or has a wound that’s not getting better and is giving off an unwanted scent, take them to see their vet.
If your dog is groomed well and has recently been bathed but still has an odor, it’s likely something you should get a second opinion from a professional.
5) Poor Oral Hygiene
Many people don’t pay too much attention to their dog’s oral health.
If you notice your dog’s mouth smells worse than usual, it could be a sign of something going on that should be looked at.
Bath breath could be caused by gum disease, stomach issues because of a poor diet, excessive tartar and plaque buildup, or they simply ate something that smells terrible.
Some of the more serious reasons why your dog’s mouth smells could be oral tumors, a tooth infection, kidney or liver disease, or periodontal diseases.
Bad breath might be an indicator that something more serious is going on inside your pup.
If their bad breath isn’t temporary, or you notice it’s getting worse, it’s important to take them to the vet.
Related Reading: 5 Reasons Why Your Dachshund Has Bad Breath + 3 Tips
6) Dirty Bum
Numerous poops without wiping afterwards can lead to a dirty bum.
Especially since your pup has fur all around their bum to collect residue.
If your doggo’s fur is starting to get a little overgrown, there’s a good chance they’ll start to get a dirty bum.
Through no fault of their own, the fur around their bum will gradually collect more poop which will obviously create a pretty nasty smell.
If you notice your dachshund is starting to smell like poop and you’ve checked to see if they rolled in some, your next best bet would be to give their bum a good wipe.
7) Anal Glands
Does your dog have a rather, well, fishy smell?
It could be their anal glands, also called anal sacs.
According to AKC, this smell comes from anal glands that aren’t functioning properly.
Normally, after each poop your dog’s anal glands fully release a fluid.
But when their anal glands are impacted they won’t completely empty which then dries and becomes irritated.
If your dog has impacted anal glands you should take them to the vet so they can manually empty their glands.
Once this is done it should take care of the fishy smell you’re smelling.
8) Puddle Bath
It just rained, and rained hard.
There’s puddles everywhere and you need to take your dachshund for their morning walk.
Through no fault of their own, an urge has overcome them and they MUST roll around in the mud puddle.
And just like that your clean pup has instantly become dirty.
The little rascal.
Puddle water is certainly far from clean. Which means beyond your dog’s new wet-dog smell, when they dry they’ll be dirty and likely have an off-putting smell.
If it’s been a few days and you forgot about their puddle bath, and their smell is starting to get super noticeable, that’s more than likely the reason.
9) Not Brushed Often Enough
Since your dachshund has a double coat, they’ll need regular brushing in order to have their coat remain strong and healthy.
While frequent brushing will help keep your home free from excessive dog hair, it will also keep your dachshund smelling fresher.
All kinds of dirt and debris get caught in your dog’s coat as they go through their day-to-day life.
Your dachshund has the nose of a hunting dog and will follow it till the ends of the earth.
And on this journey, they’re likely to come across a variety of smells that they’ll like to rub against or roll in.
Aside from the big task of giving them a bath, frequent brushing will help keep them from smelling too bad.
You’ll be able to collect most loose hairs as well as whatever is caught in their coat. Plus it’s a great time to bond with your pup!
8 Ways To Keep Your Dachshund Smelling Fresh
1) Regular Bathing & Grooming
Wiping paws, brushing often, not letting their coat get too long, and giving them a good shampoo covered rub down every 1-3 months.
That’s the simple recipe to keep your dachshund smelling fresh.
Oftentimes people only find themselves bathing their dog or doing general maintenance when the smell starts to get unbearable.
This type of grooming is reactive and will always result in a super smelly dog a few times a year.
The best way to keep your doggo smelling fresh is to be proactive. Give their paws a good cleaning/wipe down often, brush them, take them to get clipped before their coat is overgrown and bathe every 1-3 months.
This is the best way to make sure your pup doesn’t have any prolonged periods of stink.
Of course, unless their smell is coming from something internal. In which you should consult with a vet to get their situation figured out and resolved.
2) The Right Shampoo
There are many great dog shampoos that can help keep your pup smelling fresh for as long as possible.
Something important to keep in mind when it comes to dog shampoo is you don’t want them to leave a powerful scent. While you might enjoy the smell, it will likely be off-putting for your dog as their nose is much more sensitive than yours.
Aside from using a nice gentle oatmeal based dog shampoo to keep your dog from smelling, like, well, a dog…
There are also shampoos that are formulated to help treat skin irritations.
So if you do find your dog is itching a lot, has red spots, or has yeast build up, there are shampoos that can help treat these conditions. Which while helping nourish their skin, would also help with the smell.
The Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Dog Shampoo is one of the top shampoos for skin irritations.
And The 4-Legger USDA Organic Dog Shampoo is great for regular baths if there’s no problem with your dog’s skin and they’re simply starting to get a bit stinky.
It’s also important to stay away from certain dog shampoos as they can do more harm than good to your pup. Check out this post here to learn about which shampoos should be avoided.
3) High Quality Dog Food
If your dachshund can clear a room when they pass gas, they’re likely eating something that contains an ingredient that doesn’t agree with them.
Many low quality dry dog foods lack the necessary nutrients to maintain a happy, healthy pup.
If you’ve been feeding them grain-based dog food, it would be worth trying a meat-based food, like fish. Or at least grain-free dog food.
If they’re frequently gassy, there could be an underlying issue that needs to be resolved.
In this case it’s a good idea to have a vet take a look at them to see what’s going on.
4) Wash Their Bed Regularly
Wherever your dog spends most of their time resting should be washed regularly.
If they have their own bed that they use often, it’s best to give it a good wash twice a month or at least once a month.
Considering your dog ENJOYS rolling around in things that have a strong smell, it only makes sense that their resting spot will start to smell off-putting relatively soon.
Bathing your dog will almost become irrelevant if their bed, or wherever they often rest, doesn’t also get washed.
You can do the best job ever while on bath duty, but if they lay down in a dirty bed right after their fresh smell won’t last very long.
It would be like you taking a shower and then putting dirty clothes back on.
A little silly if you’re trying to improve your smell.
Related Reading: 12 Best Dog Beds for Dachshunds: Ultimate 1-Stop Resource
5) Clean Ears Regularly
This is especially important for dachshunds because of their floppy ears.
Ear infections affect roughly 20% of all dogs but is even more likely in dogs with floppy ears.
This is because moisture can easily get trapped in floppy ears which creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
If your dachshund has an ear infection, their ears are more than likely going to be smelly.
Not to mention irritating for your poor pup.
The best solution is to clean their ears regularly.
You can do this by giving their ears a good wipe down with cotton balls to ensure no moisture stays around for too long.
However, if you notice that their ears are possibly infected, take them to the vet.
They will need a special treatment to remedy the infection and a cotton ball cleaning won’t be enough to fix their problem.
6) Oral Care
There’s a reason why it’s encouraged that people brush their teeth before bed AND in the morning.
Morning breath is quite smelly and a being around someone who hasn’t brushed in a few days is almost like torture…
It’s no wonder your dog’s mouth and breath stinks if they haven’t received any oral care!
Now I’m not suggesting you brush your dog’s teeth every night before bed as well as in the morning.
But, a few times a week can really help.
If you’re not at all interested in physically brushing your dog’s teeth, thankfully there’s another way to keep their mouth healthier. And that’s with dentastix.
Dentistix are a treat that your dog can eat that also reduces plaque and tartar buildup in their mouth.
Easy for you to keep their mouth healthier and easy for your dog to unknowingly have their mouth cleaned.
7) No-Rinse Dog Shampoo Between Baths
When you don’t have time for a full blown bath, dry shampoo can be quite helpful.
Dry shampoo can be applied to your dog’s coat then simply brushed out. No water necessary.
It can help moisturize their skin, condition their coat and leave a fresh scent.
If your dachshund rolled in something smelly or jumped/rolled around in a dirty puddle and you don’t want to bathe them, dry shampoo is a nice alternative to have around.
8) Visit The Vet
A few of the more serious reasons for your dog’s smell (infections, skin diseases, oral problems or improper food) should be consulted with your vet.
Many times their suggestions can make your life a whole lot easier than if you attempted to self-diagnose your pup.
Some of the smells simply won’t go away unless there is medical treatment.
Be sure to take your dachshund to the vet to have them looked at if their smell is beyond what a good bath can solve.
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