The most common scent issues with Beagle have been either: “why does my beagle smell like corn chips?” Or “Why does my beagle smell like fish?”
We’ll answer both.
Beagles were initially hunting dogs. They used to hunt in packs and their body odor helped them keep track of the members. You cannot completely get rid of this smell. This smell is usually described as the smell of corn or cheesy chips.
For the second answer, we need to dive deeper. Keep reading to know why your beagle smells the way it does. It can range from the state of the body, and certain body processes to lack of care.
We also include tips for you to deal with the smell.
9 Reasons Why Your Beagle Stinks
1. Your Beagle is Dirty
If your Beagle is dirty, it is not easy to tell. Beagles usually look clean even if they are not. They like to roll around in fox poop and mud.
Moreover, on wet walks, it is hard to tell the difference between mud and fox poop on your Beagles coat. They like to rub their faces and ears first. So, watch out for those parts for the smell. Then, they roll all over, covering themselves entirely.
2. Lack of Grooming
Beagles have short and thick hair. According to the American Kennel Club, it sheds mostly during the spring. The hair fights off both water and mud. So, the coat may look clean but underneath is hidden dirt and rubbish that get accumulated. This can cause a bad smell over time as they often roll around outside.
3. Dental Problems
Since they self-groom, a bad breath from your beagle is not good news. Especially when the smell is not just in the mouth. Dogs like licking their paws and fur so the smell is present on the coat as well.
Their teeth need the same attention that humans need. Plaque develops into tartar over time, if left unbrushed. It can lead to dental problems like infection. Infected teeth can produce a bad smell. Certain diseases can cause the breath to change.
If the breath has a fruity smell, your beagle needs to be checked for canine diabetes.
4. Peed in his Crate
If your puppy is not trained properly, it is likely he won’t know how to pee in a proper place.
By peeing on their blankets, they create a pungent smell when they sit on the soiled bedding. They also roll around in it. Such smells can be easily identified as the smell is all over the body. This occurs because their small bladders make it difficult to control their pee.
5. Wet Beagle
These outdoor dogs, when drenched in rain or gone swimming, have a coat that absorbs moisture. A wet coat accumulates a high collection of odor-producing microbes. Such microorganisms stick to the coat. When water is mixed, they are displaced and spread in the air. The secretion of oil in their hair follicles, trapped with moisture, exudes a terrible smell as well.
6. Skin Related Issues
Skin allergies will become well known as they age. It causes rashes and irritation on the skin when yeast and bacterial infections occur. They are likely to develop intolerance of foods if the diet remains unchanged throughout their life.
Environment affects the issues related to the skin as well. Dust, grass, mites, and household cleaning products can also cause skin-related allergies.
Some of the other issues are:
- Skin fungus
- Hormonal imbalance
Beagles like to eat poop. It creates bottomless (pun intended) amounts of gassy farts. They also tend to pick up random munchies.
Beagles have the propensity to gain weight or become obese. The ideal weight of a beagle is between 20-30 pounds but an obese beagle will likely cross that line. This is not only a common problem but also points to the signs of food intolerance.
8. Ear Infection
Their long, floppy ears may be fun to play with but they also prevent water evaporation from the ears. They avert the circulation of sunlight and air into the ear. It paves way for bacterial and fungal infections. It makes a warm and moist environment for ear mites and yeast infections, causing a bad odor.
Wax is also often built up in their ears.
Tip: Do not use cotton swabs for cleaning the ears or the wax present in the ears. Always use cotton balls to clean (with cleaning fluid) or insert it in their ears before they get wet. Also, clean wax once a week.
9. Anal Sacs
Beagles have two anal sacs on both sides of their anus. Two things can happen to it:-
- Anal glands get filled up, anal gland secretion happens when the skin breaks open. The secretion sticks on the fur when the dogs lick their anus. This causes a bad fishy smell around the house. The dark oil that is secreted can be mistaken for blood but it is blood only when the skin is ripped.
- If the anal glands are not filled up, they compress and secrete a peanut butter-like paste which also causes immense pain.
Signs to look out for:
- rubbing their bottoms on the ground due to pain in the affected sac.
- Notice if the gland is larger than a small peanut
How to deal with it
1. Bathe Regularly
Bathing the dog regularly is necessary in order to fight the dirt, mud, and debris on its coat.
Bathing them after playing is essential but baths twice a month or between 3-4 weeks is suitable. This will fend off the bad smell.
Things to keep in mind:
- Don’t bath too often as it can strip essential oils
- You can use toys to distract as most dogs are reluctant to get baths
- Preplan all supplies so you can manage time
- Always pre-check the water temperature
- Make sure you clean thoroughly so the suds reach the skin as well
- Soap should not stick as it can cake on the skin and block air flow-which can cause itchiness and a strange smell
Use a shampoo designed for dogs, preferably a waterless shampoo. Sunbathing seems to help as well. You can also use a leave-in conditioner to keep a good smell around for longer.
2. Baby Powder
Baby Powder can stop the stink in between baths. Make sure it is not scented. If you can, get a talcum-free one. Use a tiny amount of baby powder in your hands and run it through your dog’s fur. It fights off the stink oils that are present in the fur.
Warning: Do not apply anywhere near the dog’s eyes, mouth, and nose.
3. Dog Wipes
As dogs have the tendency to lick themselves, they cannot intake the substances present in the wipes. So, use chemical and fragrance-free dog wipes.
Use for smaller areas or cleaning the surface of the dirty coat. You can use it to clean the paws and muzzle after dirty walks.
Warning: Do not use baby wipes for dogs. They are harmful because of the difference in pH levels between babies and dogs. It can cause itching and irritation on the dog’s skin.
4. Regular Grooming
This is a complete routine you need to follow and get your beagle practiced. It involves:
- nails trimmed
- brushing their teeth and coat regularly
- bathing them
- taking care of their nose, ears, and paws
They may seem hesitant at first but you can keep a reward system for every task accomplished. Start with just your hands and then move on to the tools. Regular grooming will not only be an opportunity for bonding but will also help prevent any infections that may cause foul smells.
5. Brush Teeth
Like humans (ones who follow this) dogs also need to be brushed twice a day. This will prevent bad breath and dental infections. Make sure you give them healthy dog snacks that aid healthy gums and teeth. Get their teeth cleaned professionally once a year.
6. Brush the Coat
Brushing twice a week is best for your dog. Brush more frequently during shedding season. Spread the body oil evenly and use medium bristles for brushing purposes. This will prevent the coat from getting accumulated with unnecessary dirt, water, and rubbish. Choose the right place for this task as brushing can lead to the shedding of dead hair.
Provide meals without artificial colorings and preservatives. Cheap food can cause gas which leads to bad smells. A raw diet seems to have an impact on reducing the odor. Keep track of their treats and snacks in between.
To make poop softer for anal glad issues, give fiber food like carrots, apples, lettuce, and omega 3 fatty acids. Make changes in their food habits gradually.
Beagles are reasonably smelling dogs. You only need to be concerned when they start smelling like fish. Make sure you visit a vet for dental problems and major infections.
But for basic scenarios, the brief information and tips we shared should be helpful.
Let us know what you went through with your beagle in the comments section. If you found this helpful, share this article with other beagle owners!
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.