Why Does The Beagle Smell? How To Make It Smell Better?

Beagles are cute and playful dogs that are owned by many people around the world. But many people notice the distinct Beagle smell.

Beagles have a very noticeable smell that is usual for all hound dogs. They have evolved this trait to help them track their hunting members during a hunt. But there are some other factors that can cause a Beagle to smell bad.

Key Takeaways

  • Beagles are a part of the “hound” dog breeds that have a specific smell
  • Improper grooming and drying are major factors in your Beagle’s smell.
  • Anal gland problems cause one of the worst smells in dogs.
  • Dirty bedding can be a common cause of constant smells in your home.
  • Dental issues, skin issues, and ear issues can all cause a bad odor.
  • Anal gland expression is an intervention that prevents their bad smell.
  • Proper grooming means bathing, brushing, and drying the Beagle regularly.
  • If you can’t fix the bad smell yourself, contact a vet or a professional dog groomer.

Do Beagles Smell Worse Than Other Dogs?

Every dog breed has its own unique smell. Beagles smell different because they have a specific “hound” scent on them. They share this scent with other hound dogs like the Coonhound, Bloodhound, Foxhound, etc. It is a light musky scent, but you will feel it most when you first meet a Beagle. Once you spend some time with your Beagle, you will get used to it and stop noticing the smell.

Hound dogs have this overpowering smell because they were bred to hunt in packs. The scent they have helps them distinguish the members of their pack so they can track each other better. They also have a great sense of smell so they can smell each other over long distances.

What Causes A Bad Beagle Smell?

Even though Beagles have their own smell, they can sometimes smell even worse. If you wonder do Beagles stink so bad, there may be a few reasons.

Anal Gland Smell

Naturally, dogs have two anal gland sacks on their anal region. These glands secrete a chemical scent that helps them communicate with other dogs. If these glands get impacted, they build up a lot of fluid in themselves. This can cause them to pop open and release a dark oily substance with an overwhelming smell to it. It is described as the smell of rotting eggs. This substance can stick to the fur and cause a long-term smell. 

Overweight dogs are prone to this disease because they are known to have problems with diarrhea or constipation. Besides the smell, you will notice your Beagle licking its anus or rubbing it on the ground.

A Wet Coat

You might have taken your Beagle out in the rain and wondered why do Beagles smell bad afterward. Well, the Beagle’s coat has a lot of microorganisms on it that love wet environments. When those microbes come in contact with the water, they spread into the air through the sebaceous glands.

You will notice this smell also when you give your Beagle a bath and don’t dry it properly. You also might notice it in the summer after playing in the pool. The best way to prevent this smell is to get a clean towel and dry its coat properly. You can also get a hair dryer for better results.

Improper Grooming

Beagles love to play outside and be active. But with that constant activity, a lot of dirt and debris piles up on its coat. That debris can cause it to smell bad over time. Because Beagles have a thick short coats, they hide that dirt so that you think it looks perfectly clean. But it is not clean. Because of that, you should groom your Beagle properly to keep it clean. Brushing and bathing are very important to keep your Beagle clean.

Make sure that you don’t over-bathe your Beagle. This will damage its skin and cause a worse smell than before.

Ear Infections

Sometimes Beagles smell because of ear infections. Beagles are especially predisposed to these infections because of their big floppy ears. Their ears are covered and create a warm, moist environment. Clean air and sunlight are blocked from entering. That is the perfect environment for bacteria, yeast, and ear mites to breed into.

One way to distinguish this problem is by its smell. You will notice a strong yeast-like odor. Besides the smell, you might notice a few other symptoms. These include:

  • Redness of the ears and ear canal
  • Black or yellowish discharge that smells bad
  • Itchiness and discomfort
  • Dragging the ears across the floor
  • Touching the ears with the paws

Dental Issues And Skin Issues

Just like humans, dogs should have their teeth brushed to keep healthy oral hygiene. Otherwise, you will be faced with bad dog breath. If their teeth don’t get brushed regularly, they will build up plaque and tartar. These will lead to many dental problems including infection. Some Beagles may also eat poop, and you can expect that to smell really bad.

Other reasons why Beagles smell bad are skin allergies. They can be allergic to some foods, grass, dust, or mites. You may notice rashes on the skin, itchiness, and infections. Overbathing a dog can also cause damaged skin which smells bad. If you notice your dog’s balls black and peeling, accompanying a bad smell, it may be a sign of a skin infection.

Dirty Bedding

If you have your Beagle sleeping inside, you probably have a dog bed made for it. Well sometimes, dogs will leave odorless wet spots on their bedding. But in time, those odorless spots will start smelling really bad. That is because your dog has peed on its bedding. In time, if your Beagle keeps sleeping on that soiled bedding, it will also get the smelly pee smell on itself.

This situation is very common if you still have small Beagle puppies that are not potty trained yet. Small puppies have small bladders which they can not control. Because of this, you need to make sure you get your Beagle out more often so it will relive itself.

Bad Nutrition

If you wonder do Beagles stink because of the food you are feeding them, the answer might be yes. Occasional farts and burps can be normal things, just like in humans. But if your dog is producing a lot of foul-smelling flatulence, the diet is probably at fault. If your Beagle suffers from indigestion, a lot of gas can build up and get out as a very smelly fart. This will happen if you let your dog eat everything it wants, like food scraps. 

You should also be careful when taking it on a walk because the Beagle might eat up something rotten from the floor.

How To Prevent The Bad Beagle Smell?

Even though you will certainly be faced with the Beagle smell, there are a few things you can do to make it smell better.

Anal Gland Expression

We already mentioned how the dog’s anal glands can produce a bad smell when they get impacted. In order to prevent impaction, you first need to feed a good diet. Expressing the anal glands means getting them emptied out to prevent impaction. 

Anal gland expression is done manually by squeezing the anal sacs. But it is recommended that you don’t do this by yourself. To get the best results and avoid hurting your pup, go to a professional dog groomer or vet. They will do this for you and see if there are any other problems with the pup.

Grooming Properly

Even though the Beagle is one of the smelly dog breeds, you can still keep it smelling good with proper grooming. Make sure you bathe your Beagle once every 3-4 weeks. Bathing too much can damage the skin. Always use a quality dog shampoo, because human shampoos can be harmful to their skin. There are special shampoos made for certain dog coats. For example, there is a shampoo made for the Jack Russell wiry hair. Rinse it thoroughly and dry it well after the bath with a towel or a blow dryer.

Besides bathing, brushing your Beagle is also essential. You should brush its coat at least twice a week to keep it clean. This will also help distribute its natural body oil which will keep it healthy.

Cleaning The Ears And Teeth

Cleaning your Beagle’s ears is essential due to them being big and floppy. You need to check their ears regularly and clean them at least once a week. You can use a clean tissue and ear-cleaning fluid. Before you give it a bath, make sure to plug its ears with damp cotton wool balls so you stop water from coming in. After the bath wipe them up with a clean cloth.

To keep up with healthy oral hygiene, you need to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. If you can, you should do it daily, but if you can’t 2-3 times per week would be good enough. You can also give it healthy snacks like raw vegetables because they help keep the teeth clean.

Giving A Proper Diet

Beagles smell bad when they don’t eat a proper diet. That’s why you need to offer them a nutritious and healthy meal every day. An adult Beagle will need around 1 cup of quality dog food every day. Make sure this is split into two meals throughout the day. 

The diet needs to consist of high protein and low carb dog food. Make sure you prevent the dog from eating food scraps from the table. You should also watch out it doesn’t eat anything on the street.

You might consider changing its diet, but know that it can be difficult on the digestive system. It’s best to consult your vet on this matter.

Ask For Help

If you notice your Beagle smelling bad all of a sudden, the reason might be some health issues. Pay attention to your dog and see if there are any other symptoms accompanying the body odor. Make sure to go to your vet and tell them about every symptom that you notice. They will help you to get rid of the smell.

Besides a vet, you might also get a lot of help from a professional dog groomer. They will help groom your Beagle properly and explain how you can do it yourself. These people are taught how to deal with smelly dogs, so you will get the best result.

Beagle in a forest

What Did We Learn About The Beagle Smell?

Beagles are cute dogs known for their instinct to hunt. Because they are part of the “hound” dog breeds, they are known to have a distinct body odor. This smell helps them communicate with other members of their hunting pack.

Some factors can cause an even worse smell to your Beagle. Anal gland smell is one of the worst smells your dog can produce. Improper bathing and drying, as well as irregular teeth brushing, can also cause a bad smell. Skin infections, ear infections, and a bad diet can also contribute to that.

To prevent your Beagle from smelling bad, you can do a few things. A proper diet and regular grooming are a must for your pup. Anal gland expression, as well as regular ear and teeth cleaning, are also needed. If you need help, you can always contact your vet or dog groomer.


Why do Beagles smell like fish?

The most common reason for your dog smelling like fish is problems with its anal glands. Some dental issues, infections, or digestive issues can also be a cause. Or maybe your pup just ate fish.

How often should you bathe your Beagle?

You should bathe your Beagle once every 3-4 weeks. If you do it too often, you risk damaging its skin and causing a worse smell. If you bathe rarely, your dog will have a bad smell.

What are the disadvantages of owning a Beagle?

There are many positive and negative things about Beagles. Besides the Beagle smell, they are also known to be loud and stubborn, and they love digging holes. But there are also good things about Beagles.

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