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Do Boston Terriers Smell Worse Than Most Dogs? Make Them Smell Better!

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

Boston Terrier

Vet approved

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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There’s nothing worse than the smell of a wet or mangy dog, especially if you are sensitive to smells. If you’re in the process of adopting a pup, you’re probably wondering what breeds are less smelly. Maybe you have the social and gentle Boston Terrier as one of the potential breeds at the top of your list. Are they smelly, though?

Boston Terriers aren’t the stinkiest dog breed, but—like any dog—they can get smelly sometimes. Keep reading to learn more about this breed and its smelliness.

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Why Aren’t Boston Terriers Stinky?

Boston Terriers aren’t a stinky dog breed mainly because of their coats. Their coats are thin, so they don’t get that “wet dog” smell like other breeds. Regular bathing schedules and dental and ear cleanings should take care of most smells your Boston Terrier will emit.

Why Would a Boston Terrier Be Smelly?

small boston terrier puppy looking up from concrete porch steps
Image Credit: Sharon Feragotti, Shutterstock

If you already own a Boston Terrier and find it a little stinky, you’re probably wondering why. There are a few possible reasons behind the strong odor, so let’s take a closer examination.

  1. It’s dirty. The most common reason a Boston Terrier smells is that it’s dirty and needs a bath. It’s okay to bathe this breed once every four to six weeks unless they get dirty during outdoor adventures or playtime.
  2. Its anal glands need draining. All dogs have anal glands on both sides of their anus. When these glands become overloaded, they can begin to produce an awful smell. A vet or groomer can express their anal glands. You can also try to tackle this job at home, but it’s a stinky job and one we think is best left to the professionals.
  3. It has an ear infection. Ear infections are caused by bacteria and yeast and can produce a foul-smelling odor. They are often accompanied by other symptoms such as forceful scratching, tilting the head, redness in the ear canal, and discharge.
  4. Its oral health needs addressing. As a small dog breed, Boston Terriers may be more prone to periodontal disease. They may also develop halitosis as a result of oral infections. Look inside your dog’s mouth for signs of sores or infections. Your pup may need a good tooth brushing if no other signs exist. That said, if there are no signs of infection, the bad breath may indicate more serious conditions like diabetes or liver disease.
  5. Its diet is bad. A diet of poor-quality dog food can make any dog smell regardless of how many baths it gets. In addition, bad dog food can wreak havoc on a dog’s digestive system, resulting in a foul odor thanks to unbalanced gut bacteria. A bad diet can also perpetuate yeast infections. If all other causes of odor are ruled out, you may want to talk to your vet about switching your Boston Terrier to a different food.

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What Is the Corn Chip Scent My Boston Terrier Is Giving Off?

Corn chips are a delicious snack, but it can be a bit disconcerting when your dog smells like this salty treat. Unfortunately, this Fritos smell occurs occasionally in Boston Terriers, thanks to an overgrowth of yeast.

Yeast infection could be on their feet or coat, and comes with signs:
  • Scaly skin
  • Greasy skin
  • Excessive scratching
  • Excessive licking
  • Hair loss
  • Skin discoloration

While you might wish your dog smelled like corn chips all the time, a yeast infection needs addressing. There are several reasons why your dog could be developing this condition, including:

  • Food allergies
  • Infrequent baths
  • Steroid medications
  • Antibiotics
  • Underlying medical conditions

The only way to know for sure if your Boston Terrier has a yeast infection is to have it examined by a vet. The vet can take samples from the affected areas of your dog’s skin or ears and review them under a microscope to see if there is yeast present. If they conclude that your dog has a yeast infection, they’ll likely prescribe topical ointments, ear drops, or oral medication.

How Can I Make My Dog Smell Better?

boston terrier puppy inside a large cage play pen with the door open
Image Credit: Christine Bird, Shutterstock
Here are several strategies you can employ to make your dog smell better:
  • Having multiple beds so one can always be in the wash
  • Implementing a regular bath schedule
  • Using dental bones to freshen breath
  • Using doggy wipes
  • Dry it thoroughly after baths (especially in the ears)
  • Use a waterless dog shampoo

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Final Thoughts

While Boston Terriers generally aren’t a smelly dog breed, at least not when we compare it to notoriously stinky breeds like Saint Bernards or English Bulldogs, they can still get smelly occasionally. Keeping up with a regular bathing schedule and annual visits to the vet will ensure your pup smells its best. If you notice a strong scent accompanied by suspicious symptoms, we recommend visiting your vet to ensure no infections or health conditions are at play.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: skeeze, Pixabay

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