Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Does Your Havanese Smell a Lot? 6 Reasons Why

Jeff Weishaupt

By Jeff Weishaupt


All dogs have specific odors, but some breeds smell more than others. Typically, dogs that require extensive maintenance and grooming produce more smell when their needs aren’t fulfilled for a long time. If you have a Havanese, you likely already know that these adorable dogs don’t require high maintenance. They don’t usually smell more than other breeds, but sometimes, they can smell.

Havanese usually don’t drool or shed a lot of hair. Although it is pretty convenient to clean a Havanese, many owners forget to do so in their busy schedules. The result? A sad Havanese with a strong smell.

Many factors can make a Havanese smell a lot, which we will explore in detail in this article. So, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pet owner, you should know the difference between the normal dog smell and the bad one. It will help you keep your Havanese happy, clean, and healthy for a long time.

Divider 5

Does Your Havanese Smell Bad?

Understanding the difference between “bad” and “normal” smells is vital before determining what makes a Havanese smell excessively. You should know that doggy odor is natural, and there is nothing wrong with being a little stinky from time to time.

So, if your Havanese smells slightly, there is nothing to worry about. Here is when the smell is worrisome:

  • When you can sense it from another room
  • If the smell transfers to your hand after you touch the pet
  • If there is an unusual smell coming from your dog similar to that of a fish
havanese dog standing in the grass
Image Credit: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock

The 6 Reasons Your Havanese Smells Bad

No one likes a smelly dog, but why do pets suddenly start smelling bad? Here are six possible reasons your Havanese has suddenly started producing a bad odor:

1. A Muddy Coat

A dirty coat is the primary cause of the foul smell of your Havanese. If your dog tends to stay outside playing in the mud, they are more likely to collect dirt and general muck. Over time, the dirt builds up in their coat, which eventually smells terrible.

Your Havanese can have a muddy coat when you take it out for a walk in overgrown areas or swim in rivers or lakes. They keep collecting dirt and muck from everywhere. The problem can worsen when you don’t clean or brush their coat frequently.

happy havanese dog
Image Credit: Sandra Huber, Shutterstock

2. Dirty Paws

Dirty paws are the second reason for dogs smelling bad. Since the paws are the first thing your Havanese puts on different surfaces, they are more vulnerable to collecting dirt from many disgusting substances.

Stomping on nasty things is common for dogs, and you can’t prevent it no matter how hard you try. After all, you can’t make your Havanese wear shoes, right?

3. Dental Problems

A dog‘s mouth can also smell bad out of nowhere. Bad breath is usually a consequence of specific health issues, such as an improper diet, upset stomach, diabetes, kidney diseases, liver problems, or simply poor dental care.

When you don’t brush your Havanese’s teeth for a long time, it may result in plaque build-up in their mouth. This accumulation starts smelling bad when it accumulates. Plaque or tartar is bacteria that also cause different dental problems in dogs, especially gum disease, which can be fatal for your pet.

chocolate havanese on the grass
Image Credit: Christian Mueller, Shutteestock

4. Skin Infections

Dogs are prone to skin and yeast infections at all stages of life. Unfortunately, an unattended infection can result in an excessive smell of your Havanese. A dog has many areas on their body that are more vulnerable to bacteria and fungi than others. These include their underbelly, paws, and ears.

You will notice a pungent cheesy smell if your Havanese develops a yeast infection. However, don’t confuse it with the natural corny smell of your pet’s paws. Moreover, skin infections can be a side effect of other health issues in your Havanese, such as hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, allergies, or extremely dry skin.

Dry skin can lead to irritation and itchiness, which may aggressively make your Havanese scratch affected areas. As a result, their skin becomes inflamed and opens up for bacterial infections.

So, if you identify bacterial growth, redness, crusts, or inflammation on your dog’s skin, they could be the reason your pet has suddenly started to smell badly. Don’t waste more time; take your Havanese to a vet as soon as possible.

5. Ear Infections

Do you find your Havanese scratching its ears aggressively? They might have a severe ear infection! Since these dogs have floppy ears, they are more susceptible to infections over time.

A mild or severe ear infection puts your dog in extreme pain and makes them smell awful. Most ear infections smell so bad that you may notice the foul odor even before spotting any redness on your dog’s skin.

Many pets also start shaking their head frequently in cases of ear infections. A weekly ear-cleaning routine can prevent diseases in your dog’s ears.

Havanese puppy sitting on the lap
Image Credit: Likee68, Shutterstock

6. Impacted Anal Sacs

Like every dog breed, Havanese can become a victim of smelly anal sacs anytime. If you don’t know, anal sacs are two glands inside your Havanese’ rectum. They produce a distinctive, potent smell whenever your pet poops. It helps dogs with scent marking.

Unfortunately, the anal sacs can get impacted by many factors, resulting in improper odor secretion. It sits near your Havanese butt area for a long time, and you will notice the strong fishy odor instantly.

You may also find your dog unusually scooting their butt against the ground. Thus, a smelly butt is also why your Havanese has suddenly started to smell bad.

Divider 5What Is the Right Time to Visit a Veterinarian?

A smelly Havanese may need immediate medical attention. Thus, before trying any tips at home, you should know when to save time and visit a vet. Here is when you should see a vet immediately:

  • Your dog shows a severe skin or yeast infection
  • Your Havanese ear seems badly irritated
  • Your pet smells awful near the butt area
  • You can identify bad breath or plaque build-up in their teeth
  • You can’t find the source of the smell

Unfortunately, you can do nothing for your dog in all the above situations. Only a vet can diagnose your Havanese condition and suggest treatment accordingly.

havanese dog check by vet
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

Tips to Stop Your Havanese Smelling Bad

If your Havanese doesn’t need medical attention, you can follow some helpful tips at home to stop your furry friend from smelling bad. Let’s be honest, not many people can stand strong odors from their pets, no matter how much they love them.

Not only that but smelling bad for a long time is also not good for your pet’s health and mood. So, follow the below tips to keep your Havanese happy, clean, and away from any foul smell.

  • Brush Your Pet’s Coat Regularly. Havanese requires coat brushing three to five times a week. You should always use a dog-friendly brush, especially with a pin and soft bristles. Clean your pet’s coat gently for 10 to 15 minutes. This way, your Havanese will enjoy the brushing, and you can easily remove dirt and muck from their coat.
  • Bathe Your Havanese. You should bathe your pet whenever you suspect a terrible odor from their coat. However, don’t repeat this procedure for the next 3 weeks. Excessive bathing can remove your Havanese’s natural oils, making them vulnerable to skin issues.
  • Wash Your Havi’s Paw Daily. If your pet goes out daily, you should wash their paws every time they return home. Don’t use shampoo or soap every time. Instead, use only water to clean the dirt build up from their paws. Ensure you have dried them properly before putting the dog on the ground again.
  • Brush Their Teeth. To keep your pet’s teeth safe from plaque build-up, brush them thrice weekly. You can also do this every day! Make sure to use dog-friendly toothpaste and toothbrush.
  • Maintain a Proper Diet. Since your dog can start smiling badly due to multiple health issues, you should also focus on your Havanese diet. So, look for quality dog foods and ensure they contain all the nutrition your pet needs daily. The best way to maintain their proper diet is to consult a professional nutritionist or vet. They will evaluate your Havi’s daily requirements and plan their diet accordingly.
Image Credit: alfredhofer, Shutterstock

Divider 5Conclusion

Owning a dog comes with a lot of responsibilities. If you have a Havanese, you are lucky since this dog breed doesn’t have extensive grooming needs. But sometimes, you may find your dog smelling a lot more than usual.

The good news is that Havanese are not smelly dogs. They usually start smelling out of nowhere when they have a dirty coat, impacted anal sacs, ear or skin infections, or dental issues.

Therefore, you should brush your Havi’s teeth regularly, bathe them every 3 weeks, and maintain their proper diet. That’s all you need to do to keep your Havanese happy and less smelly!

Featured Image Credit: Nicole Denker, Pixabay

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database