Beagles are a very popular breed of dog. They come packed full of so much cuteness that there has to be a downside, right? Well, there is. Beagles smell like cheesy chips!
Whilst this can be a problem for some people, there is good news on the way. Here is a list of reasons why your beagle smells so much and what you can do to help reduce the stink from your beagle and around your home.
Why Do Beagles Smell?
Beagles are naturally a fairly smelly breed of dog. Bred to hunt in packs, their distinctive body odor was crucial to their hunting success as it allowed them to identify the location of each dog in the pack.
As most modern beagles are now kept as pets rather than hunting dogs, we may prefer that they leave this scent behind with their ancestors!
If the beagle smell in your home is becoming a problem, there are a few things you can do to help. First, let’s take a look at some of the causes of what makes a beagle smell so much.
9 Common Reasons Why Beagles Are Smelly
There are a variety of reasons why beagles are particularly smelly. Some are down to health issues or medical reasons, others just come with the breed itself. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons why your beagle smells so much:
1. Lack of Grooming
Beagles have short hair that repels water and mud extremely well. As a result, your beagle may look squeaky clean most of the time, but there is a build-up of dirt and debris taking place inside that shiny coat.
When your beagle looks dirty, your natural instinct is to bathe them. When they don’t… you won’t.
Many beagle owners only bathe their dogs if they have rolled in fox poop (or anything else stinky enough to warrant it). This could mean that potentially your beagle is going unwashed for several months at a time.
Beagles should have a bath every 3-4 weeks if you want to keep beagle smells at bay.
2. Wet Beagles
Beagles have a higher concentration of odor-producing microbes which love damp and wet environments. Their coat absorbs moisture and releases an unpleasant smell through oily secretions of their sebaceous glands (hair follicles).
Although most dogs will have that typical ‘wet dog’ smell, beagles tend to have it worse.
Whether they get wet in the rain or a dip in the lake, you can most certainly expect your beagles to get very smelly!
Even after a bath, beagles will still have a mild wet dog smell, but this should be far less pungent and temporary compared to a beagle that hasn’t had a bath in 2 months.
3. Rolled in Fox Poop
You would like to think that you’d notice if your beagle had rolled around in fox poop, but it’s not always easy to tell!
When out on wet walks, you won’t be able to differentiate between mud and the offending poop on your beagle’s coat – especially if you’ve lost sight of them momentarily and they’ve had the opportunity to roll around.
Depending on where you live, foxes do like to leave their poop in doggie yards to assert authority, and beagles can and do find fox poop more locally. They normally like to rub their ears and faces first, before proceeding to roll on their back and cover themselves entirely!
The dark, greasy, wet type of fox poop is easier to see on their coat, whereas the drier types can go unnoticed – until the pungent smell hits your nose!
This is one of the few downsides to owning a beagle!
4. Bad Breath or Dental Problems
Most dogs tend not to have a mouth smelling of roses. Then again, who does?!
A stinky breath is particularly bad news for a beagle due to the fact that they do an awful lot of self-grooming. Licking their paws and fur constantly means they are transferring that oh-so-lovely smell (and drool) all over their coat!
A build-up of plaque and tartar can lead to dental problems such as an infection, so making sure those teeth are clean can reduce the amount they smell due to bad breath.
(Not to mention that beagles are also partial to a little poop eating!)
5. Anal Gland Issues
Beagles are prone to having issues with their anal glands (anal sac disease) due to a tendency to be overweight. They also pick up a lot of food they shouldn’t be eating, leading to softer stools which can prevent them from emptying their anal sacs naturally.
A build-up of their anal glands may lead to anal gland secretion which can be incredibly foul-smelling, so if your beagle is suffering from anal sac disease they’ll be leaving traces of a fishy smell all-around your home.
6. Beagle Ears
The beagle’s ears are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Those long, floppy ears prevent the circulation of air into the ear canals, creating a lovely moist and warm environment for ear mites and yeast infections that can be quite smelly.
And because beagle’s ears can get very itchy, they love to drag them across the floor, grass, or anything else – which can cause other sorts of dirt and debris to get lodged inside.
Note: Ear infections are the most common health issue associated with beagles.
7. Soiled Bedding
Beagles are one of the most common breeds to be crate trained and subsequently spend more time in them than most other types of dogs.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell whether a beagle has had a pee on its blankets. When beagles are sitting on soiled bedding this will create a pungent odor fairly quickly, more identifiable on their body than the bedding itself.
This is particularly common with beagle puppies that will tend to pee more often and then happily roll around in it!
Read our list of 24 Crate Training Tips: The Dos and Don’ts for further information.
8. Skin Issues
Skin allergies are fairly common in beagles and become more prominent as they age. They are likely to develop an intolerance to certain types of food if their diet is not changed over the years, causing rashes, yeast or bacterial infections, and other skin irritations.
Environmental allergies such as grass, dust mites, and household cleaning products are also leading causes of skin issues. This can result in them having a distinctive and strong musky smell, even after bathing.
9. Their Diet
A well-known fact about beagles is that they tend to forage and pick up all sorts of ‘snacks’ whilst out on walks. If they end up eating poop then this is a sure-fire way to create endless amounts of gassy farts for the rest of the day!
Flatulence is generally a common problem in beagles and could be tell-tale signs of an intolerance to their food.
A beagle’s diet plays a key role in the type of smell they omit. Many people swear by feeding their beagles a raw diet due to the impact it has on reducing their odor. High-grain foods are well known for causing gas in dogs.
9 Ways to Prevent your Beagle from getting Smelly
The good news is, there is a lot you can do to help reduce your beagle’s smelly odor. Here are some straightforward ways to stop your beagle from being a total stinker!
Overbathing your beagle can lead to skin irritations, so try to stick to a schedule of once every 3-4 weeks.
They should be given 2 shampoos all over their body and thoroughly rinsed through with cool water. Make sure to ‘plug’ their ears with damp cotton wool balls so that you don’t get any water in them!
Bonus Tip: If you’ve never tried a post-bath cologne, you’ve been heavily missing out – this dog cologne is truly life-changing!
2. Clean Their Bedding After Every Bathtime
So, you’ve washed your beagle and they currently smell like a baby’s bottom.
If you let them jump straight back onto their dirty bedding it’ll only be a couple of days before they start stinking again.
The bedding will have a lot of existing bacteria that will transfer onto your beagle, causing that bad smell to return again. Also, consider washing collars and harnesses every so often too.
Tip: Have two sets of bedding for your beagle. Whilst you wash one set, the other can be used straight away.
Regular brushing can help reduce the amount of hair your beagle sheds, which is a major cause of the odor. You should brush their coat once a week to remove all the dirt build-up in their coat.
Without a doubt, this brush is the best tool for a beagle’s coat (and for you!)
4. Drying Wet Beagles
Wet beagles cause a huge stench in the home.
As soon as you return from a wet walk, dry your beagle with a thick, ultra-absorbing towel before they have the chance to brush up against soft furnishings or roll around on the carpet.
Or even better, get them a Luxurious Dog Bathrobe!
Beagles respond fairly well to blow-drying too, just make sure the settings are much lower than you would use on yourself!
5. Clean Their Teeth
Brush their teeth 2-3 times per week with an effective toothbrush to prevent a build-up of plaque and tartar – a leading cause of gum infections and breath bad. Older beagles may struggle with this ‘new’ concept, and so one of the best tips for new owners is to start when their pups are still young.
Giving them crunchy, healthy snacks (such as raw vegetables) is also a great way for them to keep their teeth clean. Carrots make a great lunchtime treat.
If there is a lot of plaque on your beagle’s teeth already then take them to the vet hygienist for a professional clean. You’ll immediately notice a difference in the smell of their breath. Alternatively, you can get a Dental Cleaning Kit for regular DIY maintenance at home.
6. Prevent Anal Gland Fluids Building Up
As beagles are prone to anal sac disease, it’s important to understand the reasons why they can have issues with their anal glands.
Feeding a good diet, getting enough exercise, and taking them for regular checks to the vet should be enough to prevent any complications with their anal glands.
7. Keep Their Ears Clean
Beagles are extremely prone to ear infections are need some help when it comes to keeping them clean.
Use an ear cleaner every week and check for any funky smells or dark-colored debris. If you find either, take them to the vets to see whether they have ear mites or a yeast infection.
If you notice your beagle scratching their ears or shaking its head more than usual, the vet can prescribe medicated ear drops which will fix the problem almost immediately.
8. Get Treatment for Skin Issues
If your beagle is scratching all over its body constantly, then it’s time to seek professional advice from the vet. They may initially suggest eliminating certain foods from their diet if a food allergy is suspected.
There could also be environmental factors that need to be considered, such as a new fragrance used in the home or walking in a different park. Some other symptoms of an allergy may include:
- Runny Nose
- Hair Loss
- Patchy Skin
- Licking of the Paws
- Loose stools
Read: Beagle Life Expectancy
9. Consider Changing Their Diet
You may need to seek your vet’s advice when it comes to changing your beagle’s diet and the type of food you should be considering.
A raw diet (for adult beagles) can help with improving their coat, teeth, and breath, and is generally healthier than processed foods. However, raw diets can also pose additional risks, such as choking on bones or becoming infected with harmful bacteria.
It’s not appropriate for all dogs, particularly those with existing medical conditions that cannot process high-protein foods. Always seek professional advice first.
If you want to go one step further and reduce the smelly traces that your beagle leaves behind in your home, you can try the following:
Wipe their mouths after feeding
The Beagle’s large jowls are not too dissimilar to a hamster’s – they can unwittingly store remnants of their meals which they’ll end up rubbing along furniture, causing them to get smelly and dirty real quick.
Dab them after a pee
If you really want to make a difference to the smell of your beagle’s bed, dab their bits with a tissue after they have had a pee. This will stop them from transferring it onto their bedding or the furniture, making a huge difference to how quickly they start smelling.
Summing Up Stinky Beagles
Beagles are smelly by nature due to the fact that they are hunting dogs and need to be able to identify where each one of their pack is. However, the lack of hunting nowadays does not stop them from smelling bad.
There are plenty of reasons why your beagle smells, but hopefully this list has given you some useful ways that you can help.
FYI – We absolutely love our beagle’s cheesy paws, and regularly sniff them for a dose of feel-good hormones! If you do weird stuff like this with your beagle, let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!