Why Do Dachshunds Stink? 7 Possible Reasons Why They Might

Dachshunds are not naturally stinky dogs, and generally, your beloved Dachshund will smell as sweet as your cleaning routine dictates. However, Dachshunds do have a genetic predisposition to certain medical conditions that may cause them to smell.

Although they aren’t inherently smelly dogs, Dachshunds do stink if they have skin conditions, oral hygiene issues, or bacterial or yeast ear infections. Your dog’s bedding might make your dog smell, or a chemical reaction in their fur to moisture or impacted anal glands. Or if your Doxie is typical, they might roll in something really nasty.

If your beloved Dachshund is offending your olfactory system, there may be an underlying cause. If you wish to know the most common reasons your dog smells bad, please read on!

Your Dachshund Has Wet Fur 

Even healthy dogs carry yeast and bacteria in their coats that release micro excreta in your Dachshund’s coat. When a dog’s fur is dry, these excreta are not detectable as scent as they remain trapped in your dog’s fur due to chemical bonds.

When a dog’s fur becomes wet (like after a swim), the moisture breaks the micro excreta’s chemical bonds, and evaporation allows the scent to travel to the human nose. 

Therefore, the characteristic wet dog smell is not a smell coming from the dog itself but rather from the bacteria and yeast that live in your dog’s fur.

Multiple compounds work in tandem to emit concentrations that are increased by moisture and create the distinctive mushroom and sulfur-type wet dog smell.

Dirty Sleeping Areas

Dogs’ bedding can be the place that accumulates doggy odors over time, especially if your dog is damp when it goes to sleep. Bodily discharges and scents carried by rolling as well as the accumulation of shed fur can make your pet’s bed a hotbed of bad odors. 

Not only that, but they can be a place for bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections to take root, according to NCBI.

Ensure you regularly wash your pet’s bedding when you wash your dog to ensure that your dachshunds do not become smelly and they remain happy and healthy.

Underlying Skin Conditions

Skin conditions may often lead to an unpleasant odor in your pet. If your Dachshund has a bad smell from all over their body, you might need to make sure that they don’t have underlying skin condition called Canine Seborrhea.

Seborrhea is a condition that results in increased scale formation of your dog’s skin, creating excessive greasiness in the hair and coat and releasing an unpleasant odor.

The skin’s sebaceous glands produce an excessive amount of sebum that gives off that doggy smell that can be unpleasant. This odor can be worsened by the presence of secondary bacterial or yeast infections, which if concentrated in a dachshund’s paws can make them smell like Fritos.

Seborrhea is often a secondary condition caused by several factors such as endocrine disorders, dietary deficiencies, or autoimmune disorders. However, it is a common inherited disorder in Dachshunds and has a genetic basis rather than an underlying health disorder.

Seborrhea may be treated with specialized shampoos and topical sprays that you may buy from a veterinary specialist.

Malassezia Dermatitis

Dachshunds are also genetically prone to a yeast infection called Malassezia dermatitis. This condition can be caused by the overgrowth of fungi that are commonly found on dogs’ coats. The condition may cause scaly skin and greasiness and produce a discharge that creates an unpleasant odor. 

Your vet can treat this condition with topical applications, shampoos, and antibiotics if there are signs of bacterial infection.

Oral Health Issues

If your sausage dog smells bad, especially around the mouth area, dental issues may be the cause of the problem. Dachshunds are somewhat prone to dental conditions, the most common being:

  • Halitosis
  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontal disease.

The most common cause of bad breath in dogs is a periodontal disease created by plaque and tartar buildup in the dog’s teeth and gums. Bacteria that cause decay in the teeth produce smelly sulfur compounds behind your pet’s bad breath.

Note: Smaller breeds like Dachshunds are more prone to these conditions because they tend to live longer than larger breeds and are often fed softer foods. 

You might need veterinary assistance to deep clean your dog’s teeth under general anesthetic and isolate the cause of your dog’s halitosis. Oral care products containing metal ions such as zinc can also help inhibit odor-producing sulfides in your pet’s teeth and gums. 

Ear Infections

You might notice a bad smell around your Dachshunds ears; ear mites or ear infections commonly cause it. If your dog’s ears seem painful or your dog is tilting its head to the side or scratching its ears, there may be an underlying health issue.

If your Dachshund’s ears smell yeasty or stinky, they likely have a bacterial or yeast infection.

Your pet’s inner ear should be pink with a light coat of natural pale yellow wax. If you notice red, dark brown, or black discharge, you should consult your vet to find the underlying cause.

Ear infections are typically caused by bacteria, yeast, or a combination of both. Long-eared breeds such as Dachshunds tend to be more prone to ear infections than other dog breeds.

Anal Sacs

Anal sacs are a pair of glands found near the anus of a dog, and in a healthy dog, they are emptied when a dog passes a stool. The anal sacs are full of specialized sweat glands that create a bad-smelling secretion that acts as a chemical marker in the dog’s feces.

These chemical signatures are why dogs are so attracted to other feces and why they love to sniff each other’s behinds. If the anal sacs become blocked, it can create a rather unpleasant fishy odor, and anal sac disease is prevalent in small dog breeds. These anal sac conditions include:

  • Impactions. Impactions occur when anal sacs are not properly voided of fluid, and the fluid dries into a painful blockage.
  • Infections and abscesses. If impactions are left untreated, they may lead to infections and abscesses which need prompt medical treatment.

Your Dachshund’s Instincts

Every Dachshund owner knows what fearsome little hunters they are, and part of this hunting instinct is to find the worst-smelling substances in the world to roll in. The dog instinct to roll in feces has been under debate in scientific circles for many years. 

Some claim that it is an evolutionary instinct to mask their scent from their prey, while others believe rolling in poop was a means to inform the pack of where they had been.

Whatever the answer is, your Dachshund may be like mine and find the worst things imaginable to roll in with her sausage body.

A strong recall is your best bet or using a leash on your Dachshund when you are in suspicious areas. Otherwise, I suggest you carry a supply of the thickest disposable gloves and a long-handled soft-bristled brush that you can soak in disinfectant after your sausage dog has brought you a surprise.


Your Dachshund is not a naturally bad-smelling dog, and if you encounter foul odors, you should seek to find the underlying cause.

Often the cause may be treated by your vet, and your pet will be better off health-wise as well. I hope you found the cause of your Dachshund’s odor above, and you can go back to cuddles without having to hold your breath.

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