Why Does My Boston Terrier Smell So Bad?

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In comparison to other breeds, Boston Terriers aren’t the most smelly ones. In fact, this breed of dog is one of the least-smelling breeds. However, there are some instances that they stink too.

If that’s your case, you might be wondering: “Why does my Boston Terrier smell so bad?” it may be a threat to its health if taken for granted.

Why Does My Boston Terrier Smell So Bad?

If your Boston Terrier smells bad, it has either dirt and sweat or underlying health conditions such as yeast infection, leaky rear end gland, oral infection or ear infection. Your dog may simply need a bath or you may want to see a vet for other causes.

In this article, we will talk about the possible reasons why your dog smells bad. Keep on reading to learn more. 

Boston Terrier sleeping on the floor

Dirt and Sweat

Boston Terriers are highly energetic and love to play a lot. They like to burrow, and that includes digging in your yard. The reason behind this behavior is they might be stressed, want to escape, are bored or because of their genes.

The dirt and sweat they get from burrowing may be the reason why they stink

Dogs sweat through their paws to regulate their body temperature to stay cool. Most of the time, the moisture caused by sweat mixes with bacteria like proteus and pseudomonas found on dirt and creates a bad odor in paws. Even if your Boston Terrier stays indoors most of the time, his paws are still a breeding ground for tons of bacteria. 

You can easily resolve this issue by soaking your dog’s feet in lukewarm water with hypoallergenic soap or apple cider. Apple cider is proven to have antibacterial, antiseptic properties and is non-toxic to dogs. Your dog may not like the smell, but the scent fades once the vinegar dries.

Yeast Infection

Yeast infection can happen either in your Boston Terrier’s skin or paws. This infection grows into the skin in patches with a white fluid appearance. The skin would appear to be scaly and greasy. You will see your dog’s skin changes in texture and color. Once the skin is infected, it gives off corn chips or Fritos smell.

Poor diet leads to this kind of problem. Yeast infection happens when your dog has a weak immune system causing the allergy reaction. Allergy is the most common cause of yeast infection.

If your Boston Terrier has a yeast infection, avoid dog food with main ingredients such as corn, soy or wheat. Boston Terriers are usually allergic to these products. 

Boston Terrier lying in the grass

Leaky Rear End Glands

Glands near the tail refer to the grape-sized gland found underneath both sides of the rear end opening. When dogs like the Boston Terrier defecate, fluids leak in a little amount. It smells like rotten fish and is one common cause why your dog stinks.

It has a tendency of overloading and leaks on its own. If you notice your dog exhibiting the signs below, he may be experiencing a leaky rear end gland:

  • dragging his bottom on the ground
  • frequent licking near the tail
  • area around the rear end area is swelling
  • smelling a fish-like odor

To help your Boston Terrier prevent leaky glands near the tail, ensure a healthy diet and exercise. Overweight dogs are mostly prone to leaky rear end sacs. Visit the vet if you for checkups to control the leaky rear end right away. 

Dental Infection

If your Boston Terrier’s mouth stinks, that may mean he has an oral infection. Study shows that smaller breeds of dogs like the Boston Terrier are susceptible to gum and dental disease. Plaque and tartar build-up are the major causes of this infection.

One dental condition called Gingival Hyperplasia produces a rotten smell as the gum overgrows and withholds bits of food.

The importance of proper hygiene for your dog’s dental health is important. It prevents the risk of oral infection, especially on this breed of dog. In cases where you can’t control the infection, seek professional care. Aside from providing you a cure, vets know how to perform dental cleaning for your dogs.  

Ear Infection

There is an estimated 20 percent of dogs with ear disease. An ear infection is caused by tons of bacteria and yeast that cause a foul-smelling odor. Your dog may exhibit several signs such as forceful scratching of its ears, shaking heads, redness in the ear canal and yellow, brown or bloody discharge.

Ear infections are often a result of allergies or hormonal imbalance.

Boy swimming with his Boston Terrier

To prevent ear infections, thoroughly dry your dog’s ears after bath or swimming. Also, clean your dog’s ears using appropriate cleaning tools like absorbent gauze and avoid paper towels or cotton. Cotton or paper towels have fibers that may be left behind inside the ears.

You can always seek the help of a vet in cleaning and treating your dog’s ears. If your dog shows any sign of ear infection, seek a professional’s help right away. 

Related Questions

Why Does My Dog Smell So Bad Even After a Bath?

The bacteria or yeasts and your dog’s natural oils are mixed with water during bath time. This combination creates a bad odor even after a bath. Make sure you use more than one towel in drying your dog’s fur. 

How Do You Keep Your Dog Smelling Fresh?

There are several natural ways to help keep your dog smelling fresh. These ways include washing your dog with natural shampoo, frequent brushing, keeping its teeth clean, cleaning its ears, washing your dog’s bedding and giving your dog proper food and diet that eliminates the risk of skin allergies. Skin allergies such as yeast infections cause bad odors to your dog. 

Can I Spray My Dog With Perfume?

Although various perfumes are available on the market, always make sure that the ingredients are skin-friendly to your dog. Avoid perfumes with alcohol as it can cause dryness and skin allergies to your dog. However, perfumes aren’t really recommended for daily use as they can hide the potential problems brought by your dog’s natural odor.  


There are several reasons why your Boston Terrier stinks. It can be due to dirt and sweat, yeast infection, leaky rear end glands, oral infection or ear infection. If you’re not sure about the source of the odor, have a vet check your Boston Terrier.

It might be something serious like infections that need medical attention.