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My Yorkie Smells. What Can I Do?

By Mawoo Pets · 13 Feb · 4 mins read
My Yorkie Smells. What Can I Do?

I’ve been a proud Yorkie parent for 11 years and in that time, have experienced many bad odor episodes. This popular breed is energetic and affectionate, but also requires close care and attention to stay healthy and to keep bad smells away.

Is your Yorkie giving off a bad smell? In this article, we will go through the most common causes of a bad smell in Yorkies and review what you can do about them. Let's dive in!

Understanding the Root Cause

Yorkshire Terriers are not inherently smelly dogs. It’s quite common for dogs, regardless of their breed, to develop a bit of a stink if some health, care, or maintenance issues come up.

The first priority is to understand why your Yorkie has a bad odor.  

Oil or Dirt Buildup

Yorkies have natural oils in their coat that are released to keep their hair silky and protected. These oils can build up over time and lead to an unpleasant smell. When your pup goes for a walk, dirt can also accumulate in its hair, too, and mix in with this oil. This can exacerbate the unpleasant smell.  

This is one of the most common reasons for a bad smell in your Yorkie.

Skin Conditions

Yorkies are known for their beautiful, silky coats. Beneath that gorgeous fur, however, they can sometimes suffer from skin conditions that can cause allergies or a foul smell. Conditions like yeast infections or seborrhea can make your Yorkie smell less than fresh. My neighbor's Yorkie once had a yeast infection, and the poor guy was not only uncomfortable but also had a noticeable smell until the condition was treated by a vet.

Poor Diet

What your Yorkie eats can significantly affect how she smells. Low-quality dog food often contains fillers and additives that can cause digestive issues, leading to unpleasant odors. For example, I once switched my Yorkie's food to a cheaper brand, and within a week, I noticed a significant increase in her odor. It was a clear reminder that you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to your pet's food.

Dental Problems

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from dental problems. And just like in humans, these issues can lead to bad breath. Yorkies are particularly prone to dental issues due to their small size and the resulting crowded teeth.

Also, if your Yorkies teeth are not professionally cleaned, plaque and tartar will build up, which is an accumulation of leftover foods. These plaques can hold bacteria which is not great for your pup’s health and can also cause a bad smell.

Anal Glands

All dogs have anal glands that release a liquid which communicates information about themselves to other dogs. When another dog smells this liquid, she can figure out the gender, healthiness, and even personality profile of the dog! Fascinating.

These anal glands need to be released every 3 to 4 weeks, and this can be done by your veterinarian or your groomer. If this release doesn’t happen, your Yorkie’s gland will builds up this liquid, which can lead to a foul smell.

The anal gland can even break open, which can lead to a sudden burst of that smell and can even cause infections in the area.  

Ear Wax

Despite their small size, Yorkie ears hold a fair amount of wax. This ear wax catches dirt and prevents it from going further down the ear cavity. If this dirty wax is not cleaned, it can build up and lead to a foul smell.

Also, dirt buildup in the ear canal can lead to an accumulation of bacteria, which can in turn cause an infection. If your Yorkie has an infected ear, that can also produce a foul smell.

yorkshire terrier at dental office with toothbrush to clean teethWhat Can I Do? 

Now that we understand why your Yorkies may be emitting a smell, let's talk about what you can do to address the underlying issue.

Regular Grooming (Bath, Teeth, and Ear Cleaning)

Regular grooming is essential for keeping your Yorkie clean and smelling fresh. This includes regular baths, but also brushing your Yorkie’s teeth and cleaning her ears.

I've found that a weekly grooming routine works best for my Yorkie. I give her a bath, brush her teeth, and clean her ears all in one go. It's become a bit of a ritual for us, and she seems to enjoy the extra attention.

Improve Her Diet

As mentioned earlier, diet plays a significant role in how your Yorkie smells. By feeding them high-quality, nutritious dog food, you can reduce the chance of digestive issues that can lead to unpleasant odors.

I've found that grain-free foods with real meat as the first ingredient work best for my Yorkie.

Anal Gland Cleaning

Your Yorkie’s anal glands should be cleaned every 3 to 4 weeks. This can be done by a vet, a vet technician, or even your groomer.

Regular Vet Check-ups

Regular vet check-ups can help catch any potential health issues that could be causing your Yorkie to smell. This includes skin conditions, dental problems, and other health issues. I make sure to take my Yorkie to the vet at least once a year for a check-up, and more often if I notice any changes in her smell or behavior.

A thorough dental cleaning by your vet will also keep her breath fresh and her teeth healthy.

Conclusion

So, if your Yorkie has picked up a smell, it's usually because of one of the factors covered above. You should start by checking the root causes (skin issues, mouth smell, anal glands, etc.) and then you can take the appropriate measures to manage the smell.

Remember, a happy Yorkie is a healthy Yorkie. And a healthy Yorkie is a less smelly Yorkie. So, take good care of your furry friend, and they'll reward you with even more of their love and affection.

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