9 Reasons Why Schnauzers Smell Bad + 5 Ways To Stop It (2023)

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Schnauzers, like any dog, are likely to get certain bad smells at one point in time. Some more than others… But is what you’re smelling a harmless, easy to wash odor? Or are there some health related issues making your schnauzer stink?

Why Do Schnauzers Smell Bad:

If a schnauzer does not receive frequent baths or consistent oral care, they will stink more often than not. Also, schnauzers are more likely to get oily skin which produces an off putting smell. Other reasons why your schnauzer may stink is because of an infection, poor diet, or allergies.

In this post you’ll discover the most common reasons for your schnauzer to smell bad, when it’s worrisome and they should see a vet as well as 5 ways to stop their stink.

Tip #4 is often the most forgotten!

Let’s jump right in.

Table of Contents

9 Reasons Why Schnauzers Smell Bad + 5 Ways To Stop It (1)

9 Reasons Why Schnauzers Stink

1) What They Eat (Gas)

Whether you schnauzer ate something that didn’t agree with them.

Or what they eat on a daily basis isn’t giving them nutrients their body craves.

Or they simply have a sensitive stomach.

Each of these can result in a gassy pup that produces a stink that will make you want to clear the room.

If the food they eat doesn’t give them the necessary nutrients their body needs, it can also result in dry, flaky skin as well as increase their shedding.

And unhealthy skin will also give off an off putting smell. Alongside their powerful gas.

What your schnauzer eats on a daily basis is super important and closely linked to whether they stink or not.

2) Poor Oral Health

According to PetMD, recent studies have found that almost 90% of dogs will get periodontal disease before the age of 2.

What’s even worse is that it can be completely avoided with a proper brushing routine.

If you notice that your schnauzer’s mouth smells worse than usual. It could be a sign that their oral health is taking a turn for the worse.

The smaller your pup is, the more likely they’re to experience some form of gum disease.

This is because their mouths are much smaller but still house the same number of teeth as a larger dog.

If outside of bad breath (which is early signs of periodontal disease) you start to notice them refusing to eat, or favoring one side of their mouth while they eat, loose teeth or excessive drooling. These are signs of periodontal disease getting worse.

(Video) 5 Things You Must Never Do to Your Miniature Schnauzer

It’s important to take your pup to the vet if you notice any of these in addition to bad breath.

Related Reading: 5 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Has Bad Breath + 3 Tips

3) Seborrhea

A skin condition that’s known for producing a powerful stink is Seborrhea.

This can look like dry, flaky skin or overly oily skin.

Spots you’re more likely to find Seborrhea on your schnauzer are their ears, armpits, stomach, elbows and ankles.

If these parts of your dog’s body produce a VERY unpleasant scent, they may have this skin condition.

You may also notice your pup itching the areas often.

Usually this can create another off putting smell because when they itch these affected areas they can create open sores that become infected.

If you notice your schnauzers skin is super dry and flaky, or far more oily than normal, while producing a terrible stench, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet.

4) Allergies

A common allergy for dog’s is atopy. Which simply put, is an allergic reaction to airborne allergens.

And these allergies can cause your schnauzer’s skin to become inflamed.

Which then results in their body attempting to heal itself and produce an oil to protect/heal their skin. And this oil can create an off putting scent.

If you notice in addition to an unwanted smell that your pup is itching rather often, they could be having an allergic reaction.

Related Reading: 8 Reasons Why Schnauzers Itch So Much + 4 Helpful Tips

5) Blocked Anal Glands

Does your schnauzer have a fishy scent?

If so, it could be that their anal glands aren’t functioning properly.

According to AKC, impacted anal glands don’t completely empty when a dog poops which then dries and becomes irritating and smelly.

If you’re noticing a fishy smell it’s a good idea to take them to the vet so they can have their glands emptied.

Once that’s taken care of it should get rid of the fishy smell you’re smelling.

6) Long Overdue For a Bath

The most common reason for your schnauzer to stink is simply because they’re overdue for a bath.

Many people wait until their pup smells noticeably bad before they decide to bathe them. If you find yourself in that situation, give them a good shampooed rub down.

And do your best to give them one every 1-3 months to keep their stink under control.

A point worth noting is to make sure you fully rinse all the shampoo out of the coat as well as dry them fully.

(Video) 12 Foods Your Miniature Schnauzer Should Never Eat

If some shampoo is left behind this can cause their skin to become irritated. And where there’s skin irritation there’s an increased likelihood of a bad smell.

Also, if they aren’t completely dried off after their bath they’ll carry a ‘musty’ smell that can last quite a while after their bath.

While it’s important to bathe your schnauzer before they become stinky, it’s also important to fully rinse and fully dry them to avoid other unwanted smells.

Related Reading:

7) Not Brushed Often Enough

Your schnauzer has a double coat.

This means all kinds of loose/dead fur as well as dirt and debris can get caught in their coat.

Which when left for long enough, can make them smell much worse than you’d like.

Your pup has the nose of a hunting dog which means they’ll follow scents until the end of the earth.

And while on this journey that’ll come across a wide range of different scents that they’ll rub against or roll in.

Which means without daily brushing, their coat will start to smell pretty bad.

Brushing is a great way to help maintain your pup’s coat in between baths and keep their bad smells at bay.

Not to mention you’ll also be able to collect most loose fur before they find their way all over your home.

Related Reading: 10 Best Brushes for Schnauzers: Your Definitive Guide

8) Infection

Certain infections like yeast infections, ear infections or even diseases that affect your schnauzers skin will all produce an unpleasant smell.

When bacteria builds up not only does it infect a certain area on your pup but it also smells quite bad.

If you notice a smell around your dog’s head they may unfortunately have an ear infection.

Any sort of infections should be looked at by a vet for proper treatment and medicine.

9) Underlying Health Issues

Kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, cancer, or even a urinary tract infection, all can produce bad smells.

If after you bathe your schnauzer, their bad smell is still present, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet.

If your pup is healthy and didn’t recently roll around in a mud puddle there’s no reason for them to smell bad.

Which is why it’s important to have a professional take a look at them to see what’s going on.

5 Ways To Keep Your Schnauzer Smelling Fresh

1) Feed Them High Quality Food

If when your schnauzer passes gas everyone in the room clears out… They’re likely eating something that doesn’t agree with them.

It could be a food allergy or some ingredients in the food they’ve been eating simply don’t sit well with them.

(Video) 8 Things You Must Never Do to Your Miniature Schnauzer

Also, it could be that their food isn’t giving them the necessary nutrients they need.

Unfortunately, many low quality dry dog foods don’t have all the nutrients necessary to keep a pup strong and healthy.

It might be worth trying a new, higher quality dog food to see if that helps their stink.

Asking your vet about their current food and some of their recommendations is also a good idea.

Better than guessing, have a professional tell you what’s good and what should be stayed away from.

2) Frequent Oral Care

Could you imagine trying to have a conversation with someone who clearly hasn’t brushed their teeth in a few days? Not to mention weeks or months…

You likely couldn’t wait to get away from them so you can breathe again!

There’s a reason why it’s strongly encouraged for people to brush once in the morning as well as at night, every day.

Not only does it keep their brush fresh, but it also prevents oral infections or diseases which smell even worse.

So if your pup doesn’t receive much, or any, oral maintenance, it’s no wonder their breath stinks.

Just like your pearly whites, it’s important to give your schnauzer’s mouth a good brushing at least a few times a week. Daily is even better.

If the thought of brushing your pup’s teeth everyday is really off putting there are dental sticks & water additives that you can use instead.

They aren’t as good as manual brushing, but they’re still much better than nothing.

Dental treats like Dentastix or Greenies are the best if you want to go the treat route.

And Fresh Dental Water Additive is one of the best if you want to go the water additive route.

3) Bathe & Groom Regularly

Many people only bathe their doggo after their smell starts to become unbearable.

And if this has been your bathing schedule thus far it will always result in a super smelly pup a couple times a year.

The best way to ensure they don’t ever get to a place of being overly smelly is to be proactive with their grooming, not reactive.

That means a bath every 1-3 months, giving their paws a good wipe down when they come inside, frequent brushing and taking them to get clipped before their coat gets overgrown.

This is the best way to ensure your schnauzer doesn’t have any extended periods of stink.

Of course, this is if their smell is external and not coming from any medical issues. If that’s the case it’s important to take them to the vet.

4) Wash Their Hang-Out Spot Regularly

Wherever your schnauzer chooses to spend most of their resting time should be washed regularly.

For example, if they have their own doggo bed, it’s a good idea to give it a wash every 1-2 months.

(Video) 8 Reasons Why You SHOULD NOT Get a Miniature Schnauzer

It would be silly to think that they’d smell fresh for very long if after their bath they laid down on a dirty bed.

That would be like you taking a shower and then putting your dirty clothes back on.

Not super effective if you want to smell fresh!

And considering your pup likely enjoys rolling around in strong smelling things, it would only make sense that their bed or favorite resting spot will start to smell as well.

So it needs regular washing as well if you want to keep your schnauzer smelling fresh for as long as possible.

5) Visit The Vet

When your schnauzer smells noticeably bad and it can’t be cured by a bath, it’s important to take them to the vet.

There’s likely an imbalance of some sort going on that needs to be fixed.

Whether their diet needs to improve, their oral health or they have an underlying health condition.

They’ll be able to help you pinpoint what the issue is and get you started on the right path to fixing it.

[Nothing brings peace of mind quite like speaking with a vet – click here to chat with a vet online now]

Other posts you might find interesting:

Why Does My Schnauzer Yawn So Much? 8 Reasons + 4 Tips

14 Reasons Why Schnauzers Bark So Much + Anti-Bark Tips


Periodontal (Gum) Disease in Dogs

6 Reasons Your Dog Smells Bad

Dog Ear Infections: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

The Real Reason Your Dog Smells Like Fish

5 Reasons Why Your Dog Smells So Bad and What to Do About It

Seborrhea in Dogs

Why Does My Dog Smell?

How to Prevent Your Dog From Stinking


How do I stop my schnauzer from smelling? ›

Bathe your dog regularly. Every 3 months is what most veterinarians recommend because too many baths can dry out your pup's skin. Try an aromatherapy shampoo, citrus or tea tree are best for fighting odors. Brush your dog, 2-5 times a week.

Why does my schnauzer stink so bad? ›

Excessive Seborrhea

Certain breeds such as miniature Schnauzers are more predisposed to excessively oily skin, resulting in a unique smell and greasy feel when touched. This can be treated with certain shampoos and topical medications.

How can I reduce my dogs smell? ›

5 days ago

What home remedy can I use to get rid of fishy smell in my dog? ›

Baking Soda
  1. After shampooing, sprinkle the baking soda all over your dog and rub it in.
  2. Try not to let your dog shake it off, and let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Then brush the baking soda out of their fur or rinse out if your dog hates to be brushed or won't sit still long enough for that.
Mar 19, 2023

Can I put baking soda on my dog? ›

Baking soda can be added to every bath you give your dog. You do not have to always add it to shampoo or make your own baking soda shampoo. Adding it to the bath water alone can help to deodorize and soothe dry skin. Do not use a baking soda shampoo, wet or dry, on your dog's face.

What is the best shampoo for smelly dogs? ›

These grooming products are made with safe, high quality ingredients that will leave your dog clean and smelling great.
  • Pupper Coat. ...
  • Buddy Wash Rosemary and Mint. ...
  • Earthbath 2-in-1 Mango Tango. ...
  • Nature's Specialties Smelly Pet Deodorizing Shampoo. ...
  • Kin+Kind Deep Clean Dog Shampoo. ...
  • Wahl Odor Control Shampoo.
Jan 2, 2023

How often should Schnauzers be bathed? ›

We recommend a bath as frequent as every week up to no longer than every 6 weeks. Regular bathing is essential to maintain healthy skin and coat, as well as good hygiene. Grooming your pet is one of the foundations of keeping your pet's good hygiene.

Why does my dog stink even after a bath? ›

Dogs with parasites, bacterial skin infections, or yeast infections can be particularly funky smelling when wet. These infections can get into folds of the skin and creases, where they multiply and cause skin problems that are both irritating for your dog, and smelly for everyone else.

Can I spray Febreze on my dog? ›

It is only intended for use on fabrics; it should not be sprayed directly on any pet, and pets should be kept away from sprayed fabrics until the product dries.

What is the most powerful odor eliminator? ›

Ozium Air Sanitizer Spray

When you need to get rid of a bad smell quickly, odor-eliminating sprays are the way to go, and Ozium is the best of the best for neutralizing, rather than masking, a foul odor.

Can you ever get rid of dog smell? ›

Regular grooming promotes good health and removes unwanted smells. Baking soda is a miracle ingredient for neutralizing unpleasant odors. Vinegar is effective for neutralizing pet odors in your home. Enzymatic cleaners break down proteins in urine and bodily fluids that cause odors.

Does apple cider vinegar help with dog odor? ›

Pour in about a quarter-cup of apple cider vinegar in your washer to really deodorize those couch covers and dog beds. Don't worry about buying fancy deodorizers for fabrics, just mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. You can spritz a light mist to get rid of doggie smells.

Why does my dog have a horrible odor? ›

The skin gets inflamed and secretes a foul-smelling oil when a dog eats something they're allergic to. Disorders of the GI tract, such as infections and diseases, can cause excess gas production in dogs. Some of these conditions include: Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)


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