Beagles are notorious for their deep, soulful eyes, convenient size, and short brown, black and white coats. But one question that often gets asked is if this breed smells? Do they carry that ‘doggy odor’, or are they more likely to stink offensively? Here is what you need to know.
So, do Beagles smell? Beagles are generally smelly dogs; the reason being is that they are hound dogs, and hounds tend to emit a “doggy smell”. Beagles emit odor from their hair follicles and anal glands. It’s not normal for Beagles to be overly smelly, but odors can worsen due to diet, health, environment, and hygiene.
Ways to stop your Beagle from smelling include taking them to the vet regularly, feeding them a high-quality diet from puppyhood, making sure that they live in a clean environment and household, and that they are groomed and bathed when and where necessary.
There’s a lot that you can do as an owner of a Beagle to keep any foul smells at bay, but you do need to remember that all dogs do smell to some extent.
All dogs have a unique scent; there is no dog that doesn’t have its own odor.
Canines do not produce liquid sweat from their body, like humans. Instead, their paws release sweat, and the hair follicles issue it.
When this covers the coat it makes their bodies smell.
Perhaps you have recently adopted a Beagle, maybe you are considering getting one.
Either way, let us now take a closer look at the Beagle breed when it comes to their potential to smell.
We will cover the main causes and some of the best things an owner could do to minimize odors as much as possible. So, be sure to read on to get all the information you need!
Do Beagles Smell Doggy?
Most Beagles do smell “doggy.” That doesn’t mean that your Beagle is unhealthy, it’s typical for hunting dogs to have a doggy smell as they do emit odor from their hair follicles and anal glands.
These odors release a lot of information about your dog, such as their age, gender, social status, their personality and whether they have been neutered or not, etc.
The release of this smell actually serves a purpose, and some dogs naturally and instinctively do this for a reason. The Beagle breed is one of them.
You may not notice the smell from the anal glands, but they are there for other dogs to detect and they do detect them.
Have you ever seen a dog sniffing the behind of another? This is exactly why.
However, humans and owners will notice the smell of the body oils that seep through the surface of the coat.
This doggy smell is as unique as a fingerprint, the scent from the body oils and anal glands is your Beagle’s calling card.
All canines have anal glands, and they hold fluid. When two dogs meet one another, that fluid is gradually expressed, and it’s the dog’s way of introducing themselves to the other.
Do Beagles Have A Distinct Smell?
Beagles like all dogs have a distinct smell. Beagles generally have a doggy smell as do most hunting breeds. The Beagle’s scent is described as a light musky odor.
This odor was crucial to Beagles because they worked together in packs to hunt, and being able to smell each other was essential to the smooth running of the pack.
The smell of each hunting dog made the others aware of their location, mood, and willingness to hunt.
Canines in the hound group, the Beagle, Bloodhound, Coonhound, and Foxhound understandably possess a stronger smell than some either breeds. Hence this odor is called the ‘hound odor.’
What Can Cause A Beagle To Smell?
While Beagles tend to have a mild musky smell, certain factors can heighten this odor to unacceptable levels, which is a worry for any owner.
Let’s look at the main reasons for a strong odor, and afterward, we will look at ways you can keep your Beagle smelling good:
It’s normal for a dog’s anal glands to emit odor. However, some dogs have problems with their anal glands.
For example, a buildup of fluid can occur, and this can cause their glands to break open.
When this happens, a dark oil that looks like blood is released – the odor of this oil is overwhelming; it’s described as smelling like a rotten egg.
If your Beagle has been out in the rain, understandably, they will have a “wet dog smell.”
The coat must dry thoroughly. Otherwise, the smell will take longer to go away.
Sometimes that wet dog smell doesn’t disappear after a bath – this is something to be aware of, your dog needs to have a dry coat.
If your Beagle doesn’t have enough baths, a buildup of excess body oils, debris, and dirt can cause the coat to stink.
Too many baths are not good for your Beagle either as they can dry out your dog’s skin and can cause problems for your dog.
Other smells can be a sign of a health issue let’s look at those:
Bad smells coming from the mouth can be a sign of dental problems; certain diseases can also cause your dog’s breath to stink.
Bacteria In The Ears
Beagles have floppy ears that hold moisture and heat. This environment can cause bacteria to thrive, and this can emit a yeast-like odor – not very nice.
How Do I Prevent My Beagle From Smelling?
Let’s look at the factors above that cause your Beagle to smell bad and discuss ways to stop the smell:
Fixing The Anal Gland Smell
When you groom your Beagle, examine the anal glands as you want to prevent a buildup of fluid.
If your Beagle shows any signs of discomfort and starts scooting on the ground after pooping, this is a clear indication that the anal sacs must be expressed.
If you ignore this problem, the fluid will build-up to the point of breaking open, which can result in a bacterial skin infection.
The sacs can also become compacted, turning into a peanut butter paste, and causing a lot of pain for your Beagle.
It’s not recommended to fix this problem at home. Instead, your dog groomer or vet can handle it better.
Sometimes a vet should be the only person who attempts to treat the smell. Sometimes through the prescription of medications does the issue resolve.
Fixing The Wet Coat Smell
You must start by rinsing off any mud or dirt from your Beagle’s coat if they have been outside.
After you bathe your dog, use an absorbent towel to rub down the coat and finish off by applying a leave-in conditioner.
This conditioner leaves their fur protected and healthy and gives a pleasant fragrance for up to three days.
Fixing The Bathing Problem
It’s crucial not to bathe your dog too often; it’s all about getting the schedule right.
You should plan when you are going to bathe your dog, or you can delegate this task to someone else.
Sometimes Beagles dislike baths; it’s vital to expose your dog to baths firm an early age. This way, they can learn to tolerate baths better.
You can bathe a Beagle puppy in a sin – they might not be as intimidating as a bath. You can add toys into your dog’s bath too to ease their anxiety and reduce their stress of the water.
Always check the temperature of bath water using your wrist to make sure it’s neither too hot nor too cold.
Always have the necessary supplies to hand – this gives you time to focus on the task at hand. Make sure that you rinse your Beagle’s coat thoroughly as soap residue can cake up on the skin.
Its also imperative to use a shampoo designed for dogs. This will not contain any harmful chemicals or additives that can irritate the skin; causing inflammation, pain and itchiness.
Fixing Signs Of A Health Issue
Make sure that you clean your Beagle’s teeth daily and schedule an appointment for professional canine scrapings.
Give your dog healthy treats that support healthy gums and teeth. Dental Sticks work very well, as do some toys designed for tooth care.
If you notice the persistent smelly breath and have proactively helped your dog clean their teeth, you may need to make an appointment with your vet.
You must also clean your Beagle’s ears regularly to prevent a buildup of ear wax and also to clean out any dirt and debris.
You should lift your Beagle’s ear flap and take a whiff – if you suspect a yeast infection or ear mites or any other issue, again, taking your Beagle for a check-up is advised.
Points To Consider
Remember that your Beagle’s diet matters, high-quality dog food will keep your dog healthy, and this affects things like energy levels, growth, and odor as cheaper foods can lead to gas issues.
If your Beagle smells terrible – this is not normal, and it should never be ignored.
You may not smell anything from your dog, but if visitors or friends bring it up, pay attention to that, as it may be time for a visit to the vet.
Beagles do have that quintessential doggy smell that you would expect from a hound dog.
It’s good to know that that smell is not necessarily a sign of poor health, but it’s your dog’s way of being identified by other dogs.
Hunting dogs work in packs, and it’s essential that they can tell where they are their mood, and their willingness to hunt.
While many Beagles today are not used for hunting but as companions, that doggy smell has not disappeared – and it’s usually not an issue for most Beagle owners.
If your Beagle does stink even though you feed them a high-quality diet, and you bathe them when necessary, you must take them to the vet to examine them for any pre-existing health issues.
Most Beagles have a long lifespan, but they are prone to getting a few health problems.
These include itchy skin, eye diseases, ear infections, joint problems, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and so on.
These diseases that may afflict your dog are things you must be prepared to deal with when the time comes.
Other than that, doing all you can to support the health of your dog, optimize their environment, and keep them clean where possible will help to keep foul smells at bay.
If your Beagle smells like fish, it is likely that they are scared or experiencing stress. Beagles release an odor from their anal glands, which smells somewhat fishy, during times of discomfort. It is entirely normal but it can be offensive. If this smell persists, it is worth contacting your vet.
Beagles should be bathed once every 2-6 months. This will ensure they remain hygienic while maintaining a healthy coat and preventing skin issues. However, owners may want to bathe their Beagle as and when they need to. Examples of when a bath may be necessary are when their Beagle plays in mud or picks up dirt/debris on their coat.
Related guides you may want to read:
- Best Crate For Beagle [This Is The Crate To Get & Why]
- Do Beagles Like To Cuddle? [Reasons They Do & May Not]
- Are Beagles Aggressive? [Breed Temperament Guide]
- 19 Remarkable Beagle Statistics
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.