Dachshunds are adorable German hounds. They are well known for their floppy ears and short legs. Dachshunds can be short or long-haired. Dachshunds come in two basic sizes: regular and miniature.
While Dachshunds have a bad reputation for smell, they are not actually smelly dogs. If you groom your Dachshunds properly and regularly, they will not smell. Odor is a sign of bad grooming or an infection or health problem.
Causes of Odors
The most obvious cause of odors in any dog, dachshunds included, is bad or infrequent bathing and grooming. Just like people, dogs need to be bathed and groomed. Other causes include a variety of health problems.
Bathing and Grooming
Dachshunds with smooth hair should be groomed at home 1-2 times a week. Use a soft-bristled brush to keep your dog’s coat silky and shiny.
Dachshunds with long hair require daily grooming. Longer hair means more tangles and knots. Daily brushing will prevent these tangles and knots. It will also help prevent dirt and other things that might cause skin problems.
Dachshunds with wiry hair require grooming 3-4 times a week. In addition, they have a special undercoat that needs stripping twice a year to remain healthy.
You should bathe your dachshund every 2-3 months. If you bathe them too often you will wash away the oils that protect their skin. If you do not bathe them enough their fur will get too oily and dirty.
Health problems can cause odors in your dachshund. If you are properly and regularly bathing and grooming your dachshund, then it is likely that health problems may be the cause of odors.
You may need to take your dog to the vet to find out what kind of health problem is causing the smell. The most likely culprits are skin conditions, dental problems, anal sacs, ear mites, or ear infections.
A variety of skin conditions can cause odor in dachshunds. The most common are dermatitis, yeast infections, and rashes. If you notice that your dachshund’s skin is red, inflamed, or peeling, take them to your vet to get them checked.
Your dog’s vet will likely prescribe a skin cream or ointment to use. They may need to prescribe a pill antibiotic as well.
Dirty teeth can lead to all sorts of health problems and odors in dogs. Just like humans, plaque and tartar can cause tooth decay and gum disease in dogs.
Dogs can also get gingivitis, periodontal disease, and tooth and gum infections. If your dog’s breath seems extraordinarily strong a dental check with your vet may be needed. In general, preventative care such as a yearly dental exam can help prevent this problem.
Anal sacs will normally empty when your dachshund has a bowel movement. When they do not get fully emptied, they can start to smell fishy. In addition, if you see your dog dragging its bottom across the floor this may be an indication that the anal sac isn’t empty.
Your vet can show you how to empty the anal sac. Alternatively, if you prefer your vet can do it for you for a fee.
Ear Mites or Ear Infections
Dachshunds have adorable floppy ears. However, this same feature can cause ear mites and ear infections. Floppy ears do not get great ventilation. Moisture after baths can collect in the ears and attract bacteria.
Ear mites can also cause a bad smell. They are attracted to the warm, wet areas in the ear. They feed on the ear wax and oils in dog ears. They emit a bad odor which you may think is coming from your dog.
If you notice either a rash or inflamed skin in the ears your dog possibly has an infection. If there’s little sign of infection but your dog’s ears smell it may be a sign of ear mites. Either way, you should take your dachshund to the vet and have their ears checked.
Your vet will prescribe medication to deal with the ear issues. To help prevent future infections or ear mites, gently use a cotton swab to clean and dry your dog’s ears.
Dealing with Odors
If odors have been caused by bad grooming or lack of grooming, you should start grooming immediately. You may need to take your dog to a professional groomer.
If odors are not being caused by bad grooming or lack of grooming, you need to take your dachshund to the vet and have them checked out. Follow all instructions and your dog’s odor should fade.
Odor prevention is important. Here are some ways you can prevent odors.
- Just like humans, dogs need their bedding to be cleaned. Clean the bedding at least once a week.
- Clean your dog’s collar. Check it frequently for any hidden grime. This will help prevent any infections on the skin of the neck.
- Wash your dog’s toys. Toys can get smelly and if dogs always have the toys in their mouths this can cause bad breath.
- Bathing and grooming – Follow the instructions above or talk to a professional groomer and/or vet about what your specific dog needs.
- Diet: This one may surprise you, but diet affects a dog’s smell. Feeding your dachshund people food can, not only make him or her sick, but it can also cause odors as their bodies try to process something they are not meant to eat.
- Check with your vet before changing your dachshund’s diet or giving your dog any special breath-mint-like treats.
- Brush your dachshund’s teeth at least twice a week to keep them healthy and clean.
- Give your dachshund a rawhide or chew toy to help scrape plaque and tartar off the teeth.
If you follow these simple steps, you will prevent the majority of causes of bad odor.
Be vigilant and keep an eye on your dachshund’s ears, skin, and smell. If anything changes or seems off it is best to take them to the vet. “Better safe than sorry” is a great motto where your pet is concerned.