Do Boston Terriers stink and if so why

While all dogs have their own scent, the question of ‘do Boston Terriers smell’ more than others is a common curiosity among potential dog owners. Over the years our family has had many different breeds and a Boston Terrier falls probably close to the middle in the smell category.

Boston Terriers do not typically smell bad. On the other hand, there are some moments and smells an owner will need to expect. The odor can come from several different causes, including possible yeast infections, gum disease, problems with flatulence, impacted anal sacs, or ear infections.

If you have a Boston Terrier and want to learn more about if the smell you have noticed is normal or needs attention, read on. If you are considering the Boston Terrier we will go into some things you should watch out for. Continue reading if you are looking to learn more.

Comparing the Scent of Boston Terriers to Other Breeds

When considering whether Boston Terriers smell, it’s helpful to compare their scent profile with other dog breeds, given their unique traits and quirks. This comparison can provide a clearer perspective on whether Boston Terriers are notably more odorous than other breeds.

Boston Terriers are generally not known to be a particularly smelly breed. Like all dogs, they have their own natural scent, which can vary from one individual to another. Some Boston Terriers might have a slight ‘doggy’ scent due to natural oils in their skin, while others may not have any noticeable odor at all.

Compared to other breeds, Boston Terriers do not have a reputation for being especially smelly. Breeds known for having stronger odors include those with more oily coats or those prone to specific health issues affecting their scent. The natural scent of a Boston Terrier is typically mild and not as pungent as some other breeds, such as hounds or working dogs known for their strong body odor.

Understanding this breed-specific scent profile can help in managing expectations and in ensuring proper grooming and hygiene practices. Regular grooming, proper diet, and veterinary care play a vital role in maintaining a pleasant scent in Boston Terriers.

Read more about how Boston Terriers compare to other breeds in terms of scent here.

Why Does My Boston Terrier Smell Like Corn Chips

A curious aspect of ‘do Boston Terriers smell’ comes from a surprising source – many dog owners don’t realize that Boston Terriers, like all dogs, sweat through their paws.  This can create the perfect breeding ground for an overgrowth of Pseudomonas and Proteus, commonly known as yeast. Yeasts are budding-spore-like forms of fungi.  

Paws are the ideal place for yeast to grow because there is moisture and the fur between the toes is sometimes overgrown.  Ears are also a common area for yeast infection.   The yeast overgrowth can be caused by a sudden increase in oil on your terrier’s skin or an increase in sweat.  Yeast infections can be seasonal and can happen quickly, especially if you live in an area where spring and summer are hot and humid seasons.   

image of corn chips

If yeast is allowed to grow unchecked, it can cause skin irritation in other places on the body, including the ears.  Like the paws, the ears are a warm and moist place for yeast to grow rapidly.  If your dog is chewing on its paws and or scratching its ears it could be signs of a yeast infection. 

If an undiagnosed yeast infection goes untreated for an extended amount of time it can become irritating to your dog.  Your veterinarian can confirm a yeast infection diagnosis.  In the meantime, the two biggest behaviors and symptoms to look for aside from the corn chip smell are scratching and excessive licking.  If you have tried distracting your dog with toys or treats and they do not discourage the licking it could be a sign of a yeast infection.  

Signs and Symptoms of a Yeast Infection in Your Boston Terrier

  • The skin turns pink or red, which may not be apparent through the dog’s fur.
  • Greasy skin which produces excess oil.
  • Head shaking and or tilting
  • Scaly skin could become crusty or flaky and resemble dandruff
  • Odor resembling the smell of corn chips is often an early indicator.
  • Hair loss can occur around the ears or other infected areas.
  • The skin can turn red and feel warm to the touch.  
  • Yeast infections in the mouth are rare, but cause drooling, discomfort, and problems eating. 

How to Treat Your Boston Terriers Yeast Infections at Home

There are some treatments you as an owner can do at home to treat potential yeast infections.  There are medicated baths that will help as long as there are not any other infections bothering your dog.  Anti-fungal shampoo can help get the yeast infection under control.  Typically, it will require a bath every three to five days for two to two and a half weeks for the best results.

After each bath, it is important to dry the dog’s paws thoroughly.  If this is where the yeast infection is located, then the area needs to be kept dry if at all possible.  Remember dogs sweat through their paws, so you may need to dry the paws more often than you typically would when trying to fight a yeast infection.  

Owners can also trim the fur between the dog’s paws to make that area a less attractive breeding ground for yeast.  The trimmed and dry paws will also allow owners to apply medication. Other than the shampoo, medication can come in the form of topical creams that can be applied to your dog’s skin.  The anti-fungal cream should be used according to the directions on the medication. 

Vinegar Rinse May Help

 Another home remedy that may help clear up a yeast infection is a vinegar rinse.  It is the only home remedy with any scientific data to support it.  Vinegar can change the pH balance and make your dog’s skin a less desirable place for yeast to grow.  The vinegar must be diluted and a vet should probably be consulted to determine exactly how to dilute it.  A yeast infection that goes deeper may require oral medication and a worst-case scenario could require surgery.  

What Causes The Yeast Infection and Corn Chip Smell

     Surprisingly enough, a yeast infection on the skin could be caused by problems in your Boston Terrier’s immune system.  An underactive immune system can trigger yeast overgrowth and infections.  On the other hand, an overactive immune system may trigger allergic reactions which also lead to yeast infections.

Environmental allergens like pollens and molds can cause a yeast infection.  This could also coincide with seasonal heat and high humidity in many locations.  When it is warmer outdoors, owners are more likely to take their dogs along with them to water activities.  The warmer weather could mean that your dog is getting much more exercise and spending much more time in the sun. 

Outdoor activities also mean your dog may need more frequent baths.  It is very important to keep your dog’s ears and paws very dry.  Along with wax, discharge, and foreign objects, water and debris can also be trapped in the ear canal.  All of this could lead to the development of yeast infections in a dog’s ears.  

Ear Mites or Yeast

Once you notice the symptoms of scratching at the ears or tilting their head you can visit a vet for an accurate diagnosis.  This is important because ear mites and yeast infections can have similar symptoms. However, there are slight differences. 

Ear mites cause dark, waxy, or crusty discharge and are barely visible to the naked eye.  These mite bites are practically invisible, extremely itchy, and very contagious. Other pets can contract the mites when they are in close contact with the infected dog.  

image of Boston terrier from

A vet can determine the difference when they use an instrument called an otoscope to look inside the ear. The vet will take a sample from inside and around the ear.  This will help determine if the infection is yeast or bacteria. The mites also lack the distinctive corn chip smell often given off by a yeast infection.   

Recurring Yeast Infections

Yeast infections can be cured, but some dogs may have recurring episodes.  Owners will want to consult a vet when yeast infections and the corn chip smell continue to occur.  Owners will be asked to look at their Boston Terrier’s diet to make sure it is healthy. 

Dogs need to avoid treats with refined carbohydrates like potatoes, corn, wheat, rice, honey, and high-fructose corn syrup. This includes avoiding feeding your dog from the table because human food can be high in all of these ingredients.  Problems in the digestive tract need to be solved, and a vet is the best person to determine the root of the problem. 

Once the digestive problems are determined and addressed, your Boston Terrier should be able to find some relief from recurring yeast infections.  

Are Yeast Infections in Dogs Contagious

Yeast infections are not contagious to other dogs even if they come into direct contact with each other.  Although yeast infections can lead to secondary infections like bacterial or fungal infections which can be contagious to other animals.  One example of this would be ringworm.  

Preventing the Corn Chip Smell 

If it’s possible, owners should keep their dogs inside as much as they can during extreme heat and humidity.  Keep your dog’s ears clean and healthy while checking these places on the dog’s body frequently.   Completely dry your dog’s paws and ears after a bath or an unintended fun dip in a mud puddle. 

If you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself, then have a groomer trim or tweeze any hair at the opening o the ear.  Do the same with the hair between your dog’s toes. Invest in good quality dog food and watch for allergies.  Remember to avoid foods high in carbohydrates and high-fructose corn syrup, including human food.  

Reasons Other Than Yeast Causing Bad Smells

  • Dental problems caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar can cause bad breath.  Small breeds like terriers are prone to gum disease.  Gingival Hyperplasia is an overgrowth of gums that can trap small bits of food and create a smell worse than just bad breath.
  • Flatulence or farting, as it is commonly called, is bad-smelling gas and can often be caused by an intolerance to a food or an ingredient in their food.  Owners should work with their vet on a diet.  If that does not work, then there may be underlying conditions. 
  • Atopy caused by seasonal or food allergies can cause skin inflammation that can lead to excessive oil secretions from certain glands.  Like yeast infections, it is caused by a high carbohydrate diet.  
  • Boston Terriers, like all dogs, have two anal sacs on their bottom.  These two scent sacs are used for marking their territory.  This is why dogs sniff each other’s butts when introduced.  If these sacs become impacted, then the dog will be in pain as well as smell bad.  The secretions stay in the fur and smell terrible. Dragging their bottom on the ground can be a clue that there is a problem with the anal sacs.  These sacs can be squeezed to release the pressure and build-up.  This can be done by a groomer or by a vet.  

There are many reasons your Boston Terrier may occasionally smell bad.  As a breed, they typically do not smell bad, so when owners notice an odor, especially a corn chip smell, they should look for reasons.  The corn chip smell is typically caused by an overgrowth of yeast which, if unchecked, will cause an infection.

Yeast grows best in warm damp places on your dog’s body like the paws and ears.  It is important to keep these areas dry after bathing, swimming, or becoming wet in any way.  Dogs sweat through their paws, so it is important to dry them off after being outside in hot and humid weather. 

If yeast infections persist, it could signal an allergy or dietary issue.  Diets high in carbohydrates and high-fructose corn syrup can cause yeast infections. Food allergies could also cause your dog to have quite foul-smelling gas, otherwise referred to as farts.   

Owners should avoid these foods and also avoid feeding their dogs from their own plates. There are home remedies for yeast infections.  You may choose to use a medicated shampoo to fight the infection.  Vinegar rinses have also been proven to help; however, owners should consult with a vet about the best way to dilute it before rinsing their dog with it.

There are also topical creams that can be applied to the affected area.  Ultimately, a vet is the most qualified person to determine what is causing your Boston Terrier’s stink because there are a wide variety of causes.  These causes could be seasonal or food allergies along with the climate in which you live.

Food allergies may include other digestive disorders.  Another leading cause of a smelly dog is untreated dental problems.  Just like their owners, dogs can suffer when plaque and tartar build up on their teeth, and especially in small dogs, the excess build-up can eventually get infected and smell terrible.  

Once owners consult their dog’s vet, the process of diagnosing the problem can be started.  Treatment of the corn chip-smelling yeast infection can include a medicated shampoo, a vinegar rinse, or a topical cream.  Changes in diet can also be implemented to determine a food allergy or sensitivity.  You may be advised to cut carbs out of the dog’s diet because it has been successful in clearing up the smell before it continues growing.  

While the smell is aggravating to you as an owner, it could be a sign of a serious health problem for your Boston Terrier.  It is important to properly identify the cause of the smell so it can be treated correctly.  Not only will your nose get some relief, but your dog will get relief from a possibly painful, itchy, and smelly condition.

A Curious Case of the Fritos Smell: A Personal Boston Terrier Tale

The question ‘do Boston Terriers smell’ became a personal query when my wife and I noticed a peculiar Fritos-like smell in our living room, initially suspecting a forgotten bag of chips left by our kids. The hunt for the source of this snacky scent led us on a comical search, looking under couches and behind cushions, expecting to find a stale, crumpled bag of Fritos.

After a thorough yet futile search, we were baffled. The scent, though not unpleasant, was persistent and somewhat intriguing. It was then that we realized the source was, in fact, our beloved Boston Terrier, Bailey. We were both surprised and amused to discover that Bailey’s natural scent was the mysterious ‘Fritos’ aroma permeating our living room.

This discovery led us to learn more about the unique scent profiles of Boston Terriers. We found out that the Fritos smell is quite common in this breed, caused by the natural oils in their skin and the yeast that lives on it. Realizing that this was a normal and harmless characteristic of our furry friend was reassuring. It also underscored the importance of regular grooming and check-ups to ensure that any unusual smells were just part of their natural scent and not a sign of an underlying issue.

This little episode with Bailey not only added a humorous memory to our family’s Boston Terrier experiences but also deepened our understanding and appreciation of the breed’s unique characteristics.

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