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What Does Healthy Smell Like?

by Maggie Marton July 26, 2017

What Does Healthy Smell Like?

Simple. Healthy shouldn’t have a smell.

The better question might be: What does “unhealthy” smell like?

Ears and Mouth

Start smelling your pup from the top. A dog with foul-smelling ears might need a clean-out, or he might need a trip to the vet to treat an ear infection. Your pup’s healthy ears should be odor-free. Same with his mouth. If he has offensive breath, don’t chalk it up to just dog breath. Dog breath shouldn’t smell like anything at all. Smelly ears and mouths both warrant a trip to the vet.


A healthy dog won’t have much of a smell along his trunk. If anything, you might be able to catch the subtle scent of his grooming products--especially if you use a leave-in spray--but the smell underneath of that should be neutral. Dogs who carry strong odors might have skin infections or issues with yeast or bacteria. Dogs with flaps and folds of skin are particularly susceptible, so if you smell a stink instead of his shampoo, head to the vet.


Anal glands can become impacted and leak a terrible-smelling, brown-colored fluid. It’s a smell you can’t miss. It smells worse than the dog’s poop. Once you smell it, make an appointment to get the sacs expressed at your vet’s office.


That corn chip smell? Totally normal! If your pup’s feet smell like corn chips, particularly after a nap, just enjoy it!

So, go ahead. Give your dog a whiff. If he’s healthy, you won’t smell a thing!

Maggie Marton
Maggie Marton


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