Do Beagles Smell?

One aspect of pets left out of all the feel-good stories about dogs is their smell. Dogs all have a certain doggy smell. Some dogs seem to smell stronger than others, and it can be difficult to determine why. Some pet owners are fastidious or have a heightened sense of smell and cannot stand the smell. Before choosing a beagle, it is important to know if they smell. This is especially true if you cannot tolerate unusual smells.

Beagles have a distinctive odor, like most hounds. They secrete oils that carry a wealth of information to other pack members. Beagles were bred to work in packs. Having a distinctive smell that other dogs can identify allows the pack to function efficiently when out on a hunt.

If you have ever owned a hound, you will know that they are a little different from most dog breeds. Hounds are unique dogs in every way, including how they smell.

Are Beagles Smellier Than Other Dogs?

Beagles are hounds. A dog that is trained to help people hunt by tracking through scent or sight is classified as a hound.

Another characteristic of hounds is that they were originally kept in packs and hunted in packs. Beagles fulfill both these criteria and are therefore classified as hounds.

A pack of hunting beagles is a fearsome sight. The dog’s adrenaline pumps, and there is a great deal of excitement.

If the pack members cannot identify each other, they could be side-tracked or confused by the smells and lose track of the quarry. They could also attack one of their pack members. In the frenzy of the hunt, every pack member must be clearly identified by smell.

To humans, all beagles may smell the same, but then we only have six million smell receptors. Beagles with three hundred million smell receptors have a rich olfactory world we cannot even imagine. The dogs know each other by their smell.

A hound’s smell is created by oils secreted by the hair follicles. The oil has a dual purpose. It allows the dog to have a distinctive smell and provides a degree of waterproofing to the coat.

Beagles are smellier than most other dog breeds because they are hounds. The only exception is other hounds. In the case of other hounds, beagles are one of the less smelly members of the group.

Bloodhounds and bassets, with their excessive skin, folds, and very long ears, are probably the smelliest and much worse than a beagle.

Anal Glands Can Contribute to A Beagle’s Smell

Anal glands are two glands situated on either side of the dog’s anus. They are usually located in the four and eight o’clock position, although there is some variation between dogs.

Anal glands have ducts that empty into the rectum. They produce an oily secretion that has a noxious smell to humans.

Some anal gland secretions are transferred onto the feces when a beagle defecates. The smell gives information to other dogs, such as sex, age, and reproductive status. Anal glands can also be used as a way of marking territory.  

Sometimes anal glands can become blocked. The secretions become thick and more like a paste. Infections and abscesses can develop. Beagles with blocked anal glands will scoot on the ground to try and empty them.

The beagle will smell from the anal gland secretions. Beagles tend to have more anal gland problems than other breeds of dogs, increasing the chance of them carrying the anal gland stench.

Large Floppy Ears Make A Beagle Smell Bad

Beagles have large soft floppy ears, which are wonderfully silky to stroke. Unfortunately, they fold over and limit airflow in the ear canals. The reduced airflow leads to hot moist conditions in the ear, which can lead to yeast and bacterial infections.

Yeast infections have a particular smell. Some people describe it as a sweet smell, and others say it smells like something fermenting. Whatever the description, yeast and bacterial infections can add to the beagle’s overall smell.

A veterinarian must treat yeast and bacterial infections. They require antibiotics and antifungals, which may be both systemic and topical. The medication courses are typically given for an extended time as ear infections can be difficult to clear.

Regular cleaning with special canine ear cleaners can help prevent or reduce the occurrence of ear infections. Preventing water from entering the ear during bathing or swimming can also help reduce infections.

This can be done by inserting a small cotton plug into the dog’s ear during water exposure. Water can also be cleared by cleaning the beagle’s ears with the canine ear cleaner. The cleaner contains alcohol which increases the evaporation of the water from the ear.

Dental Disease In Beagles Increases Smell

Dogs are like people and get dental diseases that can cause teeth to rot and become infected. Dental disease causes beagles to have a strong unpleasant breath odor that can send the owner reeling.

Dental problems are not only stinky, but they are also detrimental to the beagle’s health. Rotten teeth can cause throat infections, kidney disease, and even affect the heart. It is vital to attend to dental issues.

Sometimes the bad smell may not be coming from the teeth. There are deep folds on either side of a beagle’s mouth. Some have deeper folds than others. Food, moisture, and other debris may collect in the lip folds. This starts to decay, and an infection may occur.

Lip fold dermatitis has a startingly bad smell. As one vet describes it, ‘it smells like death.’ The irritation, inflammation, and infection can become so bad that the dog’s lips may bleed as the skin is compromised.

Lip fold dermatitis can be treated by regularly cleaning the beagle’s mouth, especially after eating. The area must be cleaned if there is active lip fold dermatitis. Antibacterial and antifungal creams help resolve the condition.


Beagles are smellier than most other breeds of dogs. This is because they are hounds and were bred to bunt in packs. Health conditions can worsen the dog’s smell.


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