Your dog’s nose might smell bad due to many possible reasons like dental infection, ear infection, poor diet, allergies, smelly eye boogers, yeast infection, etc. However, dogs could be gross sometimes, as they try to push dog poop behind your back and often smell or lick their butt. It could also be the reason why your dog stinks all of a sudden.

However, just because a dog scent is normal, your dog should not have a bad odor, as it is unacceptable. If you notice any unpleasant smell lingering around your furry friend, it essential to find the exact cause and eliminate the false smell.

Any visible or noticeable changes in your dog’s skin could mean something, and it could get serious before your know. In such cases, get an appointment and bring your pet to the vet immediately.

Medical Reasons Why Your Dogs Nose May Smell Bad

The first thing that comes to dog owners is that their dog might need a bath. Occasionally, dogs might do gross things such as playing in the garbage, sniffing through garbage, and eating dog poop or actual garbage. But what happens when you give them a nice bath, and the false smell still goes on? Well, it might be some serious medical problem that requires proper treatment right away.

9 Medical Reasons Behind a Stinky Dog Face:

Skin Fold Pyoderma

Skin Fold Pyoderma is a medical term used to define skin infections that exist in the skin tissues and causes an intense and musty odor. It can happen at any age, from a puppy to an old dog, irrespective of its breed and size. However, it is more commonly seen in overweight dogs with saggy skin, like pugs, Shar Peis, English bulldogs, and mastiffs. This infection grows more when bacteria that naturally exist on dog’s bodies overspreads within the moist and warm temperature between their skin folds.

Anal Gland Infection

Unfortunately, many dogs face issues with their anal glands, causing pain. Moreover, your dog’s anal glands secrete a sticky liquid that causes their poop to smell bad. It is one of the reasons dogs love to sniff their owners and other dogs’ butts. If your dog’s anal glands smell bad, then there are chances that they have some infection, which will need a veterinary visit.

Dental Disease

A light dog breath smell is quite common, but if your dog’s mouth is lingering a rotten odor, then it clearly indicates that he might have some dental disease [1] . They might have a toothache, fractured teeth, or tooth root abscesses that are painful for them. Get your pooch checked by your vet if you notice a change in their breath. However, to prevent any dental disease, you need to brush your pet’s teeth at least twice or thrice a week [2]

Oral Cancer

Poor oral health does not only attract dental disease, but it could also lead to Oral cancer. Peripheral Odontogenic Fibromas are known as the most common non-cancerous oral tumors [3] . It is best to book an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.

Alexander M. Reiter from the Merck Veterinary Manual says:

“They affect dogs of any age but are most common in dogs >6 yr old.”



Just like humans, a sweet-smelling breath might be the indication that your pup might have diabetes. It could be due to several reasons like pancreatic diseases, genetics, and congenital disorder. Dogs of different age groups could have diabetes, but it is seen commonly in dogs 6 years old and above. If not treated properly or left untreated, diabetes could also result in a serious health condition known as Diabetic Ketoacidosis [4].

David Bruyette from the Merck Veterinary Manual says:

“With daily care and proper knowledge, your pet can manage to beat Diabetes”


Yeast Infection

Dogs can develop yeast infections in their ear canals. The medical term for ear infections in dogs is known as Otitis Externa. You will know if your dog is having ear infections due to its yeast-like smell. If your dog is having yeast and bacterial infections, you can expect tests and some physical examinations once or twice a week. These tests continue until there is no further evidence of any infections [5].

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

The smell of a UTI is different from their regular urine smell, and its smell is often described as a garbage-like smell. Its symptoms may include urgency in peeing, whimpering while urination, increase in thirst and urination, genital licking, and cloudy or blood-like urine. If you suspect such symptoms, your dog might have a UTI, and you should take your pet to a vet right away.

Smelly Eye Boogers

Dog tears, when not cleaned properly, could turn into slimy boogers that stink pretty bad. It gets even worse when they build a crust over their fur, which irritates their eyes and skin. If they are not cleaned, they could cause infections. How can I get my dog to stop smelling so bad? You can easily wipe your dog’s eye area daily using a warm and damp washcloth to prevent any eye infections.

Nasal Discharge

A runny nose in dogs could be either they are excited, or it could also indicate that your dog has a nasal infection or even cancer. Signs of nasal discharge may include nasal pain, lethargy, nose-bleeding, sneezing, ulcers around the nostrils. Many cases of dogs with nasal infection could be easily treated using antifungal drugs. They are typically injected into your dog’s nasal cavity [6] .

Final Thoughts

If you suspect that your dog’s face stinks, try to find the root cause of it. The reason behind that awful smell could be nothing, as your dog might have been playing in the garbage or licking stinky items. Plan a trip to your vet if you think it requires medical attention. Always try to implement proper grooming and cleaning methods that can eliminate some problems your dog might have.