Why does my Yorkie smell

Yorkie smell

Do Yorkshire Terriers smell

There is no reason that is particular to the Yorkie breed that causes them to be a particularly smelly dog. However, there are many reasons your particular Yorkie may be a little stinky.

This can include an underlying medical condition, sensitive skin issues, and infections. The smell can also be localized such as from the ears, mouth, or anal glad.

Reasons your Yorkie smells

If your Yorkie smells you need to ascertain the location of the smell. The offending smell may be coming from the whole body or it may be localized to a certain source such as the mouth or ears.  It is just a case of getting close to your dog and sniffing different areas such as the feet, face, and ears. This list will assist you in deciding what to do to eliminate the smell.

Underlying medical issue

If your Yorkshire Terrier has other symptoms indicating they may be sick the smell may be due to a medical issue. It is important to consult your vet if you have any concerns.

Yeast Infection

A yeast infection on the skin has a distinction yeasty smell similar to moldy bread. This type of infection can affect the dog’s skin, feet, or inside the ears.

External Allergies

External allergies on your dog’s skin may be due to environmental triggers such as certain plants and grasses or dust, diet-related. For more on dealing with common skin problems see here.

Common causes of skin allergies in Yorkies are:


Fleas biting a dog will cause itching. Some dogs ate extremely sensitive to fleas and just a few fleas can cause real discomfort. Other dogs can be absolutely covered in fleas and not be that bothered. Fleas on a dog who is allergic to the saliva of a flea will cause terrible itching and can lead to serious symptoms. Your Yorkie may smell of dry blood if they have a flea problem.


A Yorkie may have a reaction to a chemical you are using. This can be the cleaning solution on your carpeting, the detergent used to clean your bed sheets or their dog bed, the shampoo that is used to groom them. It can be any powder or fluid that they come into contact with.

Plant and Grass allergies

Many dogs are allergic to certain types of plants and grass varieties. Wandering Dew is a very common variety of grass that a lot of dogs have issues with. Generally, the most obvious signs of this kind of issue are your dog will lick excessively at the bottom of their paws. The fur under the pads will be red as the result of saliva staining.

Food and Diet-related

Some dogs can get itchy and inflamed skin as a result of certain ingredients in dog food. Red meat allergies can be quite common while other dogs may be allergic to chicken. Often it is not the ingredients in the food causing the allergy, but the additives such as preservatives and in particular food coloring. Grains in a lot of dog food have been found to cause allergies also. Grain-free dog food has become popular for this reason.

When trying to fix a diet or food allergy, it is a case of elimination. If you recently changed your dog’s brand of dog food, it may pay to switch back to the food you were using. When changing your dog’s diet, don’t do a complete change straight away. Feed 10% of the new food for the first day or two and slowly increase over a week until they are eating 100% of the new food.

Anal Glands

The anal glands are two glands located around the dog’s anus. When a dog defecates it leaves a smell unique to them as a type of territory marker. Sometimes these glands need to be express to release excessive fluid. You will know when this is as they will have a strong fishy smell and often dogs will drag their bottoms across the floor. To have your Yorkshire Terriers anal glands express bring them to your vet or a dog groomer.


Dogs fart too. This is normal. However, if your dog’s flatulence is so bad that it clears a room something is wrong. It can be caused by a poor diet, intestinal parasites or an upset stomach. If your dog’s flatulence is consistently bad, consult your vet.

Stinky Face

Yorkies can often have a bad smell around the face area. This may be because they have food and other things stuff in the long hair. Some Yorkies are also prone to tear staining around the eyes which can cause a smell.


If a smell is coming from the ears it may be due to a yeast infection, ear mites or bacterial infection. It may simply be a build-up of excessive wax. If there is discharge coming from the ear, or they are scratching the ears or tilting their heads consult your vet. Ear infections can get bad really fast and can be extremely serious if they get into the inner ear.


Bad breath or halitosis can be one of the most common reasons for a smelly dog. If their breath is extremely unpleasant there may be a serious problem such as rotten teeth or a GI issue.

Yorkies can be quite prone to teeth issues due to their small jaw and mouth. Poor dental care can result in tartar build-up leading to rotten teeth or dental disease.

Unhealthy diet

If your Yorkshire Terriers diet is not biologically appropriate a generalized funk can occur. This can be the result of skin issues or internal gut issues.

Coat is dirty

Some dogs just like to get dirty. This can be playing in the mud or even rolling around in other dog’s poo or dead animals.

Solutions to Yorkie smell

Once you have figured out what is causing the smell, whether it be coming from all over or is localized to a certain area, you are halfway to finding a solution. Here are suggestions to deal with a Yorkie that smells.

Wash your Yorkshire Terriers face

If the smell is coming from your Yorkies face area the simplest way to clean the face and around the eyes is to use a facial foam. The Biogroom face foam requires no rinsing and helps to remove staining around the beard and eyes.

View Biogroom Facial Foam on Amazon

Bath with a Deodorizing shampoo

If normal dog shampoos just don’t seem to work with your Yorkshire Terrier you may need to use a shampoo specially formulated to deodorize. My top pick is Fresh Wave Odor Removing Dog Shampoo.

This shampoo is capable of getting rid of particularly strong odors. It’s a powerful product that uses natural ingredients. It uses no harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances that only mask the odor. It fixes the problem at its source and leaves a pleasant smell behind.

Bath with an antifungal and antibacterial shampoo

If your Yorkies smell is due to a fungal or bacterial infection on the skin try to wash them with an appropriate shampoo. My top pick is Nootie Medicated Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

This shampoo is very concentrated and when you apply it forms a really thick and rich lather. It also works really well in treating yeast infections and cooling and soothing your dog’s skin It will also always leave your Yorkie smelling really clean and fresh and leaves their coat beautiful and shiny.

Brush your Yorkshire Terrier regularly

Brushing your dog will help to remove dirt and debris and help them to smell better between bathing. It will also help to prevent matts which can trap odor especially when they get wet. For a guide on how to brush a dog see here

Brush your Yorkies teeth

The main cause of bad breath in dogs is poor dental hygiene. Keeping your dog’s teeth clean will help to prevent plaque building up and tartar forming. For a guide to how to brush your dog’s teeth see here.

Other ways to clean your Yorkshire Terriers’ teeth are to give them dental treats such as  Greenies. I recommend the Greenies Dog Dental Chews Dog Treats. I have found these are very effective at cleaning the teeth and help to freshen the breath at the same time. Alternatively, give your Yorkie dental chew toys which will not only help with dental hygiene but keep them occupies too.

There are many dog toys that are designed to clean your dog’s teeth and offer mechanical plaque removal. But make sure you do not use toys which are coarse as they tend to wear down the teeth or hard toys which might lead to breakage of teeth (if your dog is an aggressive chewer). Supervise your dog when he is chewing a toy.

A further option for fresh breath is to use a dental spray for dogs.

Wash your dog’s bedding

Regularly wash your Yorkies bedding and any blankets. You would be surprised just how smelly these items get.  If your bath your dog and they go and lie on their dirty bedding they will smell again in no time.

More Yorkshire Terrier related posts

How to exercise a Yorkie

The best type of toys for Yorkies

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