Why Does My Yorkie Smell So Bad?

There’s nothing worse than sharing your home with a dog that stinks. Yorkies aren’t known for being smelly dogs, but if yours is a little stinky there could be an underlying reason for the bad odor including their skin and coat.

Yorkies have a tendency to stink if not properly taken care of. So, why does my Yorkie smell so bad? Yorkies will stink if there’s a build-up of their body’s natural oils, frequent allergies, diseases, underlying medical conditions, sensitive skin issues, and infections in their ears, mouth, or anal glands.

Reasons Your Yorkie Smells Bad

Coat and Skin

Yorkies are one of the few dog breeds that have hair instead of fur which means they don’t shed like other dogs. However, when the hair gets very long, it drags on the ground and picks up dirt and bad smells, plus the excessive oil build-up in the hair follicles and perspiration causes your Yorkie to stink. Also, skin conditions like irritated and dry skin can cause the skin to produce more oil which will cause a bad odor.

Bath your Yorkie with the right shampoo and conditioner with the correct pH balance to prevent skin rashes, to reduce oil build-up, have a neutral or natural scent that won’t aggravate any skin problems and it should have moisturizing qualities to prevent dry skin. Also, bath your dog every 3-4 weeks or more frequently to control oil build-up and get treatment for any skin conditions. Brush out the dead hairs and prevent matting at least once every 3 days.

The Mouth

Bad breath is a common problem with dogs which is caused by poor oral hygiene and other factors. Dental care is a part of grooming which is especially important for Yorkies who are prone to dental problems because of their small jaw size. Without regular brushing, there’s an accumulation of tartar, plaque, and food particles.

Clean your Yorkies teeth at least 2-3 times a week for 2-3 minutes and you can start this when your Yorkie is young so he/she can become accustomed to their mouth being touched. This way your dog will be calm and allow you to scrub their mouth. Don’t use human toothpaste, but toothpaste formulated for dogs. Chew toys also help to increase the production of saliva and in turn reduce bad odor. You can also use canine mouth wash water additives that help to destroy bacteria, reduce plaque and prevent periodontal problems.

The Ears

Ear odor can be caused by infections, excess ear wax, or ear mites. Ears hold wax that acts as protection and it collects a mixture of dirt, dust, and debris and if not cleaned accumulated and produces a bad smell. Without regular cleaning, the ears can also get infected. Ear infections are caused by the ears staying wet after a bath or swimming or ear mites. If left untreated your Yorkie can become unbalanced or dizzy which can cause vomiting.

If the ears are swollen, smell bad, or red you’ll need to take your dog to the vet who will flush and clean the ears of all debris and provide medication. Clean the ears without going too deep into the ear canal.

Anal Glands

All dogs have anal glands that release a scent that acts like a dog’s calling card and communicate with other dogs about the gender, temperament, and mating status of another dog. That’s why dogs smell each other’s butts. When the anal glands are normal and healthy, they don’t produce enough liquid to have an odor, but if the glands become filled with too much liquid, they can break open and produce a foul-smelling liquid. You’ll find your dog wiping his bottom in an attempt to relieve the itching and discomfort.

To prevent this, the glands need to be expressed regularly by a groomer or a vet. Also, get the glands checked every 4-6 months to prevent skin tears and infections.


Just like humans, dogs also have flatulence and the gas is very stinky and can even cause their beddings and other areas to have a bad smell. Having a bit of gas is normal and isn’t a problem.

If your dog has medium to severe flatulence that causes lingering bad smells, you should visit a vet to check for any underlying medical issues. Most of the time it could be caused by a sudden change in your dog’s diet, foods high in fats, spices added in the food, or foods high in fiber.

Summary Table for why Your Yorkie Smells Bad and What to do About it

Coat and skinExcess oil build-up, long hair that picks up dirt and debris, and perspirationBath with right shampoo and conditioner, bath 3-4 weeks or more frequently, brush the hair once every 3 days.
MouthPoor oral hygiene, not brushing of the teethBrush teeth 2-3 times a week for 3 minutes with dog formulated toothpaste. Also, use chew toys or canine mouth wash water additives.
EarsExcess ear wax, ear infections, and ear mitesVisit the vet to clean and flush build-up dirt and debris.
Anal glandsExcess liquid that causes the glands to break openVisit the vet every 4-6 months to express the glands.
GasPoor diet, intestinal parasites, or upset stomachVisit the vet for any medical issues and proper diet advice for your dog.


There are many reasons why your Yorkie will stink and they can be harmless or serious. So, if you notice a funny smell on your Yorkie and you don’t know where it’s coming from, it’s best to visit your vet to check for any underlying issues.


How do I Deodorize my Dog?

To reduce dog odor between baths, sprinkle some baking soda on your dog’s hair and use your fingers to rub it into the coat, then brush it out.

Why Does my Dog Smell bad After a Bath?

Dogs smell bad when wet because of the bacteria and microorganisms in their skin, but regular grooming and a thorough drying will keep the odors under control.

Marie Sawyer has extensively worked with different types of pets and in the 10 years that she has been dealing with pets, she is convinced that most pet owners are not ready to commit financially to the responsibilities that come with owning a pet. Over the years the number of house calls that Marie gets because of the various pet conditions and diseases has spiked, the reason why she decided to compile information with regard to what she has experienced in the field. Yorkiemagazine has compiled information that you could ever ask about the Yorkshire Terrier. Yorkiemagazine works tirelessly to bring you the most accurate and actionable information. For any queries don’t hesitate to reach out.

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