Why Do Yorkies Stink? And how to prevent it!

yorkshire terrier in physician robe with stethoscope on light background

If you’re a proud owner of a Yorkshire Terrier, you might have noticed a peculiar odor emanating from your adorable furry friend. While Yorkies are renowned for their charming personalities and luscious coats, their distinct scent can be a cause for concern. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind why Yorkies may have a tendency to emit an unpleasant odor and discuss effective ways to address and prevent it.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Yorkies and Their Unique Odor
  3. Causes of Yorkie Odor
  4. Natural Oils on the Skin
  5. Ear Infections
  6. Dental Problems
  7. Anal Gland Issues
  8. Diet and Digestive Health
  9. Environmental Factors
  10. Lack of Proper Grooming
  11. Managing and Preventing Yorkie Odor
  12. Regular Bathing and Grooming
  13. Cleaning the Ears
  14. Dental Care
  15. Anal Gland Expression
  16. Balanced Diet and Digestive Health
  17. Maintaining a Clean Environment
  18. Conclusion
  19. FAQs


Yorkshire Terriers are beloved small dog breeds that bring joy and companionship to countless households. However, their distinctive odor can sometimes be a cause of concern for pet owners. Understanding the reasons behind this smell and learning how to effectively manage it can help ensure a pleasant and odor-free experience with your Yorkie.

Yorkies and Their Unique Odor

Yorkshire Terriers have a natural scent that can vary from dog to dog. While some Yorkies may have a mild odor that is hardly noticeable, others may have a more prominent smell. This odor is generally not a cause for alarm unless it becomes unusually strong or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as skin irritation or excessive itching.

Causes of Yorkie Odor

Natural Oils on the Skin

Yorkies have a double-layered coat that produces natural oils to keep their skin moisturized. These oils can contribute to their distinct scent. However, excessive oil production or an imbalance in the skin’s pH levels can lead to an unpleasant odor.

Ear Infections

Yorkies are prone to ear infections due to their floppy ears, which can restrict airflow and create a warm and moist environment. Bacteria and yeast thrive in such conditions, leading to infections that produce a foul smell.

Dental Problems

Poor dental hygiene can result in plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay in Yorkies. These oral issues can cause bad breath, which can contribute to their overall odor.

Anal Gland Issues

Yorkies, like many other dog breeds, have anal glands located on either side of the anus. These glands secrete a fluid with a distinct smell, which is usually released during bowel movements. However, if the glands become blocked or infected, they can emit a strong and unpleasant odor.

Diet and Digestive Health

The food your Yorkie consumes plays a vital role in their overall health, including their odor. Certain foods can lead to indigestion, gas, and loose stools, which can contribute to an unpleasant smell. Additionally, poor digestion can result in nutrient deficiencies, affecting the quality of their coat and potentially increasing odor.

Environmental Factors

Yorkies that spend a significant amount of time outdoors may come into contact with various odorous substances, such as dirt, grass, or even other animals. These external factors can contribute to their natural scent.

Lack of Proper Grooming

Insufficient grooming practices can lead to the accumulation of dirt, debris, and excess oils on a Yorkie’s skin and coat. This buildup can intensify their odor over time.

Managing and Preventing Yorkie Odor

To keep your Yorkie smelling fresh and clean, consider implementing the following practices:

Regular Bathing and Grooming

Frequent bathing using a mild dog shampoo specifically formulated for Yorkies can help remove dirt, excess oils, and odor-causing substances from their coat. Additionally, regular brushing helps prevent matting and distributes natural oils evenly.

Cleaning the Ears

Inspect and clean your Yorkie’s ears regularly. Use a veterinarian-recommended ear cleaner and gently wipe away any dirt or debris. Be cautious not to insert anything deep into the ear canal, as it may cause harm.

Dental Care

Establish a dental hygiene routine for your Yorkie by brushing their teeth regularly using a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. Dental chews or treats designed to improve oral health can also be beneficial.

Anal Gland Expression

Consult a veterinarian or a professional groomer to have your Yorkie’s anal glands expressed regularly. This procedure helps prevent blockages and infections that may contribute to an unpleasant odor.

Balanced Diet and Digestive Health

Provide your Yorkie with a balanced and nutritious diet tailored to their specific needs. High-quality dog food that contains essential nutrients promotes good digestion and overall health, which can have a positive impact on their odor.

Maintaining a Clean Environment

Regularly clean your Yorkie’s living space, including their bedding, toys, and any areas they frequently occupy. Use pet-friendly cleaning products and ensure proper ventilation to minimize odors.


While Yorkies may have a distinctive scent, understanding the various factors that contribute to their odor can help manage and prevent any unpleasant smells. By maintaining proper hygiene, addressing potential health issues, and providing a balanced diet, you can ensure that your Yorkie remains fresh and pleasant-smelling.


1. How often should I bathe my Yorkie?
It is generally recommended to bathe your Yorkie every three to four weeks. However, the frequency may vary depending on your dog’s specific needs and lifestyle.

2. Can I use human shampoo on my Yorkie?
No, human shampoo should not be used on Yorkies as it may contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs. Always choose a mild and dog-specific shampoo.

3. Are there any specific foods that can help reduce odor in Yorkies?
While there are no specific foods that can completely eliminate odor in Yorkies, a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can contribute to overall skin and coat health, which may help reduce odor.

4. My Yorkie’s breath smells bad. What can I do?
Ensure regular dental care for your Yorkie, including brushing their teeth and providing dental treats or chews designed to improve oral health. If the bad breath persists, consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying dental issues.

5. Should I express my Yorkie’s anal glands myself?
It is recommended to have a professional, such as a veterinarian or a professional groomer, express your Yorkie’s anal glands. They have the necessary experience and knowledge to perform this procedure safely.

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