If your corgi kicks up a stink, it can be both worrying and unpleasant. Is there something wrong with your corgi, or is the odor explainable?
This article explains the 7 main reasons behind a smelly corgi, how to fix it, and when it could be time to call a vet.
30 second answer: Your corgi likely smells from having bad breath, unwashed paws, dirt or muck stuck in their coat, yeast infections, impacted anal sacs, skin issues, or even an ear infection.
We explain everything in complete detail below.
Why Does My Corgi Smell Bad?
Although corgis are generally clean dogs, it’s not uncommon for owners to mention bad odor.
Although foul odor is typical a few times throughout their life, it certainly isn’t something that should happen all the time. Let’s run through the 7 main causes of a smelly corgi.
1. Bad breath
Bad breath or other dental issues are a super common cause of bad breath in corgis and, in fact, all dogs.
If you sense a bad smell coming from around your corgi’s head and face, then it’s important to check their breath.
Their bad breath can also spread to other parts of their body if they’re constantly nibbling or licking themselves.
Bad breath can be caused by:
- Bad digestion of kibble
- Tar or plaque build-up on the teeth
- Gum disease
- Fish based diets
- Liver or kidney problems
- Mouth tumors
👉 Bad breath is crucial to have looked into properly by a vet. Gum disease is one of the most common causes of bad breath, and it’s a serious health concern that can be fatal.
👉 Unfortunately, gum disease is the most common disease in all dogs, and upwards of 90% of all dogs will develop some degree of periodontal disease by 2 years old. According to PetMd
2. Unwashed paws
Dirty paws are another huge source of bad odor that’s often overlooked.
How many times do you wash your corgi’s paws after having been out for a walk? I know the answer.
Walking through poop, vomit, and other rotten substances happens more times than we realize, and then your corgi comes and walks it through the home.
While being careful not to dry out the paws or cause them further irritation, it’s important for owners to start washing them at least a few times per week (with a weak, natural ingredient pet shampoo)
3. Yeast infections
This is also related to the above point, dirty paws can sometimes develop into yeast infections if the bacteria grows out of control. And yeast infections oftentimes give off a very strong cheesy smell.
The paws are not the only area vulnerable to yeast infections either. The underbelly, armpits, and other moisture-prone areas should also be inspected.
It’s worth mentioning that owners should not confuse a mild “corny” smell of the paws with a yeast infection. This smell is in fact normal. Real yeast infections are seriously foul-smelling.
4. Dirt or muck in their coat
A dirty coat is another common cause of bad odor in all dogs.
Your corgi may have rolled in poop or something rotten, or they could have brushed up against a particular bush with a strong smell.
Like unwashed paws, a dirty coat is another often-overlooked source of bad odor.
Just because you might not physically see dirt or muck in the coat, it doesn’t mean the substance isn’t there.
5. Skin infections
Skin infections are another source of bad smell in corgis. Thankfully, as corgis have relatively short hair, skin infections are usually easy to spot.
Skin infections can happen for many different reasons including allergies, hypothyroidism, and Cushing’s Disease.
A skin infection happens when the skin’s barrier gives way to an uncontrollable level of bacteria. This allows yeast and other fungi to grow and develop as a result. And this smells bad.
When it comes to skin infections, it’s likely you’ll smell it before you see it. Unless you’re giving your corgi daily inspections.
Along with bad odor, skin infections can cause redness, swelling, excessive scratching, puss, and your corgi will likely pay a lot of attention to the area.
Skin infections can happen anywhere on the body but some of the common areas are the paws, underbelly, armpits, and neck.
6. Impacted anal sacs
Has your corgi been scooting their bum along the floor? If they have then they likely have impacted anal sacs.
Inside your corgi’s bum there are two glands on either side called anal sacs. And inside these sacs is an extremely strong-smelling substance that secretes naturally every time your corgi poops.
This fishy-smelling substance is important for dogs when marking their scent, and it’s also crucial for learning information about other dogs.
But, for many reasons, the anal sacs can sometimes because “impacted” or damaged. This causes them to leak and secret this substance when they shouldn’t.
This means your corgis bum will have this substance on it, and boy will it smell bad.
👉 If you notice your corgi scooting their bum along the ground, then you can either see a vet OR find professional groomers that offer the service of expressing the anal glands (some of them do this).
7. Ear infections
If you didn’t know, you do now… Ear infections in dogs smell pretty bad!
If your corgi has red, inflamed, and sensitive ears then they could have an ear infection.
👉 If you notice the smell coming from your corgi’s head, but not their mouth, then they could have an ear infection.
Most of the time your corgi will be tilting their head and trying to scratch at their ear. Plus, you’ll probably be able to see something going on inside the ears. (redness, puss, inflammation).
Even though there are various ways to solve ear infections at home, our advise to you is to contact your veterinarian. If ear infections develop too much, they’ll need professional help anyway. So, it’s best to nip the problem in the bud and go straight there.
When To See a Vet
Let’s quickly cover the times that owners should seek help from their vet right away.
🎯 Call your veterinarian if:
- Your corgi has already been smelling for a long time
- You see a lot of tar or plaque build-up on the teeth or gums
- You suspect impacted anal sacs
- You see a skin infection or yeast infection (puss, severe inflammation)
- You suspect an ear infection
- You’ve already tried to solve the issue and have had no results for a while
Although we are fans of solving issues at home and on our own, sometimes it’s more important to seek a vet’s help before situations get worse.
If any of the above apply to you, it’s worth at least calling your veterinarian to let them know.
7 Tips For Solving Bad Smell In Corgis
Let’s run through some of the best ways to solve bad odor in corgis. These will be a mixture or solutions but also preventative measures too.
👉 Brush their teeth
Brushing your corgis teeth won’t just solve bad breath, but it could extend their life (literally).
By getting rid of the tar, plaque and bacteria in your corgi’s mouth, the chances of gum disease dramatically go down, which would ultimately extend your corgis’ life.
Grab yourself a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste kit and start brushing the outsides of the teeth. It’s simple, just brush in straight lines for a few minutes every day.
👉 Avoid overbathing
Bathing your corgi too much is a recipe for bad odor, dry skin, skin infections, and a greasy dull coat. Yep overbathing is bad!
Bathe your corgi the correct amount, which is about once every two months. Anything more than this is overkill (unless absolutely necessary)
PLUS, please switch to a natural ingredient dog shampoo. Regular pet shampoos are way too harsh and usually strip away the natural oils found in the coat. This causes the issues highlighted just above.
👉 Wash the paws
It’s worth washing your corgis paws a few times per week.
Now, to avoid causing further problems, it’s important to bathe them in a weak soapy solution (using natural ingredient shampoo). And be sure to DRY them properly.
Leaving the paws wet could cause other issues like yeast infections.
👉 Daily brushing
Brushing your corgis coat does a handful of great things.
Not only does it brush dirt and muck out, but it helps with shedding, and distributes those natural oils around the coat evenly.
All of this combined contributes to a healthy shiny coat that’s clean and doesn’t smell.
Start by giving your corgi 5-10 minutes of brushing with a pin and bristle brush or slicker brush.
👉 Wipe down with baby wipes
Another great way to clean your corgi without needing to bathe them is to wipe them down regularly with baby wipes or grooming wipes.
This removes surface bacteria and keeps them fresher for longer.
You can do this 2 or 3 times per week without any adverse side affects. Take a few minutes to wipe the coat down.
Just remember, this doesn’t replace actual bathing. But it does extend the time you go in between.
👉 No table scraps
If you give your corgi table scraps AND they have bad breath, it’s time to stop.
Up to 50% of dog owners in the states admit to giving table scraps on a daily basis.
Not only is our food terrible for dogs, but it causes a lot of digestive upset and bad breath issues.
Yes, our dogs love our food, and it’s hard to resist those puppy eyes (I know!). But it’s for the better of your corgi’s health.
👉 Consider switching kibbles
It may be time to switch kibbles. But owners should consider a few things.
Consider this: If there’s limited tar or plaque in the mouth, but your corgi still has bad breath, then it could suggest their kibble isn’t digesting as well as it should be.
Keep in mind that dogs can develop allergies to ingredients slowly overtime. So a kibble that once worked well for your corig, may not do now.
Now, I’m not telling you to rush out and switch kibbles. It’s important to give this quite a bit of thought, especially if your corgi currently gets on well with their food.
If your corgi does have bad breath, then it’s worth speaking to your veterinarian anyway, then you can discuss the ins and outs of switching kibbles.
P.S. If you do switch kibbles, its vital to phase out the old, and phase in the new slowly over 7-10 days.
If your corgi smells bad it’s important to identify the cause and find the appropriate solution.
In most cases, bad odor will be caused by dental problems, dirty paws, dirty coat, yeast infections, skin infections, impacted anal glands, or ear infections.
If you are ever unsure of what’s happening with your corig, please never hesitate in getting professional help from your veterinarian.