Do Boston Terriers Smell? 5 Ways To Keep Them Smelling Great!

Ok, you have a smelly Boston on your hands, or you are thinking about getting a Boston and want to know how smelly this breed is? 

I recently had to ask the Boston Terrier Society Facebook Group this question, “Is your Boston Terrier smelly?”. My Boston, Bella, tends to be smelly, but she seems to be an outlier with the breed.

Do Boston Terriers Smell?

Do Boston Terriers Smell?

No, in general, the Boston Terrier breed is not a smelly dog. A Boston’s coat is thin and needs minimal grooming to keep it looking great and smelling wonderful. 

After asking this question and getting hundreds of responses, here is what I learned…

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The Stink On Boston Terriers

Once again, in general, a Boston Terrier does not smell. If your Boston is a little stinky, there are some reasons for their stink, and you need to find the root cause.

What other Boston Terrier owners say about their Boston’s smell

I wanted to reach out to other Boston owners to see what they said about their dog’s smelliness. 

Here are the responses I received on Twitter as well as Facebook.


A Boston terrier laying down in the grass.
When your Boston lays around all day they can start to get stinky.

Do Boston Terriers even make the list of smelly dog breeds?

To get a better comparison of Boston Terriers, let’s look at the top 15 smelliest dog breeds. 

I looked at the top five articles that listed anywhere from the top ten to the top 20 stinkiest dog breeds. 

And the good news is even other dog sites recognize that the Boston Terrier is not a stinky dog.

Here is what I found out.

Top 15 Smelly Dog Breeds
Basset Hound
Saint Bernard
English Bulldog
Cocker Spaniel
Shar Pei
Labrador Retriever
Lhasa Apso

(Sources: Rover, Wide Open Pets, iHeartDogs, Pet Guide)

What are some reasons a Boston Terrier might be smelly?

If you find your Boston Terrier smells here are some possible reasons:

  • Simply dirty and needs a bath.
  • Yeast infection
  • Anal glands may need to be drained.
  • Ear infection
  • Tooth decay

Simply dirty and needs a bath.

How often should you bathe a Boston Terrier? I have talked to owners who wash their Boston weekly and some that bathe their Boston every twelve weeks. 

However, the overarching consensus is to bathe your Boston every two weeks. This will keep your Boston looking and smelling great.

Yeast Infection

If your Boston Terrier is stinky even after giving them a bath, there is a chance they might have a yeast infection. 

You should call your veterinarian to see what they recommend to help eliminate this infection on your Boston.

What are some signs of a yeast infection on your Boston Terrier?

PetMD is an excellent source of medical-related questions when it comes to pets. Here are 10 signs your dog may have a yeast infection.

  • Changes in color and texture of your dog’s skin
  • Greasy skin
  • Scaly skin
  • Head shaking (if a yeast infection is in their ears)
  • Scratching and rubbing
  • Licking
  • Swelling of body parts or warmth in the infected area
  • Odor
  • Hair loss
  • Drooling

Is it true Boston Terriers smell like Fritos?

I have seen this question asked a lot on Boston Terrier forums and on Facebook. Yes, your Boston Terrier could smell like Fritos if it has a yeast infection. 

The other smells related to yeast infections are odors like corn chips in general, beer, or weird bread.

Anal glands need to be drained.

Yes, your Boston may need their anal glands secreted. This is something Emily and I looked into because we thought Bella needed this.

As you can imagine, enlarged anal glands that are leaking (seeping through the anus) WILL cause a terrible odor in your home. And this secretion will make your Boston Terrier smell.

Some signs your Boston Terriers anal glands have issues are (source):

  • Scooting their butt on the ground
  • Excessive licking of the rectum
  • Swelling next to the rectum
  • A fish-like odor

Where are the anal glands on a dog located?

Here is a visual image if you are wondering where the anal glands are.

How do I express a Boston Terriers anal glands?

I personally would have a veterinarian do this. Yes, Emily did have me try it on Bella, but no luck. 

Here is the video we used to try to express Bella’s anal glands.

YouTube video on how to express anal glands.

Once again, seek medical advice first. Your veterinarian will be able to assess if expressing the anal glands is necessary as well as determine if something like this is going to hurt your Boston.

Ear infection

If your Boston has an ear infection, it can begin to smell. 

If you are trying to find out why your Boston smells be sure to examine and smell the inside of their ears because this may be the culprit.

Signs your Boston Terrier may have an ear infection.

  • Bad odor coming from the ear
  • Shaking head
  • Scratching head
  • Poor balance
  • Brown, yellowy discharge


Tooth decay

Another source of why your Boston Terrier may be smelling is tooth decay. If your Boston has broken teeth or infected teeth that are rotting, their breath will stink.

So if you just took a bath and you start to smell something wrong from your Boston, be sure to sniff and inspect the inside of their mouth.

This bad odor is easily transferred all over your Boston’s paws and body when they lick themselves.

A boston terrier looking into your soul

Tips on keeping your Boston smelling great!

1. Buy two dog beds

Having two dog beds for Bella has helped Emily and me tremendously when it comes to washing Bella’s bed. And washing her bedding routinely is key to her smelling great.

No longer do we have to plan on washing the bed in the morning to have it ready for the evening time. 

We can now wash Bella’s bed as soon as we remember because we have a backup.

2. Create a regular bath schedule

Putting your Boston’s bath time on the agenda is going to help ensure she gets regular baths.

3. Dental bones

There are many dental fresh breath products to help your Boston’s mouth smell great while also cleaning their teeth.

4. Doggy wipes

Yes, there is such a thing as doggy wipes. You can use these wipes to clean your Boston any time you think it is necessary.

5. Waterless shampoos

Does your Boston hate bath time? Use waterless shampoo to help go longer time spans between baths.

Final thoughts…

If you think your Boston is extra smelly, be sure to check her over from head to toe. 

Bad odors coming from your dog could be a sign of a medical issue that needs to be addressed.

And if you want to keep your Boston smelling great, be sure to give regular baths and follow the tips outlined above.

Join The Boston Terrier Community!

Join thousands of Boston Terrier Owners in the Boston Terrier Society Facebook Group. 

In the group, we share photos, thoughts, and stories. As well as have contests with prizes and more!

boston terrier community

This is a fun and friendly group. Feel free to pose any question you have about your Boston Terrier.

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Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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