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Do French Bulldogs Smell?

Do French Bulldogs Smell?

Are you thinking about getting a French Bulldog and want to know how much this dog breed smells? Or do you own one, and have been dealing with an unpleasant doggy odor? 

Like most other dogs, French bulldogs also have a distinct smell that can sometimes get more prominent and nasty. There can be several reasons that make this doggy smell worse, like improper cleaning habits, bad diet, or even health issues. 

You can learn the right way to clean your French bulldog’s facial folds, ears, feet, and other body parts to keep the odor at bay. And you should consider the other factors that may be contributing to the smell. This article covers the possible reasons why a French bulldog smells and also shares the solutions.

Do French Bulldogs Smell?

Overall, French bulldogs are not a smelly breed. However, some dog breeds do have a higher tendency to smell bad under certain circumstances.

Most brachycephalic breeds, including Frenchies and pugs, are simply built this way. They have lots of folds in their skin that can easily trap food, sweat, dirt, and moisture and can make them smell if not cleaned regularly. This also makes them more susceptible to skin infections like skin fold pyoderma. 

Infected facial folds or other health issues can also cause a French bulldog to smell bad.

Another factor that contributes to smell in French bulldogs is their short coat, making it easier for odors to get through. Dogs with thick double coats usually have less smell. 

Why Does My French Bulldog Smell?

There are a number of environmental factors that can make a French bulldog smell particularly unpleasant. This includes dietary, medical, as well as hygiene-related reasons. So, how a French bulldog smells greatly depends on how well their owner takes care of their health and cleanliness. 

The best way to go about this is to understand what may be causing your pet Frenchie to have a bad odor. Then, you can try different ways to fix it. 

As a Frenchie owner, here are the most important points you should consider:

A Bad Diet

Bad foods usually lead to bad smells as the body naturally expels what you put into it.  You should never feed low-quality, cheap and unhealthy foods to your Frenchie as this has a direct effect on their breath, flatulence, and body odor. 

If you’re trying to improve your pet doggo’s health and smell, offer him a nutritious, healthy and clean diet of high quality. You should experiment with different diets and observe the changes to figure out what suits your Frenchie best. 

Not Drying Properly

Leaving your pet Frenchie to air dry after a swim or bath can make them smell bad. The damp environment can allow bacteria to thrive and lead to a foul odor in their skin and coat.  

After a bath or swim, it is important to thoroughly dry your pet Frenchie with a soft, dry towel. You can also use a gentle hairdryer to effectively do so. 

Dirty Environment

The importance of providing a clean environment for your pet dog should never be underestimated. Leaving your pet French bulldog in a muddy, dirty or smelly environment will make bad odors cling to their coat. Plus, unclean living space can also lead to health problems.

Avoid letting your Frenchie go into dirty areas and clean them properly if they end up somewhere like this. And of course, always keep their living environment clean. Make sure to wash their bed regularly as it is easy for bacteria and unpleasant smells to build up there.  

Washing your pet Frenchie’s bed once a week or every two weeks is ideal. 

Dirty Ears; Feet

One common culprit of bad smell in Frenchies can be dirty body parts. Dead skin cells, bacteria and wax buildup in the ears can quickly make your pet doggo smell bad. Regular cleaning of the ears is essential to get rid of such odors.

If you suspect an ear infection or another problem, always consult your veterinarian for advice.

Similarly, cleaning your Frenchie’s feet is also necessary to avoid foul smells. As their feet are always in contact with the floor, water, or other areas, they can become a home for bacteria and give off an icky smell.

Regularly clean your Frenchie’s paws with warm water and soap to keep them smelling nice.


Smelly gas can also be a major factor when your pet Frenchie starts to give off an extremely foul odor.

As mentioned earlier, flatulence depends on what your pet doggo is eating on a regular basis. Plus, your dog may not be digesting their food well which can result in excessive gas. Offer your French bulldog different foods and see how it reacts to them. You can learn a lot about suitable foods with some trial and error. 

Possible Health Problems Leading To Smells

Sometimes, a French bulldog may be suffering from a medical condition or disease that makes them smell bad. So, ignoring the unpleasant smells is not usually a good idea and this issue should always be given extra attention. 

 Although this is not as common or likely, it is still worth considering especially if other solutions don’t seem to work.

Anal Glands Problems

Anal glands are one region that can possibly smell the worst in dogs. If there is a problem in the anal glands, you might notice a distinct, fishy odor coming from this area. Another sign is that your dog might start licking or dragging their rear area across the floor.

If you’ve noticed any of the above, immediately consult your local veterinarian and ask them to check your Frenchie’s anal glands.

Yeast Infection

Another possible issue resulting in a highly unpleasant smell can be a yeast infection. The smell of yeast is similar to cheese, popcorn, or something musty, and it usually comes from the paws.

If you suspect your Frenchie has developed a yeast infection, look for the following symptoms:

  • itchy, inflamed skin
  • red, swollen paws and toes
  • licking and chewing of paws
  • flaky, crusty skin
  • hot spots
  • red nail beds

It usually takes some time to get rid of a yeast infection but it is easy to treat it. You should immediately get a consultation from a veterinarian to start the treatment. Your vet will likely prescribe an antifungal ointment or medicine for your furry friend. 

You can also follow natural remedies to prevent and treat a yeast infection. A 50/50 solution of water and apple cider vinegar can help get rid of the yeast. However, avoid applying this solution if your pet doggo has any open wounds.

Ear infection

If your French bulldog is excessively scratching its ears, it may have developed an ear infection. The following symptoms can help you confirm this:

  • smelly ears
  • scratching the ears repeatedly
  • brown, red, or yellow discharge leaking in the ear

Bacterial infection

A bacterial infection can make your pet Frenchie’s folds get excessively oily and smelly. These are some signs of an infection in your doggo’s folds:

  • red and inflamed skin
  • foul odor in the folds, similar to fish or bad cheese
  • white or yellow discharge
  • lesions and blisters
  • painful to touch

How To Properly Clean Your French Bulldog

You should try to clean your Frenchie’s facial folds almost daily to prevent bad smells or the possibility of bacterial infections. Simply use a Q-tip and a gentle cloth to clean the folds. You can also use an anti-bacterial soap or solution specially formulated for dogs.

Routinely taking care of the fur is also essential. If you keep it clean, there are less chances of bad smells getting to the point where it becomes a long-term issue. Also, regularly give the coat a good brush to remove any dirt or debris.

Bathing and grooming your pet doggo also requires the right products. Use a high-quality shampoo and conditioner for thorough cleaning. When using any such product, look out for irritation or allergic reactions in your Frenchie.

Remember to clean your pet French Bulldogs’ ears with care. It’s best to avoid using a Q-tip as it can be dangerous. You can use cotton balls to gently and effectively remove dirt in the ears.

Final Thoughts

So, do French bulldogs smell? No, but the way you take care of your furry friend surely has a part to play in how nice they smell. A simple rule of thumb is to put some effort into grooming and cleaning your pet dog and you will surely see the difference.

Also remember to change out your pet Frenchie’s toys and bedding from time to time for some extra freshness. Getting rid of old toys and beds is important as they can get stinky over time and the odors will pass on to your pet.

Good grooming is also necessary to ensure that your pet is in the best health and condition. It does take some dedication but is worth it. If the problem still persists, then consulting a vet is the best solution.