Why does my Akita smell bad? (7+ reasons)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Why does my Akita smell bad? We will discuss the main reasons why an Akita smells bad, and give you the best tips on how to take care of your dog’s hygiene. 

Why does my Akita smell bad?

There are many reasons why an Akita smells bad. The body odor of dogs is much more intense than that of humans, something that you should take into account whether you are thinking of acquiring a pet or if you already have one. 

A slight stench in or around the house is totally normal. The first thing to keep in mind is that animals have a different sebum layer that allows them to protect themselves from external agents and protect their skin and fur.

Bathing them relatively frequently is the only thing that causes the appearance of more sebum, which is why veterinarians recommend not bathing them except when it is really necessary or, at most, once a month or every two. 

To maintain the proper levels of oil in the skin and a shiny coat, daily brushing is more than enough. In addition, their body odor is their hallmark and distinctive compared to other dogs, and the key points that give off more secretory glands are mainly located in the anus, ears, and paw pads. But what if the smell is really unpleasant?

If your Akita is properly cared for, it shouldn’t ‘smell bad’. However, if despite your usual hygiene efforts and care it has begun to give off a fairly strong and annoying odor, it is likely that behind that stench there is some important pathological problem hidden. 

These four points, skin, anus, ears, and pads, together with the mouth, are usually the main sources of bad odor in dogs and it is important to identify their origin so that the veterinarian can administer the appropriate treatment to help eliminate the root cause. 

What to do if my dog smells bad?

If your Akita smells bad, first, identify the problem.

Skin diseases, such as allergies, wounds, dermatitis, parasites, and bacteria are some of the most frequent pathologies when we talk about problems in the dermis. If you notice that he scratches a lot, that he appears reddish on his skin, that he bites some areas of the body constantly, or begins to pull hair from his body, do not hesitate to visit a specialist.

Also pay attention to their legs, as their pads can be the focus of the problem and there may be a wound, fungus, etc.

If, on the other hand, the bad smell comes from the anus, it is likely that your dog’s anal glands have been blocked by some type of abscess or fistula. A stench like rotten fish, discomfort when defecating, rubbing with the ground, small secretions of variable color, and constant cleaning of the area can be some of the symptoms that present.

Gastrointestinal problems accompanied by foul-smelling gas and inconsistent bowel movements can also be a problem, although in these cases it is likely due to something you have eaten and made you feel unwell and the problem resolves on its own in a few days.

In the case of the ears, the bad smell is usually accompanied by otitis. Poor cleaning is usually the main cause of ear irritation, although allergies and other skin problems can also cause the discharge of a foul-smelling liquid in the ears. Otitis is a very common problem in dogs, especially those with floppy ears.

Lastly, bad breath. Halitosis is relatively common in older dogs, although younger ones can also present it. It is important for the veterinarian to identify if the bad smell comes directly from his mouth or if the problem is, on the contrary, related to his gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes a good periodic oral cleaning tends to eradicate the bad smell from the mouth.

How to clean a dog’s ears?

It is ideal if you start to handle or clean their ears when they are puppies, as they are much more likely to agree to clean their ears when they are older.

Begin by gently touching his ears and stroking them to gauge how your dog will react. If it seems that he doesn’t like having his ears touched, don’t force him! Never try to clean a dog’s ears if he is stressed or struggling – this could upset your dog and he could also hurt himself. Instead, take him to the vet.

 Before you start cleaning your dog’s ears, make sure you have the following:

  • Damp cotton or cotton pads.
  • Ear cleaner for dogs (never use products intended for human use).
  • A clean towel.
  • A second pair of hands (especially useful if your dog is not used to having his ears handled).
  • Lots of goodies for after ear cleaning.

It is also important that you never use cotton buds (cotton swabs) to clean your dog’s ears, as they can be inserted too far into the ear canal and cause damage.

A step-by-step guide to cleaning a dog’s ears:

Step 1: Make sure your dog is comfortable, then lift his ear, holding it between thumb and forefinger to see well into the ear.

Step 2: Examine the ear and check for redness, discharge, or a bad smell. If there is a very large amount of wax, the ears are very red, or there appears to be pus or a foul odor, this is a sign of a problem and will require veterinary attention.

Step 3: Gently clean the entrance of the ear with damp cotton, this will remove dirt or excess wax.

Step 4: Insert the tip of your dog ear cleaner into the ear canal, making sure not to insert it too far, then squeeze the bottle to release the ear cleaner.

Step 5: Massage the base of the ear to help the cleaner move into the ear canal.

Step 6: Remove any excess cleaner with damp cotton.

Step 7: Repeat the process for the other ear.

If your vet has given you ear drops, it is best to apply them within a short period of time after you’ve finished cleaning the ears.

If your dog smells bad: a sign of ear infection 

Your dog will show ears that are sensitive to the touch and they will be red and inflamed. They may also shake their heads regularly or try to scratch their ears as it will be incredibly irritating to them. Also, you will notice a discharge coming from the ear that could have a bad odor or an unusual color.

Mites can also be the cause of ear infections in your dog. If mites are present, they may have lumps of coffee grounds, thick black or red/brown crusts, and scratches and cuts on and around the ears.

If you think your dog has an infection, be sure to take him to the vet right away and they will be able to prescribe antibiotics and ear drops to clear up any bacterial or fungal infections.

Now you know how to clean a dog’s ears. Make sure to check their ears regularly and always keep an eye out for anything unusual.

Dental hygiene or your Akita

Correct mouth cleaning of your Akita will reduce the chances of suffering from various pathologies, among which the dangerous periodontal disease stands out, but also other heart, kidney, or liver ailments.

Prevent tartar from being deposited on the surface of your dog’s teeth with a regular tooth brushing from a puppy, which you can accompany with the establishment of a reward system that includes anti-tartar snacks.

Bathing and drying your Akita

Your Akita will enjoy and relax in the bath if you use warm water with which you create a pleasant environment in relation to a moment that for many dogs is unwanted.

Bathe yours once a month or when you start to notice that it is dirty. Do not do it more often so as not to remove the layer of natural protection that your skin is provided with. While you are bathing your dog, use the brush to get the shampoo into the dog’s coat of hair.

Once out of the bathroom, you will have to face the lengthy drying of your American Akita, for which you will have to use the electric dryer at a moderate temperature, thus ensuring that the hair is not wet, which could lead to the appearance of fungus.

The Akita is such an extremely clean dog that it will groom itself regularly after eating, playtime, etc. is over. Even so, it is important that you take care of its regular cleaning, not only as a way to keep it in perfect condition and away from possible diseases, but also as a simple way to greatly facilitate living together at home.

If hygiene is important in any dog, the larger its size, the more you will have to take care of the cleanliness of the animal, so that the so-called “dog smell” does not begin to bother you until you make you feel uncomfortable in your own home.


If your Akita smells bad, it may be a sign of an infection, or just that it needs to take a bath! The regular bath for a dog is one bath every month. It is suggested that the baths are not so often as they hurt your pet’s skin.

It is worth reminding you that you should use shampoo for dogs avoiding the use of shampoo for humans and baby shampoo that can hurt your pet’s skin. I also recommend that you brush your pet’s coat every day. 

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Why does my Akita smell?

How do I stop my dog’s ears from smelling?

To stop your dog’s ears from smelling you have to clean and keep them dry. At general levels, weekly cleaning is usually sufficient. Not forgetting that we must dry their ears inside, just as if we cleaned them, every time we bathe them. 

Can I use alcohol to clean my dog’s ears?

Never use alcohol to clean your dog’s ears. Neither hydrogen peroxide nor straight water. It is better to use a cleaner purchased at a pet store or a veterinary clinic.

How often should a dog be bathed?

A dog should be bathed once every two to four weeks, depending on its size, age, and dog’s character. A puppy may need more frequent washing. 





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