Bennie the Basset Hound is a great dog. He is loyal, sweet, and gives nothing but love to every person that comes near him. Yet, Bennie has begun to smell a bit. This smell has been present before and you never thought it could be Bennie because why in the world would your dog embody the smell of a snack food that you love to eat? Although you are dumb-founded, you have come to the conclusion that it is Bennie that smells. Basset Hounds sometimes smell like corn chips and now you want to know the real truth as to why that is.
The Root of the Behavior
Basset Hounds are not the only dogs that smell like corn chips, which you may already know. Yet, you may now be wondering why your dog has such an odd odor! This corn chip aroma comes from a natural bacteria called Proteus or Pseudomonas that is produced from sweat. Yet, dogs don’t sweat, do they? Dogs may not sweat through their skin like we do because they have luxurious coats, but they do sweat in other ways. For example, Bennie will pant and lay on the cold floor after a long walk in the hot sun to cool down. When Bennie's body heats up, his paws will secrete sweat which produces this yeast-like bacteria. Although this may answer the question of why dogs smell like corn chips sometimes, what about Basset Hounds? They smell a lot more than the typical Golden Retriever!
Basset Hounds have many skin folds on their body. It may be why you consider Bennie to be so cute! This means that when Bennie has saliva, food, sweat, or water drip on his coat, it will get caught in his skin folds. The skin folds on Basset Hounds will hold any and all substances, which produces a body odor. After your dog eats or drinks, you should wipe their mouth because it will keep the production of bacteria down, reducing their odor. If your dog has a strong smell that makes a presence in the room, there may be something a bit more serious going on. Basset Hounds are known to have a skin condition called Malassezia Dermatitis. Basset Hounds have more Malassezia organisms on their skin compared to other breeds, which means there is a possibility for yeast overgrowth. Symptoms of this include a strong odor, itchiness, and even the presence of papules. Secondly, your Basset Hound has a different type of coat than other breeds such as German Shepherds or Golden Retrievers. Basset Hounds have an extremely oily coat that is known to repel dirt and water. Although this type of coat has been helpful for the outdoors, it is not necessarily helpful today. If you have a Basset Hound, focus on keeping their bodies clean in all ways that you can.
Encouraging the Behavior
Something you just cannot avoid in your dog is their smell. All dogs have body odor just like humans do and depending on the breed of your dog, their smell may vary. Bennie is probably going to smell more than your neighbor’s dog because Bennie is a Basset Hound with many skin folds and a greasy coat. Yet, you can make many adjustments to help Bennie with his smell. If you see Bennie every single day, you can monitor the smell that is in his coat by keeping him clean. Although the bacterial smell you find is natural, it may not be something that you desire in your dog. It may also not be healthy if the smell is strong and potent because your dog could have a larger skin issue at hand.
Always pay attention to your dog’s body odor. Sometimes, your dog may smell because the odor is coming from other places such as their mouth. Basset Hounds can have dental issues that create strong odors. It is also suggested to trim the fur that grows around Bennie’s sweat pads. This will help keep the sweat from gathering and creating a stronger smell than is necessary. You can also wash your dog’s paws with soap and water to clear out the sweat. Secondly, every time your dog eats, drinks, or sweats, you want to help them clean up properly. Any bit of liquid or food that drips into their skin folds will contribute to the bacterial growth that produces the corn chip odor.
Other Solutions and Considerations
As you probably know, Basset Hounds are great dogs. Yet, if you have a Basset Hound, you are just going to have to get used to their smell. It does not matter how many baths you give your dog, Basset Hounds will always smell because that is just how they are made. In fact, some hound dogs even use their scenting skill and smell to track each other while they are outdoors. If the smell is a huge problem, you can work to clean up your dog and the remaining smell will either have to be muted out by candles or you may need to become immune to your dog's body odor. Go "nose-blind" as they say on the Febreeze commercial. If you are concerned about your dog’s smell, you can consult with your veterinarian on other health concerns.
Basset Hounds are wonderful, loyal, and happy for the most part. Sometimes, we just have to accept the way our dogs are, even if they don’t smell too great. It is important to take care of our companions and love them in the best way that we can, even if we are not huge fans of their corn chip aroma. You can just go "nose-blind" as they say on the Febreeze commercial. If you are having big issues with your dog’s body odor, go ahead and get them checked with your veterinarian. A second opinion never hurts!
By a Golden Retriever lover Erika Seidel
Published: 04/03/2018, edited: 01/30/2020