Why Does My Boxer Smell So Bad? 9 Tips For Stinky Dogs

In my days as a professional dog walker I had a Boxer dog client named Tony. Tony was an amazing dog. True to the Boxer breed he was playful, energetic, and full of personality. The only thing about Tony the Boxer was that he sort of smelled bad on a regular basis. 

Why does my Boxer smell so bad? There are a number of reasons why a Boxer will stink. Ear infections, dental issues, excessive gas, impact anal glands, and generally lack of hygiene are just a few. A distinct corn chip smell from Boxers is very common and often related to allergies symptoms.

For my friend Tony his problem was primarily skin allergies and chronic ear infections. His owners did their best to treat these issues and the smells associated. When your Boxer starts giving off a foul odor it’s important to identify what might be the root cause.

In this post I will go over the various reasons why your Boxer smells so bad and how you can prevent or treat these stinky symptoms. Let’s dig in.

Do Boxer Dogs Smell? 

As a general rule Boxers can be one of the stinky breeds of dogs. Boxer dogs do give off a smell more than many other breeds due to various skin issues, and flatulence. Boxers are notorious for having bad gas primarily due to their short and flat muzzles causing them to swallow a lot of air.

Another common smell Boxers are known for is corn chips or fritos. These odors are associated with skin issues and the Boxer can be prone to skin conditions and allergies causing this smell. Though it is a common problem it can be easily treated to help with your Boxer’s smell.

Reasons Why You Boxer Dog Is Stinky

These are some of the main causes of a smelly Boxer dog. Each issue can have a very distinct odor which can help you identify the problem and begin to treat them. It is important to understand what these smelly problems can mean from a health perspective and begin to treat them immediately and work towards prevention in the future.

Ear Infections

Boxers can get ear infections that will cause them to smell bad. Typically a sweet smell or even a musty odor will be a result of a yeast infection in your Boxer’s ear. This type of ear infection can have dark, brownish discharge and some redness around your dog’s ear.

Bacterial infections are much more potent when it comes to smell and will appear red and swollen. These infections are far more painful as well and can have pus and blood tinged discharge. Avoid cleaning out your Boxer’s ears before consulting with your vet first. These infections can be very painful and further damage can be done.

To prevent ear infections from occurring it is important to perform regular checks on your Boxer’s ears. Weekly inspections to check for wax build up, debris, dirt, or any smells or discharge can help you prevent or catch the early signs of an infection.

You should clean a Boxer’s ears only when they appear dirty. Excessive cleaning can cause irritation and further problems. To remove small amounts of wax build up I use a vet approved ear cleanser. Virbac Epi-Otic is a terrific ear cleaner. 



Simply apply some of the solution to the inside of your Boxer’s ear canal. Massage the base of their ear to move the solution around. Then allow your dog to shake it out. Simply wipe their ears out after to clean up the excess wax, dirt or debris that has come loose.

Dental Issues & Bad Breath

Dental issues can be one of the reasons why your Boxer smells so bad. Bad breath in your Boxer can be much more than the typical “dog breath”. It can mean serious periodontal disease, infections, or heavy tartar build up that need to be addressed.

Bad breath can also be a sign of much larger issues stemming from underlying health issues. Problems with your Boxer’s respiratory system or gastrointestinal tract can also be a cause of bad breath. Other problems such as diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease can also lead to bad breath in your Boxer.

Regular oral hygiene should be a part of your daily or at least weekly routine. Brushing your Boxer’s teeth to remove tartar and plaque build up will prevent bad breath from becoming an issue. It will also allow you to inspect your dog’s teeth to check for any potential problems.

If your Boxer’s breath is a persistent problem, even with regular brushings, you should consult with your vet. Having a professional rule out any potential underlying health issues and work towards treatment if one is found.

Resources & ReviewsThe Best Dog Dental Care Products 

Anal Glands

Does your Boxer smell like fish and you don’t know why? They most likely have a problem with their anal glands. An impact anal gland, or underlying infection in your Boxer’s anal gland will produce a very distinct, fishy smell. These problems can be very uncomfortable and should be treated immediately.


Boxer’s are notorious for having bad gas. One of the main reasons is the short muzzle on many Boxers that causes them to swallow air more often. Especially while eating or drinking. This issue with farts can become excessive with Boxers that are fast eaters as well. Getting your dog to slow down when eating can help if their farts are becoming an issue.

Slow feeders and food puzzles are a great way to slow down a fast eating Boxer. There are a variety of different kinds of products such as the Outward Hound Slow Feeders that will prevent your Boxer from speed eating their way to a stinky situation.

Excessive gas can also be caused by dietary issues. Foods like diary, corn, legumes, soy, and high fat meats can cause stomach sensitivities leading to increased gas. Give your Boxer a high quality dog food, avoid table scraps, and work with your vet to rule out allergies and food sensitivities.

ruby and chester in front of mural

Join the adventures of Ruby The Staffy & Chester The Pocket American Bully!

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

Skin Issues

One of the most common questions people ask is why their Boxer smells like corn chips or Fritos. This distinct smell is a natural occurrence that is produced typically in your dog’s feet from the natural bacteria and fungus growth dogs develop.

Dogs will sweat out of their feet, and these types of bacteria and fungi thrive in warm, moist environments. This smell is perfectly normal, but when it becomes very strong or even pungent there may be cause for concern. Strong odors can be a sign of bacteria or yeast infections and need to be treated.

Signs that an underlying issue or infection is happening include:

  • Bald spots and hair loss on the feet or pads
  • Excessive licking of feet
  • Bumps, redness, and swelling around the feet and toes
  • Crusty or flaky skin on their foot pads
  • Limping
  • Pus or drainage from wounds
  • Broken, or cracked toenails

Other skin issues such as Atopy or allergic reactions to certain foods or parasites can cause a Boxer to smell. Allergic reactions can create irritated and itchy skin which your dog will scratch and cause sores and wounds to open up. These skin traumas can get infected easily and cause quite the stink.

Skin Fold Pyoderma

The wrinkly face of the Boxer is one of their most adorable qualities, but it is also breeding ground for bacteria. These skin folds on your Boxer are the perfect environment for bacteria to breed and eventually cause an infection. The warm, moist areas in your dog’s skin folds need to be cleaned regularly to prevent infections from forming.

Using a gentle hypoallergenic pet wipe such as the Earth Rated Dog Wipes is a simple and effective way to keep your Boxers skin clean and infection free. A regular routine of wiping your Boxer’s skin folds will ensure they are less likely to get red, swollen and infected skin issues that produce a musty, and very unpleasant smell.



Urinary tract infections are more common than you would expect. When your Boxer is giving off a strong smell or urine, this is most likely a UTI. Discomfort urinating, frequent trips outside, accidents in the house, as well as excessive drinking can all be signs your Boxer has a UTI.

Consult with your vet if you suspect your dog might have a UTI. Especially when you notice them in discomfort or blood in their urine. Urinary tract infections are often easy to treat with antibiotics from your vet.

Cranberry supplementation has been shown to be effective in prevention of UTIs in dogs in a recent study. Supplements and chews such as the Zesty Paws Cranberry Soft Chews Urinary Supplement can help prevent your Boxer from suffering urinary tract infections in the future.

Lack Of Grooming

Not every smell from your Boxer is from underlying health issues, sometimes your dog is just plain dirty. A lack of a proper grooming routine can leave your Boxer stinking up the household.

A regular weekly brush of your Boxers coat will remove any dirt, allergens, or debris that can build up and smell. Not only is this regular brushing good for keeping your dog clean, it is also great for their skin and coat. Distributing the natural oil in your Boxer’s skin and coat can help keep their skin healthy and moisturized.

Bathing your Boxer should be done every 6-8 weeks unless they get themselves really dirty. Frequent bathing more than once a month can cause skin issues leading to dry, irritated, and itchy skin, which can lead to other issues. 

Use a gentle, oatmeal based shampoo when bathing your Boxer to ensure you keep their skin and coat moisturized and healthy. For generally cleaning between baths I recommend a good pet wipe such as the Earth Rated Dog Wipes. I use these on my dogs between bathtimes and they are a fantastic and quick way to keep your Boxer clean.

Resources & ReviewsThe 15 Best Dog Grooming & Bathing Products

Wet Dog

The term “smells like a wet dog” is something we have all heard, and this could be precisely why your Boxer smells. Wet dog smell is actually caused by the natural yeast and bacteria on your Boxer. These smelly little molecules live in your Boxer’s skin and coat unnoticed until they are activated by water.

This is why your Boxer will smell after a bath. Yeast and bacteria living in your dog’s coat will release stinky compounds when they come into contact with water. Combat this wet dog smell by thoroughly drying your dog after their bath to remove the moisture from their fur.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why your Boxer smells so bad, and it’s up to you to determine what is causing the smell. Certain smells can indicate a serious medical issue, infection, or disease. Other smells are just natural odors that most dogs produce.

Understanding the various odors your Boxer can produce will help you act faster. Whether that means you need to book an appointment with your vet, buy a slow feeder, give them a bath, or change their diet.

As an owner of two dogs for many years I have smelled it all. The experience and knowledge I have gained has helped me keep both my dogs comfortable, healthy, and smelling relatively great. I hope this post can help you in your quest to stop your Boxer from smelling so bad.


King Komb DeShedding Tool – One of the best dog brushes on the market. I use the King Komb each and every week with my Pibbles. Easy to use and even easier to clean.

Wahl Dry Skin Oatmeal Shampoo – Smells great, cleans great, and best of all keeps my dog’s skin and coat looking and feeling amazing. Wahl Dry Skin Oatmeal Shampoo keeps my Pibbles skin moisturized like no other.

Earth Rated Dog Wipes – Dog wipes are an essential to keep on hand, and nothing beats Earth Rated. Hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and durable. I keep these dog wipes in the house and the car for everyday use.

Kong Extreme – Kongs are one of my most used tools to give my dogs some mental stimulation and something tough to chew. Kong Extremes are as tough as they come and will give your Pibble the entertainment they crave.

Outward Hound Food Puzzle – Outward Hound food puzzles are the best in the industry. Available from beginner to advanced. These are an excellent way to challenge and mentally stimulate your dog.

BeneBone Dog Chew – The toughest dog chew around. My dogs absolutely love the bacon flavor and peanut butter flavor BeneBone. These will keep your toughest chewers busy for weeks, if not months and years.

BarkBox Super Chewer – Variety is the spice of life, and BarkBox Super Chewer is the perfect way to keep your dog engaged. New treats, toys, and chews each and every month that your super chewer will love.

iCrate Dog Crate – The iCrate is my absolute top recommendation for dog crates. I use this for both my dogs and love the sturdy, easy to store, and versatile adjustable panel. You need the iCrate in your life.

HiKiss Long Training Lead – Recall training and puppy training outdoors requires a long training lead. My favorite to use is the HiKiss long training lead. Available in a range of lengths to suit your long lead training needs.

Recent Posts