Are Whippets Smelly Dogs?

Have you ever visited a friend, neighbour or family member and they have invited you into their warm and inviting home and you are greeted by an awful smell? What is that smell? Seconds later, their fluffy, friendly pup bounds around the corner just longing for a greeting.

You try not to gag while holding your breath and pet away, not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings. You wonder, “can anyone in this house smell?”

When you return home, you enter and sniff everywhere wondering if your house has a stinky smell from your darling whippet. Are whippets smelly dogs? Do whippets smell? No, absolutely not. Whippets do not smell.

As you read the material below, you will find out why some dogs smell, reasons your whippet may smell and how to solve the problem. Before you go sniffing around and lighting candles, take a deep breath.

I’ve got this. So, curl up with your sweet-smelling whippet, sit back, relax and read.

Why Do Some Dogs Smell?

Let’s face it, dog breeds are as individual as people. They have different skin, are a variety of sizes, some have a lot of fur and others not so much.

Some dog’s, in fact, any dog, may have an obvious smell if they roll in all sorts of disgusting things they find while exploring, like something dead or poop that they find to be interesting.

Go figure! If sprayed by a skunk, that smell is as distinctive as it gets and is most difficult to eliminate, much to your horror and your pup’s sorrow.

There are breeds that no matter how much they’re bathed, they have a distinct musky smell. As cute as a beagle can be, they have been bred as hunting dogs for years and usually hunt with their pack.

All of the beagles have a unique smell so that pack members can locate each other by scent when hunting. Other scent hounds, like the beagle, have an oily coat for its waterproof quality, great for outdoors and hunting but bad for holding lingering smells.

Along with the beagle, the basset hound and the bloodhound tend to smell. Throw in the long floppy ears, which can also have a stench if not regularly cleaned plus the many skin folds and you can have one stinky dog!

The Shar-Pei is another breed with oodles of skin folds. These dogs are prone to skin problems and infections that can give off a strong odour.

The Saint Bernard can become stinky from all of the drooling they do.

Dogs that are regular gas producers suffering from flatulence are another smell factor. Both the boxer and the pug have gas problems because they swallow a lot of air when eating, due to their flat face.

For some dogs, anal issues, food allergies and poor dental hygiene can be the factor in causing a stinky stench.

Many breeds just have a natural scent no matter how much they’re bathed, while others may have a hygiene or health issue that causes unwanted odour. Most are easily remedied, while others may take a bit of detective work to cure that awful aroma.

Do Whippets Smell?

Whippets do not generally smell and have none of that telltale doggy odour. They have also earned a place on a list of dogs that are least likely to stink! Along with your whippet, the Alaskan malamute, Siberian husky, Basenji, Maltese, Kuvasz and the Bichon Frise have all been awarded the no smell prize.

Whippets don’t have too much fur, being short-haired and are easy to bathe even though they are considered a medium-sized dog. They are thin to the point of skinny, aren’t very weighty and can be bathed as easily as a small dog.

Most whippets, from experience, detest rolling on the ground in anything even wet grass, so they shouldn’t have a malodorous smell from getting dirty outside. Of course, there are exceptions to any rule.

I’m not going to swear that whippets will never smell or that your adorable whippet or mine will never acquire a bouquet that is less than fragrant. There are reasons why a dog can stink and most are easily resolved with a little bit of detective work.

Reasons Why You May Have A Smelly Whippet

So, your usually fresh-smelling whippet has developed an odour and you want to get to the bottom of it. Most of the time this is fairly easy to solve if you can figure out exactly where the smell is coming from; other times it may take some investigative work.

It may just be something they’ve gotten into and a good bathing may do the trick. If you’ve done that and you still smell the stink, then you must look further.

Skin Problems

Your whippet may have a skin infection from either dry skin which can cause them to scratch, seborrhea, causing flaking or scaling and being oily or dry, or pyoderma, which occurs in the folds of skin.

These problems can cause a musty, strong odor. Whippets are not as prone to pyoderma as large dogs and dogs that have wrinkly skin with rolls. Your skinny whippet doesn’t exactly fall into this category.

Pyoderma, seborrhea, skin rashes and infections may require a medicated ointment or shampoo to clear things up and this will eliminate the smell.


Food or seasonal allergies can also lead to that strong, musty odour by inflaming the skin, causing itching, pain and leading to infection.

are whippets smelly dogs?
Image: Dave Gershkoff

Infections of the skin can also give off a yeasty smell if it’s caused by food allergies. Feeding your pup low-quality dog food filled with too many carbohydrates and fillers can cause allergies.

Ear Infections

Another infection that will cause a yeasty odour is an ear infection. Dogs more prone to ear infections are ones with long floppy ears that don’t get much circulating air passing by.

If a dog’s ears are not cleaned, infections can develop no matter what size or shape the ears are. Any pup with allergies, food or seasonal. is susceptible to ear infections as well, because allergies cause bacteria and yeast to multiply.

Eye Drainage

Sometimes your whippet may have watery drainage from their eyes due to wind or possibly allergies. A buildup of dried mucus can create a smell and sometimes simply wiping around their eyes and keeping that area clean is all that’s needed for an odourless whippet.

Dental Issues

Your whippet may not always have the freshest breath but if there is a sudden change and the rotten smell is coming from their mouth, they may have a bad tooth, an abscess, or even the beginning of periodontal or gum disease.

Flatulence (Gas)

The word gas always evokes much laughter and funny jokes but it’s not very hilarious when your whippet begins tooting regularly and can clear a room with the stink.

This should not involve much detective work to find where on your whippet’s body the smell is coming from.

Anal Sac Issue

If you are suddenly smelling a very fishy odour and you haven’t cooked cod lately, then your little whippet may have an anal gland infection or full anal glands that need to be expressed. If your pup keeps dragging their butt across the floor, this is another clue.


Diabetes will not make your whippet smell but will make their breath smell very sweet and fruity. If this is new, have it checked out. Your whippet would also be drinking and urinating more as well.


If the scent of your whippet’s urine is suddenly very strong or develops a fishy odour then they could be suffering from a urinary tract infection. They may also be more thirsty, urinate more and even cry when urinating.

How To Make Your Whippet Smell Better

Depending on why your whippet smells will determine what path you take to eliminate the odour. If your whippet is just dirty from too much play or has gotten into something stinky, then a simple bathing should put any smells to rest.

A visit to your whippet’s veterinarian may be needed for skin rashes or infection. Medicated or prescription ointments or shampoos will clear up the issue and the smell.

It will have to be determined if your pup has seasonal or food allergies and your vet can help with this. Seasonal allergies can be treated with allergy medication.

For food allergies, switching to a good quality, high protein food without additives or preservatives should help. Your veterinarian can help with this decision.

Your whippet’s ears should always be cleaned regularly with ear cleaner and cotton or gauze to avoid dirty ears or they will develop a funky odour that can, in turn, lead to infection.

If your whippet has an ear infection, your veterinarian will prescribe ear drops, oral antibiotics or both.

Simply cleaning and wiping your whippet’s eyes every day can avoid smells, but if they have a thick green discharge and you think there is an infection, a trip to their vet for eye drops is in order.

To avoid most dental problems, brushing your whippet’s teeth two to three times a week is necessary. Dog treats and toys specifically made to clean away plaque and tartar can also be used in between brushings.

This will give your whippet fresh smelling breath. If they still have bad breath and you suspect a dental problem then a trip to the vet is needed. Sometimes a professional cleaning at their office is necessary to prevent future tooth and gum issues.

If your whippet has suddenly developed gas, then an investigation is needed. A change in food, treats or maybe occasional table scraps may be to blame.

Their food may not agree with them anymore or they could have developed a food allergy. A change in food may be the answer to clear the air.

If the smell problem is due to the anal sacs, they may need to be expressed and a groomer can perform this. If, however, it’s an anal gland infection your veterinarian needs to be contacted.

If your whippet has sweet-smelling breath that is different than usual and you suspect diabetes, head to the veterinarian. This can be serious if left untreated. They will need to run tests and your pup will need insulin.

If your pup is showing symptoms of a urinary tract infection, you need to make an appointment with their vet. They will probably do a urine culture and your pup will be placed on antibiotics. This will eliminate the odour and make your pup a lot more comfortable.

Other Considerations

Whippets are not a breed that normally smells. If your whippet suddenly develops a rank odour, don’t panic. Most likely it is one of the minor issues listed above.

Get out your Sherlock Holmes hat and magnifying glass and smell around to determine what smells, and go from there.

Final Thoughts

So, are whippets smelly dogs? No, not at all!

Chances are your little whippet will not have one bad smell surrounding them but, with the information and clues listed above, if you smell a stinky odour you will have the clues to identify and solve the problem.

Never fear; you will not be the household that a guest will smell your whippet before they see them. No need to light candles. Your whippet will always be the well-mannered, sweet-smelling greeter.

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