Why Do Cairn Terriers Smell So Bad? 9 Common Causes to Learn!!

I have known someone who owns a cute Cairn Terrier pup. She shared her experience from a few days back about her Fido’s odor. So I started searching on the internet about this issue to know what is the exact reason for this. I found there can be many reasons behind your Cairn’s bad smell. 

Why does your Cairn Terrier smell so bad? Your Cairn’s smelling bad can be caused because of simple cleanliness issues such as irregular baths, rolling in the dirt. It can also be because of your Terrier suffering from some serious infections caused by microbes. You can get rid of your little friend’s stink with some simple steps. 

Keep reading to learn about the factors behind your pup’s bad smell and their solutions. 

Related Topic: Why Does Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Stink?

Why Do Cairn Terriers Smell So Bad?

Are Cairn Terrier Smelly Dogs? 

You have been a Cairn lover your whole life, learned so much about them, and then finally got your own puppy. What comes next is not much expected as you haven’t learned about them in any books before. That is the awful canine smell. Then one question came to your mind, “Are Cairn Terrier smelly dogs?”

As I was reading about this topic I found that most dog breeds are prone to be smelly for some normal or serious reasons. And a Terrier dog is no different from that. So, it is not definite whether they are a smelly breed, but if they do then it can be rather simpler than you think. Or it can be more serious than it looks. 

Keep needing to know what can cause your ratter dog to smell bad. 

9 Common Causes: Why Does Your Cairn Terrier Stink?

There can be many reasons if your Terrier stinks. It can be either because of their daily activities or any serious infections.

Here I present 9 possible reasons that can cause your Cairn to stink. Keep reading the following to find out the reason for your doggo to stink. 

#1 Does Your Cairn Terrier Roll in Something Smelly or Decaying?  

Sometimes canines, including your Scottish dog breed like to roll in things that have bad odors. They tend to roll on mud or other dirty things that they like and pick up the bad smell of dirt. This kind of odor might be likable to them but the same does not apply to us humans. After your little friend is done playing what stays is the bad odor.   

History also shows that Cairn pup was bred to dig out foul creatures in dirt, mud and grass. Your rat-catcher pup can not overcome their genetic nature and tries to dig out some dirt.  These things definitely don’t smell like flowers. While digging through the mud and dirt they get the raunchy smell on them.

#2 Does Your Cairn Terrier Smell Because She Bathes Irregularly? 

If your Terrier Smells bad it can be because she is not having her bathes timely. As we humans need a good bath after a busy day to clean us up to remove the sweaty and bad smell. Same is needed for your pup. 

As Cairn used to be worker doggy, they are more active than other home pets. They tend to spend more time playing, running and jumping even if they are having quality exercise. After the chase they get all sweaty and smelly. They also get dirt on their fur coats while running. That is when they need a proper bath

Lack of bath helps the foul smell of dirt and grass grow even more.That can cause bad odors in your puppy.    

Cairn Terrier Dog

#3 Does Your Cairn Terrier Need Grooming? 

The Scottish dog breed has a thick double layered fur coat. So they are more prone to smell when it gets dirty and sweaty. That is why they need more caring than other breeds. 

Your pooch might not need grooming until you want to put her in a show. But she does need grooming at a certain time to keep being healthy. Terrier’s can get dirt on their thick fur coat easily if grown too much. 

Also dirt under nail and ear wax in your little best friend can cause stench on her if not properly cared for. So if there is any bad smell coming from your dog it can also mean that she needs proper grooming. 

#4 Does Your Cairn Terrier Always Get Wet? 

You just gave your Terrier pup a thorough bath but yet she has odor coming from her. It can be because bath water is not dried properly. If your little pup  has a wet smell coming from her fur even after dried up then this can indicate some other issues.

If your Fido always gets a wet fur that may be because of the microbes on her fur coat. There are microbes like yeast and bacteria living on your small dog’s fur coat. These microbes release their feces and toxic compounds on your pup’s coat, that make your baby’s fur wet. 

When your furry pet takes a bath or gets in the pool the water causes the microbes to release stinky compounds. That can cause your furry pet to get a wet doggy smell whenever she gets wet. 

Related Reading: Are Border Terriers Smelly Dogs?

#5 Is Your Cairn Terrier Suffering From Microorganism in Her Coat?

As your Terrier loves chasing so much it is quite normal for her to have dirt in her fur coat. But if she stinks even after cleaning up the dirt then that can be because of micros in her fur coat.

Symptoms of Microorganism in Your Cairn Terrier’s Coat

Following symptoms can prove If your Cairn is suffering from microorganisms,

  • Rashes or pimple-like spots are common symptoms in the case of microorganisms. 
  • Allergie and skin irritation, redness are common skin issues caused by bacteria and fungus. 
  • Skin inflammation, and flaky skin, hair loss, skin swelling can be caused because of bacteria. 
  • Seeping of blood or pus on the skin layer can also indicate the presence of micros in your four legged friend’s coat. 
  • Severe skin infection and stinky smell can be symptoms of your pooch bearing microorganisms.   

#6 Does Your Cairn Terrier Get Leaky Anal Gland?  

Anal gland are two small secretory glands located on either side of your mutt’s rectum.. Both glands are filled up with foul smelling fluid that gets released every time your pup poops.

Canines used to secretion from anal gland to mark their territorry or to recognise each other. But now they do not need to do so. That is how they mostly forgot how to empty their anal gland. This cause a fully filled up anal gland problem. Your little friend may secrete some fluid when they get excited or scared, when the gland gets full. 

If the fluids in the gland is not emptied completely the fluids become thicker and cause a blocked anal gland. This can causes infections and foul smell in the anal gland.   

Keep reading to know how you will know whether your Cairn is suffering from any anal gland problem. 

Symptoms of Anal Gland Problems

To detect whether your four legged friend is suffering from anal gland issues you should know about the following symptoms.

  • Scooting – rubbing the bottom on the ground with their back legs stuck straight out in front because of the glands pressure.  
  • Nibbling and licking the anus or lower back to relieve the itch of full gland.
  • A foul, fishy smell coming from the anus area because of a full or blocked gland. 
  • Severe pain when pooping and constipation can happen when anal glands get full. If anal gland is raptured blood can be seen in the stool. 
  • Suddenly sitting down in discomfort because of the full gland. Looking round at their back end suddenly.
  • Brown or tan in colored spots of greasy substance on the floor that smell worse than feces.
  • Pups become aggressive in behavior. If you touch them on their tail or their lower side of the body they will react uncomfortably. 
Cairn Terrier Eating

#7 Is Your Cairn Terrier Suffering Any Infections In Their Mouth?   

Bad breath can be the cause of the increasing odor-producing bacteria in your little friend’s mouth. But on the other side it can be something more serious. Continuing bad breath can be caused by an oral infection or dental infection. Research shows that about 85% of canines above the age of 3 year old, are common to have some sort of dental problems.  

Your Terrier is intaking so many kinds of food throughout the day. Some of the food particles may get stuck between her teeth. If this keeps going for months or years and without brushing, the build up of oral bacteria increases at a lightning speed. This can cause severe dental problems to your pooch and then comes the bad breath.

As to, how to detect your furry friend’s mouth infection, keep reading the following. 

Symptoms Of Infections In Cairn Terrier’s Mouth

In normal Fido may show some of the following symptoms due to a mouth infection,

  • Swelling and redness on the gums can be seen around the affected tooth area. 
  • Oral discomfort and a toothache is common in case of a dental infection. The pooch may paw at its mouth and, due to pain
  • Bad breath and drooling are common with mouth inflammation, The saliva may be tinged with blood. 
  • Tongue inflammation, and sore throat is a result of the infected mouth. Your pup may resist any attempt to examine its mouth. 
  • Fluid or pus build up in the gum area can be seen because of the infection.
  • Some canines will have a decrease in their appetite because of a dental infection. Lymph nodes in the region may be enlarged.  

While searching on the internet I came across an oral infection case.  A 9 years old Cairn Terrier who had bad breath because of a dental tumor. You can find about the dog here. 

#8 Suffering From Some Sort of Ear Infections?   

In normal time if your Cairn’s ear gets smelly it can mean that she needs ear cleaning. When your furry friend lacks ear cleanliness, the moisture, oil and wax in the ear create a smelly ear. But when the odor is out of control it may indicate that she is suffering from ear infections. 

The moist and warm condition of the ear is perfect for yeast and bacteria to build up their territory in your Scottish pup ear. These microbes release toxic compounds in your  ear and may cause allergies that leads to ear infections. Thus can cause the doggo’s ear to have a foul smell.      

Symptoms of Ear Infections In Your Cairn Terrier

Following symptoms in your small dog’s ear area can help you to detect an ear problem in her, 

  • Your pooch will Vigorously scratch  the ear or area around the ear to relieve the itch. 
  • Sometimes your tail-wagger tries to shake-head or tilt-head because of an itchy ear.
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge coming out  from the doggo’s ear can be seen if the ear is infected.   
  • A very unpleasant odor in the ear can be noticed even from a distance. 
  • Redness, swelling on the inside of the outer portion of the ear can be seen. 
  • You may notice your puppy is rubbing her ear and surrounding area on the floor or furniture.

#9 Does Your Cairn Terrier Pick up Odors from a Dirty Bed? 

Even if your Scottish pup is not rolling on the dirt, you are giving her a proper bath and yet she has a smell coming for her. Then your mutt’s dirty bed can be the reason why your furry friend smells bad. 

There can be your furry friend’s saliva and fur things all over her bed. If not washed properly it becomes smelly. Canines have a nature to roll on their beloved bed even if it is dirty to pick up their doggy smell. So even after a bath if your active dog rolls on the dirty, smelly bed she will also smell like the dirty bed. 

Related Reading: Why Does Your Bullmastiff Smell So Bad?

Cairn Terrier Walking

13 Ways to Keep Your Cairn Terrier Dog Smelling Awesome!   

The bad odor of your Rat-catcher breed can be caused by many things. Now it is important to find out the methods to always keep your pup away from the odors. I found these 13 useful methods that may help you to keep your active dog smelling wonderful. Keep reading to know more. 

#1 Create a Routine Bath Schedule

To keep your Fido smell good, the first thing is to maintain a clear bath schedule for her. Give a good bath to your Scottish pup whenever she rolls on dirt or something smelly. Most of the vets suggest giving your furry friend a full proper bath every 3 months. Some also say, it is okay to give your bowbow a proper bath every 1 month if needed. 

But often giving your furry friend a bath can make her fur dry. So it is important to give a routined bath to your dog only when she really needs it. It will help her get rid of any bad smells. 

#2 Avoid Foods that Fuel Yeasts. 

Always give your furry pet a balanced and healthy diet. Try to avoid any kind of food on your tail-wagger’s daily diet that helps the growth of yeast or fungal compounds. Different kinds of junk food can be the real culprit in this case. 

So try refraining your doggo taking any kind of junk food. This will help to minimise the growth of fungal compounds in your puppy. And will get rid of the odor of your mutt caused by yeast.

#3 Use Coconut Oil on Your Cairn Terrier’s Skin.  

Bathing often can make your Cairn skin dry. That dry skin needs after care to balance the skin’s moisture. Lack of moisture can cause your Fido’s skin to produce more oil and dandruff.  

Oil and dandruff on the skin surface can make your furry friend smell bad. It can also lead to  itchiness and skin problems. You can apply coconut oil to your mutt’s skin to avoid such problems. It  will help your four legged friend’s  skin to keep moisturized and smell  wonderful through the day. 

#4 Get a Washable Dog Bed for Your Cairn Terrier.  

Your furry pet likes to roll on it’s bed and sometimes she likes licking and biting the bed so much. So there is your puppy’s saliva and dirt all over the bed. If she rolls on her dirty bed just after her bath the dirt and smell comes to her body again.  So try to get a washable bed for your pooch. So whenever your little best friend has a dirty bed it can be washed. 

#5 Wash Your Border TerrierDog’s Bed In Baking Soda

Use baking soda to clean your Cairn’s bed. It will get rid of the dirt and smell along with the germs it might contain. And it won’t make your small dog Smelly anymore. 

Like other artificial scents, added detergent baking soda does not only cover the bad odor. Baking soda absorbs the stinks and neutralizes stubborn acidic odors. 

To wash your mutt’s bed use warm water and add only ¼ cup of baking soda. Soaking the bed in this solution for about 15 minute can get rid of any of the bad smells. 

#6 Clean Your Cairn Terrier’s Lounging Areas

You have given your Terrier Puppy a good bath, cleaned everything thoroughly so that he will not come in touch with anything dirty. But you forgot to clean the space where you put her bed, toy and other stuff. It is a common mistake made by any Cairn owner. But it is really important to evenly clean that place. 

Anything your ratter dog touches gets her smell on them. If not cleaned the smell stays there and comes onto your baby’s body whenever she plays with them. So be sure to clean your tail-wagger’s lounging area well. 

Read To Know: Are Border Collies Smelly Dogs? Do They Stink Naturally?

#7 Dry Your Cairn Terrier All The Way

After a bath, dry your Fido all the way. To get rid of any kind of smell after bath, dry your Cairn With a towel. But sometimes only drying with a towel is not enough to remove the wet smell. In that case you blow-dry your pooch fully to get rid of any excess water. It is also good to dry your dog’s hair in the sun. This will help your furry friend smell good. 

Cairn Terrier Playing

#8 Brush Your Cairn Terrier’s Teeth

Like most of the canines your Scottish pup may not like brushing her teeth. But it is necessary to brush their teeth for their proper oral care. It helps to remove the food particle and dirt between the teeths. 

Some veterian says it is good to brush your Fido’s teeth after every time meal. Even if not every time but a brushing routine needs to be maintained after a certain period. Brush the mutt’s teeth at least two times a week. This will help to prevent the germs to get their way in your tail-wagger’s mouth.

#9 Use Dental Products To Avoid Bad Breath

To prevent your ratter dog’s bad breath you should use a dental product recommended by the veterinarian. If your little friend hates brushing her teeth try to find a substitute brushing object that will keep her teeth clean. Dog dental stick, chew Stick toothbrush can also be used to clean your furry friends teeth.  As for toothpaste, try to find toothpaste that is suitable for your pooch. 

There are many kinds of doggo brushes or sticks and dental products available in the pet market. You can choose one that is suitable for your puppy.  

#10 Use Doggy Wipes When Necessary

Your Terrier had a good time playing and digging in the dirt. While digging on dirt and mud she gets dirt on her paw and nails. If this dirt is not cleaned timely her paw can have a foul smell coming the next day. While cleaning mutt’s paws you need to be careful.

You can use doggy wipes to wipe out the dirt and mud from your furry friend’s paw. Doggy wipes are used to get your puppy’s feet clean after a short walk or chase. Doggy wipes are also good for cleaning the dirt and spots on your puppy’s coat. 

#11 Get Suitable Shampoos For Your Cairn Terrier

Choosing the right shampoo for your Fido is very important. You can not just use any shampoo you want. Cause it won’t do any good to your tail-wagger, not will it remove the doggy odor. 

Choose a good shampoo that is good for your bowwow skin and will also help her get a refreshing smell. While bathing it is really important to use a good shampoo suitable for your pooch . Use shampoo that is formulated to get rid of bad odors instead of artificial scents. 

#12 Clean Your Cairn Terrier Dog’s Ear Regularly.

Unclean dirty ears can cause your Scottish dog breed smell bad and can even let yeast and bacteria build up their home there. This can lead to fungal or bacterial ear infections. So it is important to clean your four legged friend’s  ear regularly and properly. 

Make a proper routine for your bowwow ear cleaning. Use cotton buds suitable for dogs to clean your fur baby’s ear. You can also use doggy wipes to clean behind the ear and outer portion of the ear. 


#13 Do Not Use Scent on Your Cairn Pup

Some people use scent or perfume to cover up their Fido’s bad smell. It is not the right way to prevent your canine from smelling bad. You are not sure about the reasons your little best friend smells bad. If it is because of some serious infections, covering up the smell with scent or perfume will make it worse. You won’t be able to notice their abnormality in smell timely. 

Some tail-waggers can also get allergic to the compounds in scent. Instead you can use some suitable talcum powder on your dog to smell good. 

Related Reading: Does Boston Terrier Smell Naturally?

Over To You

Could you find out the reason why your Cairn Terrier smells so bad? Which of the above facts helped you to get rid of your Cairn Terrier’s odor?

Which of the above facts do you already know and which one is new to you? Which one of the techniques have you already used?

Do you have other techniques to share that may help others as well? Do you think we should also cover some other topics?

Share this topic with others if you think it was helpful. Feel free to share your comments and questions in the comment section below.

Further Readings:

Carin Terriers’ Physical Characteristics

Cairn Diseases

Related Topics:
1. 15 Best Dog Shampoos For Odor Control
2. Best Dog Shampoo For Dandruff
3. Best Waterless Dog Shampoo

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