READER’S REQUEST SERIES (1): Simple Solutions to French Bulldog Unpleasant Smell

READER’S REQUEST SERIES (1): Simple Solutions to French Bulldog Unpleasant Smell

At Frenchie Shop, we are always attentive to the situation of our dear readers, who not only follow our blog posts but also leave us one or two comments at the end, it makes this platform an interactive place where we can express ourselves freely and get help from one another. Before I digress, this post is in response to readers' thoughts on our previous post, "Common Causes of French Bulldog Hair Loss." We have since been put into research mode following some thought-provoking problems some of our readers facing. So, in the next couple of weeks, be sure to check back here to read other interesting updates not contained in this particular post.

For starters, this post will address French Bulldog smells, French Bulldog malodor, or French Bulldog unpleasant scent, smell or odor - it's up to you how you wish to describe it. Essentially we are talking about a condition where being around your French Bulldog becomes uncomfortable for you, and bringing your Frenchie around other becomes rather embarrassing because he/she smells bad. If you're currently experiencing this, you are not alone, there are tons of other Frenchie owners putting on the same shoes as you, and we spoke to a quite a number of them in preparation for this article. Therefore in the following paragraphs, you'll learn:

  • Causes of French Bulldog unpleasant smell
  • What parts of the French Bulldog's body are more prone to bad smells
  • Some real-life stories of French Bulldog Smell
  • Treatment measures for dealing with French Bulldog malodor.

If this is a good read for you, let's ride on.


Unlike most other dog breeds, certain factors place the Frenchie at a higher risk of having an unpleasant odor. In order for us to thoroughly address this concern, let us first identify some parts of the French Bulldog's body which make the Frenchie more prone to bad smells.

What parts of the French Bulldog's body are more prone to bad smells?

  1. The Facial folds
  2. The tail pocket
  3. The ear
  4. The paws
  5. The Fur
  6. The Mouth
  7. Infected wrinkles
  8. Improper bathing routine (I'm sure you know you shouldn't allow this to be the cause of your Frenchie's malodor).

Here are some of the things you can do to help a smelly Frenchie according to Melissa Breyer, the Senior Editor at Care2:

  1. Change the diet
  2. Clean them from the inside-out
  3. Save the skin (explained below)
  4. Try some supplements
  5. Clean the coat
  6. Schedule a bath day
  7. Call the Vet if the odor persists (It could be a pointer to a much bigger problem than you thought).
  8. Wash your French Bulldog's wrinkles properly.


Stinky Wrinkles or Skin Folds: French Bulldog has a lot of skin folds in different parts of their body. For instance, the nose rope and surrounding wrinkles. These areas increase the tendency for your Frenchie to smell especially during the summer when so much heat and sweat is inevitable.

Similarly, French Bulldogs have an in-grown tail (tiny to no tail), but there's a tail pocket in a sort of hidden area between the tail position in dogs and the skin. This area can easily elude French Bulldog owners. Some of the Frenchie owners we interviewed said they had never averted their minds to that area of the Frenchie because they didn't know it existed. O yes! It does exist but it's not clearly visible. When there's a compound of specks of dirt accumulated in these pocket areas and you skip it while cleaning your Frenchie, you are giving room for a build-up that will eventually turn to a bad odor (I will tell you how best to clean up these areas below, keep reading).

The Frenchie ear can also cause bad smell if it has been infected. Note however that not all smelly Frenchie ears are infected, so you want to make sure you properly clean it up first before placing your pet under medications. But when there is a real ear infection, the smell is rather horrible. 

Another part of the French Bulldog that is quite susceptible to malodor are the paws. Smelly paws are as a result of an injury (if they ain't left dirty by the way). After a Bulldog is wounded, he may lick the wounded to try and alleviate pain or clean the area, but sometimes a persistent bully causes more harm than good. Over-licking can further irritate the wounded not allowing it to fully heal and even worsening its condition. This leaves the wound susceptible to bacterial, fungal and viral infections which are known to smell very foul. Boredom, anxiety, and allergies are a few other reasons a Bulldog might develop hot spots on his paws.


  1. Proper bathing Routine: Bathing your French Bulldog and what shampoo you decide to use is very important to taking care of their skin and hair. The scent of a French Bulldog's skin can be directly affected by the health of his dermis, which is one of their body's largest organs.

NOTE: Do not over-bath your Frenchie in the hope of eliminating your Frenchie's offensive smell. This will exacerbate the condition. In other words, this is one of the reasons why some people complain that they have regularly been bathing their Frenchie yet the smell seems to be on the increase.

Look, over-bathing destroys the PH balance on a French Bulldog's skin and deplete the protective oils it naturally has. Further, it causes the skin to become dry, flaky and itchy encouraging your pet to scratch and lick even more. Now, when your Frenchie continues to scratch and lick, it develops abrasions, which possibly will be infected and turn into hot spot. When this happens, your Frenchie would have an unhealthy skin prone to virus and bacteria attack. This is how over-bathing your Frenchie worsens the condition. Bath your Frenchie, only once or twice a month.

... To be continued>>>

Back to blog


What is best food for Frenchies? Also what shampoo is recommended? I tend to buy shampoos w/ oatmeal, gentle skin.


Luckily we are fortunate to get our two frenchies Grace and Angus groomed every other month. I keep their faces and bums cleaned once a week though. Just a warm wash rag. No smelly frenchies here!!


Yes and no! I have 4 Frenchies, got them as pups, they would play with my cats but one day all of a sudden they want to chase and get them now!! That being said, there are times that all is good!!! I have 3 cats, the frenchies only leave the Himalayan cat alone, not sure why!!

Angie Ensor

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.