Why Does My Newfoundland Smell So Bad?

Newfoundland dogs usually don’t smell worse then other breeds but they do have potential to stink more then other dogs if they are not being properly cared for.

If Newfie’s double coat is not groomed as it should, it can smell very bad( accumulated dirt, skin infections). These dogs are prone to bacteria and yeast ear infections which also produce a horrible smell. The build-up of plaque and tartar on Newfie’s teeth along with a great amount of drool they can produce will all contribute to the terrible odor that spreads around your dog. Not to forget impacted anal sacs and poor diet which can lead to excessive gas that smells awful.

The Most Common Reasons For Bad Smell In Newfoundland Dogs?

Lack of Coat Care

Lack of proper grooming of the Newfoundland coat can lead to a really bad smell.

Newfies have a very dense, thick, waterproof, double coat which requires regular grooming ( brushing/combing on weekly basis, bathing on a 1-2 months basis, some owners bathe their Newfies 3-4 times a year). If not kept as it should, the coat becomes very dirty, smelly, tangled.

If your Newf gets wet (probably he does, as these dogs really enjoy swimming) it’s super important to dry him thoroughly to avoid a bad smell.

Bear in mind that Newfs have long hair, which means that their coats become especially dirty and smelly at certain places like rare legs and belly ( due to urine ) or butt area ( due to poop). Make sure you clean these areas and keep them dry on daily basis.

Skin Infections

If you don’t groom your big buddy properly, skin infections can develop easily and make the whole situation even more stinky.

Lack of grooming is not the only cause of skin infections in Newfies. Food and seasonal allergies can make a big mess by causing inflammation of the skin. This triggers the glands from the skin to secrete more oils and the result in a bad, musty smell.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are a common source of bad odor in dogs. Newfoundland dogs are no exception. Moreover, Newfies are prone to ear infections due to large and heavy ears.

Usually, dog’s ears are perfectly capable to fight against all kinds of bacteria and yeast that are attacking them.

But if the immune system is compromised due to allergies, some other disease, or even a hormonal imbalance, the ear infection is likely to develop.

Since these dogs like to swim, their ears are often wet, which is a great base for bacterial growth. That’s why you should always dry thoroughly your dog’s ears after swimming or bathing.

If you notice any redness or discharge from the ears consult the vet immediately. Ear cleaning should be the regular part of grooming, you can also use some safe ear cleanser (an antibacterial, non-irritant formula that dissolves the wax and removes debris).

Dental Problems

Teeth that have plaque and tartar build-ups smell really gross. That’s why you need to take good care of your dog’s oral health.

The most important thing you can do to prevent dental diseases, tooth decay, and tartar build-ups is to brush your Newf’s teeth regularly.

Ideally would be every day but we all know how hard that can be, so once or twice a week will do great work.

Never use human toothpaste for brushing your Newf’s teeth but paste specially formulated for dogs.

For maximum results, your vet will suggest yearly professional dental cleaning for your pet.

Since Newfoundland dogs are prone to dental disease ( note that if your dog’s mouth suddenly smells like garbage, maybe it’s not about poor oral hygiene but oral cancer), it’s a good idea to put some extra effort in order to keep your dog’s teeth and gums in tip-top shape.

Apart from regular brushing, dental chews will also do an amazing job. They are almost equally effective as toothbrushes.

Drooling problems

One of two things, Newfies are most known for is drooling ( the other one is shedding). They are capable to produce a vast amount of drool, that tends to stick to their coat. When it dries out, becomes hard and has an awful smell.

Not all Newfies drool a lot, some of them do but some of them not so much. Some Newfies drool only when they are eating or drinking water when it’s hot or they are excited.

In case you have a Newfie that drools a lot, maybe a drool bib could help and protect his coat on the chest and legs from getting messy and smelly.

If your dog is drooling excessively it’s important to keep his chin dry otherwise bacteria/yeast will grow.

Wipe your dog’s face regularly with dry towels ( as soon as you notice slobber strings ) but also clean up the mess on the floor, windows, furniture, walls, ceilings as the harden drool on your floor or wall may also produce a foul odor.

For cleaning you can use a mix of vinegar and water or only water with a magic eraser

Impacted Anal Sacs

Like any other dog breed, Newfies also have two anal glands located one both sides of their rectum. These glands produce a special secretion which is used for marking ( that’s why dogs when they are meeting smell each other butts)

Sometimes these glands leak and the secretion can get to your dog’s fur or your furniture. In that case, you will feel the awful smell.

If your Newfie is dragging his butt across the floor, that might mean that his anal sacs are impacted, he cannot express them. IN this case, you need to seek for vet’s help unless you know ( and want ) how to express them.

Being in Heat

Newfoundland dogs in heat may also spread some nasty smell around. That smell comes from a vaginal discharge. It serves to attract males from the vicinity, to inform them that there is some female in heat and that they are welcome to come.

Since the heat period lasts for approximately 3 weeks, the smell is the strongest in the second week, when the female is most fertile, receptive to males.

Wiping her intimate parts on daily basis can reduce the odor which will also help you to keep males far from your girl.

If you would like to know more about Newfoundland dogs in heat, do read our articles ”Newfoundland Dog in Heat( first heat, frequency and symptoms)” and ”What To Do When My Newfoundland Dog is In Heat ( care tips)”.

Different Diseases

If your Newfie suffers from urinary tract disease, his urine might have a rotten fish smell.

In case of diabetes, your dog will have ”sweet/sugary” breath.

Newfies with kidney failure often have odor of urine on their breath.


There is a number of reasons why your Newfie can have bad smell. In order to prevent it or even to fix it on time, never ever overlook the those signs.

Make sure you groom your dog on regular basis, paying special attention on ears and ear infection symptoms.

Feed your dog with good quality food, keep his teeth and gums clean and healthy.

Never let your pet stay wet after bathing or swimming and if he drools a lot get him a bib or at least wipe his chin very often to avoid any bacterial or yeast growth.

In case you cannot find the cause of your furry pal’s bad smell go to the vet’s. Sometimes diseases like cancer or hypothyroidism may be the reason for a bad odor.

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