Shar pei with strong scent

The shar pei is one of the oldest and most curious dog breeds in the world. With a distinctive appearance thanks to their multiple wrinkles, these dogs originating in China have been used as work and companion animals. With the arrival of communism, they almost disappeared because they were considered “a luxury object”.

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Unfortunately, some specimens of this breed give off an unpleasant odor and many of their owners ask why they notice the sharp-smelling Shar pei . If you just want your pet to draw attention to your blue tongue and beautiful wrinkles and not the bad smell, keep reading this YourCatCareguide article and find out the causes and solutions to this problem.

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Skin disease that causes bad smell in the dog Shar pei

The skin of the Shar pei brings together some characteristics that make it prone to suffer certain diseases that may be causing the dog to smell badly.

In addition to having wrinkles that create folds in the skin , making cleaning and aeration difficult, these animals are more predisposed to suffer from demodicosis than other breeds, a skin disease caused by a mite and allergies. Learn more in the following points:


Demodicosis is a skin disease produced by a microscopic mite called Dodexex that lodges in the dog’s skin when it enters the hair follicles. Modmodex can affect individuals of all ages and conditions, but is more common in dogs and in animals with low defenses caused by some other disease or by treatment with corticosteroids (typical of allergies), for example.

Although these mites are not the main culprits of bad odor shar pei, they alter the skin and cause the dog to become more vulnerable before other diseases that cause bad smell as seborrhea , pyoderma or infection Malassezia .


The shar pei also have a high genetic predisposition to suffer from allergies, especially allergy to environmental elements, also known as atopy, such as mites, pollen, etc.

Just like in the previous case, the allergies themselves are not responsible for bad odor, but they alter the skin , causing it to lose its protective barrier function against other diseases that provoke the unpleasant smell.

As mentioned before, certain diseases cause a bad smell in the dog, such as Malasseziainfection  a skin infection, seborrhea (excess production of sebaceous glands) or pyoderma, a bacterial infection of the dermis. These diseases that require a veterinary diagnosis and treatment can affect any dog, but are much more common in dogs with allergies or demodicosis, as is the case with Shar pei.

Bad smell due to poor hygiene

We should not forget that lack of hygiene is one of the main causes that a dog, of any race, smells bad.

There is a popular belief that you should not wash the dog ever or almost never, especially the Shar pei because the bath removes the protective cover they have on the skin. Although it is true that this cape exists and brings benefits, it is also true that there are frequent use shampoos for dogs that respect the skin and can be used almost daily without damaging the dermis.

In any case, overall, washing your Shar pei once a month should be more than enough. However, this does not mean that when the dog gets dirty with dirt in the garden, for example, you have to wait a month to bathe again (provided you use a suitable shampoo). These shampoos are classified as dermoprotective and can be purchased at veterinary clinics or specialty stores.

Sharpei skin care to prevent bad smell

As an animal with sensitive skin, we recommend that you provide a specific feeding for Shar Pei to your dog, or feed for dogs with sensitive skin or allergies. We also recommend that you increase your diet with Omega 3 fatty acids . Providing an inadequate feed may end up reflecting the state of the dog’s dermis and thereby provoke conditions that explain why your dog smells bad.

On the other hand, using a product that prevents mites from colonizing the dog’s skin like moxidectin (available in pipette form) can be a great help in preventing Shar Pei from smelling badly and developing some of the above pathologies. In addition, there are specific shampoos for dogs with allergies, as well as others capable of preventing or controlling malodorous diseases such as Malassezia infection , pyoderma or seborrhea.

Some urban legends claim that sticking the wrinkles of Shar Pei dogs with oils and various home-made products are good practices to keep their skin healthy, but they are not effective and can contribute to the bad smell of dogs when they are not used properly. So we recommend that you apply the right amount of natural oils, as the excess may accumulate between the folds and produce an unpleasant odor due to lack of ventilation. However, these treatments should never replace veterinary treatment , they should only complement and always be approved by the specialist.

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Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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