Do Akitas Smell? The Truth About Akitas’ Odor

One of the factors that can affect an Akita’s odor is their fur. Akitas have a thick double coat that helps protect them from harsh weather conditions. While this beautiful coat is undoubtedly one of their distinguishing features, it can also trap odors more easily than a single-layered coat. However, it’s important to note that the natural smell of an Akita’s fur is not inherently unpleasant. It’s simply a characteristic of their breed.

Akitas’ Sweat Glands: Myth vs. Reality

There is a common misconception that dogs, including Akitas, sweat through their fur. However, the truth is that dogs primarily cool themselves down through panting rather than sweating. Akitas do have sweat glands, but they are primarily located on their paw pads. These sweat glands are not a significant contributor to their overall odor.

Factors That Can Contribute to Akitas’ Odor

While Akitas have their natural scent, certain factors can contribute to an increase in odor. Understanding these factors will help you manage and minimize any unpleasant smells that may arise.

Diet and Nutrition

Just like humans, a dog’s diet plays a significant role in their overall scent. Akitas are prone to food allergies or sensitivities, which can lead to digestive issues and increased gas production. This can result in a stronger odor emanating from their bodies. Ensuring a balanced and high-quality diet for your Akita can help minimize any potential odor caused by digestive issues.

Poor Hygiene and Grooming

Regular grooming and proper hygiene practices are essential in managing any dog’s odor, including Akitas. Akitas should be bathed regularly using dog-specific shampoos and conditioners that are gentle on their sensitive skin. Neglecting grooming can lead to a buildup of dirt, oils, and dead skin cells, which can contribute to a stronger odor.

Health Issues and Skin Conditions

Certain health issues and skin conditions can also contribute to an Akita’s odor. If your Akita has a persistent and strong smell that seems abnormal, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian. Underlying health issues such as infections or allergies could be the cause of the odor, and addressing these conditions will help alleviate any associated smells.

Effective Ways to Minimize Akitas’ Odor

Now that we understand the factors that can contribute to an Akita’s odor, let’s explore some effective ways to minimize any potential smells.

Proper Bathing Techniques

Bathing your Akita regularly is essential, but it’s equally important to use proper bathing techniques. Be sure to use lukewarm water and a dog-specific shampoo that is formulated for their sensitive skin. Avoid over-bathing, as it can strip the natural oils from their coat and lead to dry skin, which may exacerbate any potential odor issues.

Choosing the Right Shampoo

When selecting a shampoo for your Akita, opt for one that is specifically designed to neutralize odors. These shampoos often contain ingredients like baking soda or natural deodorizers that can help combat any lingering smells. Additionally, consider using a conditioner formulated for double-coated breeds to keep their fur soft and manageable.

Regular Brushing and Shedding Management

Regular brushing is essential for Akitas to maintain a healthy coat and minimize shedding. Removing loose fur and tangles through brushing not only helps keep your Akita looking their best but also helps prevent odors caused by trapped dirt or dead hair.

Keeping the Ears and Teeth Clean

Neglected ears and dental hygiene can contribute to an Akita’s overall odor. Regularly inspect and clean their ears using veterinarian-approved cleaning solutions. Additionally, establish a dental care routine that includes brushing your Akita’s teeth regularly to prevent dental issues and associated smells.

Special Considerations for Akitas’ Odor during Certain Times

Heat and Humidity

During hot and humid weather conditions, it’s common for any dog’s odor to become more pronounced. Akitas, with their thick double coat, may be more susceptible to this. Providing ample shade, access to fresh water, and keeping your Akita’s environment well-ventilated can help mitigate any odor-related issues during these times.

Seasonal Changes and Coat Blowouts

Akitas experience seasonal shedding, commonly known as coat blowouts. During these periods, their fur sheds excessively, and it’s essential to stay on top of grooming to prevent any unpleasant odors caused by trapped hair. Invest in a high-quality de-shedding tool and establish a routine for regular brushing to manage shedding and keep your Akita smelling fresh.

Addressing Specific Odor-Related Concerns

How to Handle “Frito Feet” Odor

Some Akita owners may notice a distinctive corn chip-like odor coming from their dog’s paws. This phenomenon is often referred to as “Frito Feet” and is more common than you might think. It’s typically caused by naturally occurring bacteria on the skin and is not a cause for concern. Regular paw cleaning and occasional foot soaks with a diluted apple cider vinegar solution can help manage this odor.

Managing Anal Gland Odor

Anal gland odor is another concern that some Akita owners may face. These glands, located near the base of the tail, can sometimes become impacted or infected, leading to a strong and unpleasant smell. Regular anal gland expression by a professional groomer or veterinarian can help prevent any issues related to anal gland odor.


In conclusion, Akitas do have their distinct natural odor, but with proper care, grooming, and attention to their overall health, any potential smells can be minimized. Understanding the factors that contribute to an Akita’s odor and implementing effective strategies to manage it will help you enjoy a clean and fresh-smelling environment with your beloved Akita companion. Remember, a little effort in maintaining their hygiene and health will go a long way in ensuring a pleasant experience for both you and your furry friend.

ThePetFaq Team