Why Do My Shih Tzu’s Eyes Smell?

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Ah, the delightful and adorable Shih Tzu! These little furballs never fail to bring joy and happiness into our lives. But hey, have you ever noticed an unpleasant smell coming from your Shih Tzu’s eyes? It may be a bit puzzling, but don’t you worry, I’m here to shed some light on the matter. So, why do your beloved Shih Tzu’s eyes smell?

When it comes to our furry friends, there’s always a reason behind everything, and the same goes for that funky smell emanating from their eyes. The most common culprit behind this peculiar odor is a condition called epiphora, which is just a fancy word for excessive tearing. You see, Shih Tzus are known for their adorable, big, round eyes, but unfortunately, their facial structure can sometimes cause their tears to overflow and accumulate. As a result, bacteria and yeast can find their way into these moist areas, leading to that not-so-pleasant smell.

Now, you may be wondering why Shih Tzus are more prone to this issue compared to other breeds. Well, it all boils down to their unique facial features. Their short nose and large, round eyes create a shallow eye socket, making it easier for tears to spill over. Additionally, their long and flowing hair can irritate the eyes and cause further tearing. So, while those luscious locks make them look like little royalty, they can also contribute to the smelly eye situation. But fret not, my fellow Shih Tzu enthusiast, there are ways to address this issue and keep those precious peepers smelling fresh as a daisy!

Why Do My Shih Tzu's Eyes Smell?

Why Do My Shih Tzu’s Eyes Smell?

Shih Tzus are adorable and lovable companions, but sometimes their eyes can emit an unpleasant odor. As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to understand the reasons behind this issue and take appropriate measures to address it. In this article, we will delve into the causes of smelly eyes in Shih Tzus and provide you with valuable insights on how to keep your furry friend’s eyes clean and fresh.

Common Causes of Smelly Eyes in Shih Tzus

1. Tear Stains: Shih Tzus are prone to tear stains due to their prominent eyes and shallow eye sockets. Tear stains occur when tears overflow and accumulate around the eyes, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. This bacterial growth can lead to an unpleasant odor.

2. Eye Infections: Shih Tzus are susceptible to eye infections, such as conjunctivitis, which can cause discharge and odor. These infections can be caused by various factors, including allergies, foreign particles, or even underlying health conditions. It’s essential to identify and treat any infections promptly to prevent further complications.

How to Prevent and Address Smelly Eyes in Shih Tzus

1. Regular Eye Cleaning: To prevent tear stains and odor, it’s crucial to clean your Shih Tzu’s eyes regularly. Use a damp cloth or specialized eye wipes to gently wipe away any discharge or debris around the eyes. Be gentle to avoid causing any discomfort to your furry friend.

2. Tear Stain Removal Products: There are various tear stain removal products available in the market specifically formulated for Shih Tzus. These products can help reduce tear stains and minimize the chances of smelly eyes. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations and proper usage instructions.

Signs of Eye Infections in Shih Tzus

1. Excessive Discharge: If you notice an abnormal amount of discharge from your Shih Tzu’s eyes, it could be a sign of an eye infection. The discharge may vary in color, consistency, and smell.

2. Redness and Swelling: Inflamed and swollen eyes are common indicators of an eye infection. If you observe these symptoms in your Shih Tzu, it’s essential to seek veterinary care to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Preventive Measures for Healthy Shih Tzu Eyes

1. Regular Vet Check-ups: Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to monitor your Shih Tzu’s overall eye health. Your veterinarian can identify any early signs of infection or other eye-related issues and provide appropriate guidance.

2. Balanced Diet: A well-balanced diet can contribute to your Shih Tzu’s overall health, including their eye health. Ensure that your furry friend’s diet includes essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to support their immune system and prevent eye infections.


By understanding the causes of smelly eyes in Shih Tzus and taking preventive measures, you can keep your furry friend’s eyes clean and fresh. Regular eye cleaning, tear stain removal products, and prompt veterinary care for any signs of infection are essential for maintaining healthy eyes in your Shih Tzu. Remember, your pet’s well-being is in your hands, so prioritize their eye health and enjoy a wonderful bond with your adorable Shih Tzu!

Key Takeaways: Why Do My Shih Tzu’s Eyes Smell?

  1. Shih Tzu’s eyes can smell due to tear stains and bacteria buildup.
  2. Tear stains can be caused by excessive tearing or blocked tear ducts.
  3. Bacteria can accumulate in the folds around the eyes, leading to a foul odor.
  4. Cleaning your Shih Tzu’s eyes regularly can help prevent smells.
  5. If the smell persists or your Shih Tzu shows signs of discomfort, consult a veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shih Tzu dogs are known for their beautiful and expressive eyes. However, sometimes these eyes can develop an unpleasant odor. If you are wondering why your Shih Tzu’s eyes smell, we have answered some common questions below:

Q: How do I know if my Shih Tzu’s eyes are smelling?

If your Shih Tzu’s eyes have a foul odor, it can be an indication of an underlying issue. You may notice a strong, unpleasant smell coming from their eyes or the area around their eyes. Additionally, your Shih Tzu may show signs of discomfort, such as excessive tearing, redness, or rubbing their eyes frequently.

It is important to address this issue promptly to prevent any potential eye infections or discomfort for your furry friend.

Q: What causes the smell in my Shih Tzu’s eyes?

The smell in your Shih Tzu’s eyes can be caused by various factors. One common reason is the buildup of tear stains, which can harbor bacteria and yeast over time, leading to an unpleasant odor. Another possible cause is an eye infection, such as conjunctivitis, which can result in discharge and a foul smell.

Other factors that can contribute to the smell include poor hygiene, allergies, blocked tear ducts, or even a foreign object stuck in the eye. It is best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the exact cause and appropriate treatment.

Q: How can I prevent my Shih Tzu’s eyes from smelling?

To prevent your Shih Tzu’s eyes from smelling, it is crucial to maintain good eye hygiene. Regularly clean your Shih Tzu’s eyes using a gentle eyewash solution recommended by your veterinarian. This will help remove any debris, tear stains, or bacteria that may contribute to the odor.

Additionally, keep the hair around your Shih Tzu’s eyes trimmed to minimize the accumulation of tear stains and bacteria. Avoid using products with strong fragrances or chemicals near their eyes, as this can further irritate and contribute to the smell.

Q: Can I treat my Shih Tzu’s smelly eyes at home?

While there are some home remedies that can help improve the smell in your Shih Tzu’s eyes, it is always advisable to consult with your veterinarian first. They can properly diagnose the underlying cause and recommend the most appropriate treatment.

Some home remedies that may provide temporary relief include using a warm, damp cloth to gently clean the area around the eyes, or applying a small amount of saline solution to flush out any debris. However, these remedies should only be used as a temporary solution until you can seek proper veterinary care.

Q: When should I see a veterinarian about my Shih Tzu’s smelly eyes?

If you notice a persistent and strong odor coming from your Shih Tzu’s eyes, it is best to consult with your veterinarian. They can examine your dog’s eyes, perform necessary tests, and provide appropriate treatment based on the underlying cause.

Additionally, if your Shih Tzu shows any signs of discomfort, such as redness, excessive tearing, or squinting, it is important to seek veterinary attention promptly to prevent any further complications.

7 Reasons Why Your Shih Tzu May Smell and How To Stop It!

Final Thoughts:

After exploring the question, “Why do my Shih Tzu’s eyes smell?” it’s clear that this issue can stem from a variety of factors. From tear stains to infections, there are several reasons why your furry friend’s eyes may emit an unpleasant odor. However, the good news is that there are steps you can take to address this concern and keep your Shih Tzu’s eyes healthy and fresh.

One crucial step is to regularly clean your Shih Tzu’s eyes with a gentle, vet-recommended eye solution. This helps remove any debris or buildup that could contribute to the odor. Additionally, keeping your pup’s face clean and dry can help prevent bacteria from thriving and causing unpleasant smells. Finally, maintaining a healthy diet and providing proper grooming can also contribute to overall eye health.

Remember, if you notice any persistent or concerning symptoms, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian. They can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend specific treatments tailored to your Shih Tzu’s needs. By staying proactive and attentive to your pet’s eye health, you can ensure they have fresh and comfortable eyes for years to come.


I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

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