Leonard is a former teacher and principal who has also been a writer for the past two decades. Writing and animals are his true loves.
Most people love having a pet. They provide love, companionship, and a source of security in a very unpredictable world. However, there are certain negative aspects to owning a pet as well. They can be costly, time-consuming, and difficult to keep clean and tidy. Indeed, perhaps one of the greatest drawbacks to owning a pet is the unpleasant odor which they frequently emit. This point alone can quickly discourage many people from even considering pet ownership in the first place. With this fact in mind, the list below outlines which pets don't smell (or smell the least), to help you consider whether pet ownership is the right choice for you... or if it simply stinks!
The truth of the matter is that every living thing on earth produces some sort of smell. When we are trying to determine which pets don't smell, we are actually considering which pets smell the least. The proceeding information assumes that the pets are properly cared for and their habitat is cleaned on a regular basis.
There can be little doubt that chinchillas have become very popular pets. They are furry, cute and soft rodents who are gentle and non-aggressive with people. While they can tend to be on the large side, they do adapt quite well if provided with proper care and a suitable habitat. Most significantly, they are usually clean and odorless, only leaving a smell if their area is not cleaned properly or if they have developed health problems. For those individuals who are looking for a "low odor pet," the chinchilla is a great choice.
Dogs are frequently thought of as "mans' best friend." However, they are also often associated with mess and bad smells. This is what will often discourage people from the consideration of obtaining a dog as a pet in the first place. While poor diet, hygiene or typical doggy behavior such as rolling around in excrement will naturally lead to a smelly dog, there are certain breeds which smell far less than others. For instance, poodles, maltese and the bichon Frise are all virtually odorless dogs. However, perhaps the most notable slight smelling dog is the basenji. It has a very smooth and short coat which does not trap in the usual canine odor. Couple this with the fact that the basenji is also a dog that will yodel rather than bark, and you can begin to see how this breed is truly unique and often selected as a pet.
Does any other creature have a worse reputation than rats? Visions of vicious, dirty rodents who were responsible for the torment of the black plague come to mind. However, as I wrote previously in my article, "which pets are the most affectionate," fancy rats are highly sociable animals who exhibit an abundance of loyalty and affection. Also, if cared for properly, they do not smell. I can verify this as I myself own two fancy rats. As long as they are cleaned up after on a regular basis there is simply no smell. The only thing which will smell is their body waste. I have yet to find any creature which does not have body waste which smells! While it is true that mice have a strong odor, and people generally associate rats and mice together, fancy rats are very clean and do not have a natural body odor. Once again, if cared for properly, a fancy rat will make for a great pet that does not smell.
While this article is primarily about pets that don't smell...the budgie is a pet which smells very little, but the odor is one that most people find quite pleasant and appealing. Budgies are very clean and fastidious pets who love to bathe and preen themselves daily. In fact, budgie owners will frequently claim that the only smell their pet gives off is a sweet aroma which is pleasing to the nostrils. Others will state that as long as they are taken care of properly, they simply produce little to no odor at all. Even their budgie poop does not smell! Considering all of the above, the budgie easily makes our list of pets that don't smell.
The gecko is another animal which can be a great pet. They are easy to tame and they do not smell. In fact, the gecko relies on this lack of scent to catch prey when they are in the wild. If their habitat area is maintained consistently, there will be no noticeable odor coming from the gecko. If there is, it is a sign of poor health and the pet should be taken to the vet for a checkup. There are many types of geckos such as the crescent gecko and the leopard gecko. They may look different but the one thing that all the various types have in common is the fact that they simply do not smell.
House rabbits are typically envisioned as high maintenance, smelly pets. While it is true that they are high maintenance, the latter claim that they are smelly is false. In truth,it is simply their urine which stinks. House rabbits are meticulous with their grooming and are constantly cleaning themselves. Also, they are another animal which has odorless fur. These facts combined help the house rabbit meet the criteria of being a pet that does not smell. However, it should be noted that since their urine does have a powerful smell, a rigorous cleaning of their habitat is needed to keep them as a pet which is easy on the nose!
Undoubtedly, every living thing has some type of odor. The preceding list is comprised of creatures that not only rank low on the smell factor, but also make for wonderful pets. People will certainly ask why such animals as cats, fish, and snakes did not make the list? Essentially, those animals not on the list did not pass the scent test. For instance, snakes usually do not smell, but they will let off a powerful odor when threatened. If you have any other pets you believe would meet the criteria of being great pets which are easy on the nose, please include them in the comments below.
1. Do Chinchillas Have a Smell? Pets on Mom.me 2017
2. Rabbits for Dummies. Connie Isbell, Audrey Pavia. 2009
3. The Guide to Owning a Leopard Gecko. Leopard Geckos:Identification, Care and Breeding.Ray Hunziker 1994
4. Do Budgies Smell Bad? Budgies are awesome. 2011
5. Seven Dog Breeds That Won't Stink up your House. Dr. Mark. 2017
6. The Proper Care of Fancy Rats. Nick Mays. 1993
7. Eliminate Foul Rabbit and Rodent Odors. Doctors Foster and Smith. 2017
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Jax on April 03, 2019:
I've had nearly every animal on this list and I have a very sensitive nose, and I really have to disagree on the rats. Rats urinate a lot to mark their home and belongings. The harder you clean, the harder some rats will work to scent mark. I had a ferret at one point and can confidently say it produced less smell than the rats and mice I've kept. Also, rabbits themselves may not stink but their litterboxes are very potent. They poop very frequently and the literbox is usually something that needs to be cleaned several times a day to manage odor well. But I can vouche for the lizard. Geckos and small lizards really don't have a smell at all. The only thing you will likely smell is their bedding, food, etc.
Kendra on January 26, 2019:
I thinky you should add hedgehogs to the list. But add to most of the suggestions that they only dont smell if their cages are clean.
David on December 20, 2018:
My Sister has a pet house rabbit. The rabbit itself does not smell but if its cage is not cleaned out every second day it gets really smelly.
Greta Grace on September 21, 2018:
I agree with madi! You should definitely add fish to the list. They don’t stink at all unless you aren’t doing anything to take care of them
Sharon K. Connell on September 05, 2018:
Interesting article, Leonard. Thanks for the info. I love our dog, Susie.
Madi on July 24, 2018:
You should also add fish to the list! ;)