Why Does My Cavapoo Smell so Bad and How To Fix it?

My friend Jasmine has a very cute 2-year old Cavapoo called Teddy. He came to her house when he was a puppy and she never really experienced any troubles with him so far.

In the last two weeks or so, she noticed her Cavapoo smells like hell! She really takes care of hygiene, bathes Teddy on regular basis, does the grooming, and everything that needs to be done but whatever ever she tried she couldn’t get rid of that smell. So I decided to jump in and help them both.

All dogs, in general, sometimes stink. Poodle mixes such as Cavapoo should stink less then other dogs as Poodles are known as stink-free dogs ( of course if they are clean and healthy).

Dogs can smell bad due to various reasons such as dirty coats, ear infections, allergies that can lead to skin infection, bad breath, teeth problems, poor gut health/bad digestion/ flatulence caused by inappropriate diet, anal glands that are not emptied, urine infection ( UTI ), kidney disease.

I have done research about possible causes of bad odor in dogs. So If you keep reading our article you’ll discover all my findings related to this important question. If you have a similar problem or someone you know does, maybe it can be helpful.

The Most Common Causes for Bad Smell in Cavapoos

The most common causes of bad smell in Cavapoos are dirty coats and build up in their ears.

Dirty Coats

Dogs can get really messy when playing outside ( roll in poop or dead stuff or even play with a skunk). Sometimes they will pick up some smelly dirt by accident and sometimes in purpose but when they come back to the house they might surprise you with an overwhelming bad odor.

Another situation is if they are playing outside in the rain or you have spent an exciting day at the beach. If their coat gets wet, it can really smell once they enter inside.

You should dry off your Cavapoo’s coat as soon as possible to reduce the smell. Be aware that toweling is not enough, you have to use a blow dryer in order to get all the way down to the skin.

If your Cavapoo returns very dirty from outside the best you can do is to bathe him thoroughly (although it shouldn’t be done more then once a week as the normal bathing schedule for dogs that have healthy skin is once in 6-8 weeks ).

If he is not that dirty you can also use some good quality dog’s grooming wet wipes which can help you get rid of debris, dirt and to clean your Cavapoo’s paws. These wipes are designed for dogs so they won’t hurt your pet.

If your furry friend had close contact with a skunk, the things get a little complicated. There are several skunk sprays that can help but it is better to bathe your friend thoroughly.

Don’t use the bathroom for this purpose, better ( if possible ) outdoors or garage or barn but avoid taking that horrible scent inside.

Many online sources suggest this receipt as the best way to get rid of skunk smell :

  • 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution (found at any pharmacy or supermarket)
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap

Use gloves to apply this solution to the Cavapoo’s coat, massage it a little bit and then rinse thoroughly. Don’t let the solution stay on your dog’s coat for too long as peroxide can bleach his fur. It might happen that you would have to repeat this kind of wash more than once.

Less effective DIY remedies are tomato juice or vinegar-water solution(one part of vinegar, two parts of water). Although these will not give impeccable results, they are still worth of trying if you don’t have listed ingredients or skunk sprays.

Ear Infections

Dog’s ears can be a great source of the nasty smell. As a matter of fact – one of the most common causes of bad odor in dogs.

In healthy dogs, the production of sebum and earwax is completely normal and necessary. However, if these substances production starts to grow above normal levels, the build-up will occur which will eventually lead to a bad smell.

Dogs can also catch yeast or bacterial ear infection. If you would like to learn more about this precise health issue do read our other article ”What health issues do Cavapoos have?”.

Proper ear cleaning on regular basis is very important, as well as using the cleaning solutions which will help you to keep your Cavapoo’s ears clean and microorganism-free.

Skin infections as a cause of bad smell in Cavapoos

Skin infections are also relatively common cause of bad smell in dogs in general.

For example, skin oils on your dog’s skin may be produced above normal levels which may lead to bad smell.

The reason for over-production may lay in a bad diet that consists of larger amounts of carbohydrates, additives, and grains. Yeast infection or candida will also ”produce” bad smell with a special sweet undertones in it.

If your Cavapoo has yeast infection you can look for signs inside of his ears, under the belly, arms, and legs ( yeast is always in dark and moist places). If you suspect that your Cavapoo may have a yeast infection rush to the vet.

The treatment may include medicated baths or oral medications but be aware that this kind of infection may take several weeks or even months to clear up, so be patient.

Another skin issue can be mites, ticks, fleas. These little things can make your dog scratching very often and showing signs of discomfort but also will cause a bad smell. Make a detailed inspection of your dog’s skin and take him to the vet.

Mouth Hygiene Problems in Your Cavapoo ( bad breath, teeth problems)

Your Cavapoo mouth can be a really smelly area. Either your pet has some issues with his digestive system or he has teeth problems.

Both teeth and digestive system problems will result in bad smell.

If the food that your dog eats is not digested properly and therefore remains in your Cavapoo’s stomach longer time then it should, your dog will have very bad breath.

Also if your dog’s teeth develop large amounts of build-up and tartar that will lead to bacterial infections which will further lead to a very nasty breath.

Teeth build-up and tartar will show up in large amounts especially if the food is full of carbohydrates and additives. Of course, poor teeth cleaning and mouth hygiene will also contribute to this problem.

Even though you are really trying to keep your dog’s teeth clean, he still has a bad breath, you should check for tooth decay in your Cavapoo. This problem is directly linked to poor diet and minerals insufficiency.

So no matter how hard you try to brush your Cavapoo’s teeth on regular basis or even to take your dog to a professional teeth cleaning, this may help but short-term. You won’t solve the problem unless you change your dog’s diet.

Here are some ideas on how to make your dog’s breath better ( if the diet is correct) :

  • coconut oil – dogs usually love this stuff. It has great antibacterial properties and it’s pretty safe for dogs. The best is to use virgin coconut oil, you can add one teaspoon to your pet’s meal or serve it as a treat.
  • apple cider vinegar – helps in solving bad breath, also safe for dogs. You can add one tablespoon of vinegar to a water bowl
  • parsley -another great natural solution for bad breath, sprinkle a portion of food with fresh parsley

Besides these hacks, you should clean your dog’s teeth regularly. Perfect would be on daily basis but if you don’t have time, at least make sure you brush them once every 3 days.

You can use a finger brush or a regular dog’s toothbrush. You will easily find a dog’s toothpaste in any pet shop. Never ever use toothpaste for humans, contains substances that are toxic to dogs.

Provide chewing toys and dental sticks, these things also help teeth to stay clean. Especially rope toys have that structure to clean the teeth properly. Rubber toys are also good.

Take your Cavapoo to professional dental cleaning at least once a year.

Of course non of this won’t help if your dog has improper diet.

Poor Digestive System as a Cause of Smell in Your Cavapoo

Although farting in dogs may be funny, excessive and constant farting indicates some issues with the digestive system.

If your Cavapoo’s diet is filled with food which is rich in carbohydrates that makes the perfect environment for bacteria to expand. The bacteria produce a lot of gases ( products of their life cycle).

If this is the case and you detect that the bad smell of your dog comes from excessive flatulence then you should think about his diet change.

We have also seen through this article that a poor diet may also lead to teeth problems and bad breath.

Dogs are carnivores and the meat should be the main thing on their menu. Of course, there are certain types of vegetables, fruits, and other food that are safe for dogs but you should avoid feeding your dog with food rich in grains and carbohydrates.

If you would like to learn more about Cavapoo’s diet, read our article ” How To Pick The Right Food For My Cavapoo?”

Anal Glands as a Source of Smell in Your Cavapoo

Every dog has two anal glands located on either side of the rectal opening. They are very useful things as hide a special scent of your dog.

As you have surely noticed, when your dog is meeting another dog for the first time, they both raise tails on alert and sniffing each other. This is the same thing as we are shaking hands to another person when we first meet!

This is not the only purpose of anal glands. They express tiny amount of brown smelly substance every time when your dog is peeing or pooping. It helps poop to come out smoothly, it also marks the territory with a specific smell.

Most dog owners are not aware of anal glands until the problem shows up.

Again, we need to return to the diet. If your Cavapoo is eating some food ( usually less expensive brands) full of cereal fillers that may result in the soft stool. That soft stool is not capable to press the anal glands hard enough in order to signalize them to express.

This way anal glands remain full and this the moment when the problem starts. Anal glands that are not empty are the perfect area for bacteria to rise which will lead to infection.

If we leave infection untreated, it can produce abscess which may break through the skin causing further complications.

Anal glands that are not empty produce a bad smell which many dog owners would describe as a ”fishy” smell or metallic smell. There are some other signs of impacted anal glands such as:

  • your Cavapoo is dragging his butt across the floor trying to reduce the pressure in his anal glands
  • your Cavapoo is constantly licking or chewing on the area near his rectum
  • your Cavapoo has soft stool
  • you notice that ”fishy” smell comes from your Cavapoo’s rear

If you notice several symptoms you have a few options, either you will help your dog to alleviate the pressure in his anal glands or you will seek for professional help.

Although it is not a very demanding work it is quite smelly and unpleasant task. There are several youtube videos that can show you how to do that but I will also put some guideline here.

  • Prepare a warm, wet cloth
  • Detect anal glands by raising your cavapoo’s tail and using the other hand to find two lumps on right and left side of the rectum. They should be located in lower part of anus.
  • Once you find them, press gently but firmly those lumps in order to express them while holding the cloth over the anus
  • Wipe your dog rear area

There are some dogs that never experience the problem with anal glands. One the other hand there are some that need human’s assistance with this issue on regular basis.

That is why if your dog has this kind of problem you should change his food as a dog’s poop needs to be hard to be able to make pressure against anal glands.

Urinary Infections as a Cause of Smell in Your Cavapoo

If you notice that your Cavapoo’s urine starts to smell, it is either urinary infection or concentrated urine. In both cases, the situation is not normal and requires your attention.

The best is to collect the sample of urine and to take it to vet for analysis.

Bad smell you can notice is like rot fish and something really sour. This kind of urine smell indicates a bacterial infection. Other signs of bacterial infection are:

  • Cloudy urine
  • Darker urine than usual
  • Your Cavapoo may have difficulties to pee
  • Your Cavapoo is licking the genital area
  • More frequent urinating
  • If your Cavapoo is potty trained he might have accidents as he cannot hold the urine due to infection
  • If the urine contains blood, it can have that specific metallic smell

If you detect any of these signs go to the vet. Urine analysis may take several days but most probably your vet will prescribe some antibiotics to your Cavapoo which will make him more comfortable when urinates and also will reduce that bad smell.

Although both genders are prone to urinary infections, female dogs are more likely to get infected.

Make sure your dog drinks enough water, keep his/her genital area clean to avoid infections, and also make sure your dog is urinating every few hours. The more your dog hold the urine, the more bacteria that will build up in his bladder.

Kidney Disease as Cause of Bad Smell in Your Cavapoo

If you notice a bad metallic smell ( due to the presence of the blood in urine) of your Cavapoo’s urine and at the same time you find that your dog has a bad breath that smells like ammonia, it’s likely that your pet has some kidneys problem. Another sign of it is excessive water consumption.

Kidney disease is associated with age. So if your dog is older and has the above-mentioned symptoms you should see the vet.

Kidneys in dogs, just like in humans, help balance the waste in the body. When kidneys are not working properly, dogs get very sick.

There are treatments for kidney disease in dogs. Therapy usually consists of diuretics, antibiotics, IV fluids, and on rare occasions -surgery.

Final Thought

Any strange smell that comes from your dog should be an alert sign. If your dog is not just dirty and picked up the smell during play outside, you should try to find a cause.

A strong smell is almost always a sign of some health issue. Don’t wait to ask for professional help as most of the health problems are easily solved when treated on time. On contrary, even minor health issues might grow and make serious problems if left untreated.

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