Have you ever wondered if it is natural for your Cavapoo to have an unpleasant odor? This is a common question many dog owners ask no matter the breed type.
But do Cavapoos smell? All dogs smell. This is a universal truth of all living things and a Cavapoo is no different. But thankfully, there are grooming techniques, dental care, and dietary techniques that you can implement to minimize any unpleasant Cavapoo odors.
We are always on top of Rosie’s grooming and dental care needs, but there are also instances where she can pass some fairly unpleasant gas after a meal! Rosie is also still a puppy, and puppies can have worse breath problems than adult dogs. There are some great techniques we use to combat this problem, which I will share with you below.
This guide will explore this topic in complete detail and suggest some techniques you can use to prevent this problem.
Why Does My Cavapoo Smell?
Cavapoos can smell for a number of different reasons. But in terms of a natural odor, a Cavapoo only smells if there are issues internally or externally that are causing the unpleasant odors. The first and most obvious reasons for an unpleasant smells are related to the general daily activity of a dog.
Cavapoos love to play outdoors and the natural environment has a way of attaching odd odors to dogs that are amplified once they come back inside to a clean and sterile environment. The smell of rain or damp grass, the strong earthy aroma of dirt or mud, and even sweat from exercise can cause strong aromas once indoors.
Alternatively, there is a range of health issues that can cause unpleasant odors with your Cavapoo. Skin issues, problems related to your Cavapoo’s diet, ear infections, and even issues related to life expectancy once your Cavapoo enters old age.
In assessing different odors, it’s best to investigate any issues related to smells with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle first.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Odors
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel does not naturally smell; like all dogs, foul odors are typically related to diet or outside conditions like dirt or mud that stick to their fur or paws. This breed does have a particularly strong scent around the anal glands, which is used to expel waste and to provide territorial markers.
Any unpleasant odors from this area can be reduced with regular bathing.
Poodles are known for their short coats and there are no natural unpleasant odors to be aware of with this breed. Like all breeds, regular bathing and oral care can prevent unpleasant odors.
Mouth Hygiene and Your Cavapoo Smell
When it comes to oral health and your Cavapoo, there are numerous health issues that can result from the quality of dog food your pet is consuming. Dry and wet (canned) dog food may provide the essential nutrients your Cavapoo needs to be healthy, but the ingredients may also cause bad breath.
This is primarily caused by the processing of the food and/or the inclusion of carbohydrates in the food and preservatives. Regularly brushing your Cavapoo’s teeth with a product like this is generally easy and your dog will get used to the routine after a few brushes.
Alternatively, you could also consider feeding your dog a raw meat diet or choose to invest in whole, natural foods formulated for dogs.
But bad breath can also be caused by the quality of the food you are feeding your Cavapoo. Cheaper and less-nutritious dog foods can cause digestive problems in your dog, which can lead to bad breath and even unpleasant odors seeping from your Cavapoo’s skin.
Once certain bacteria found in low-quality dog foods build up in your Cavapoo’s stomach and intestines, this can actually cause bad breath through exhalation. Continued neglect in diet and oral care can also lead to gum disease that can also cause bad breath.
Flatulence in your Cavapoo (make sure to monitor diet)
Flatulence is another problem that may lead to bad odors with your Cavapoo. We frequently have this problem with Rosie, typically right after she eats! Passing gas every now and again is just a fact of life with owning a dog, but if your Cavapoo is continuously passing gas, this could be a sign that there are digestive problems at work.
Once again, food quality is a big reason behind constant gas, therefore, it is important to only feed your Cavapoo high-quality food that isn’t filled with preservatives and processed fillers. Feeding your Cavapoo human food could also be the primary culprit if you give in and let your dog taste some of your food.
It’s important to never do this since there are many types of human foods that can be detrimental to your dog’s health. This is easier said than done though – especially if you have kids who like to feed the dog tit bits under the table!
If your Cavapoo passes gas all day, even when withholding food, it is time to visit the vet as this could be a sign of intestinal disorders.
Another cause of smells with your Cavapoo could be related to skin infections. When left alone, even the smallest of rashes can grow into a painful and a producer of bad smells on your Cavapoo.
One type of skin infection that affects both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle and that can be passed to Cavapoos is known as sebaceous adenitis. This skin infection can affect overall Cavapoo health but one of the more unappealing side effects is the production of a foul odor.
The scaly skin rash can frequently appear behind a Cavapoo’s floppy ears, but can also spread to other areas. To treat this skin infection, be sure to bathe your Cavapoo at least once per week with a medicated shampoo. For more information on the best shampoos for Cavapoos, read our latest blog.
Mouth Hygiene Problems (bad breath, teeth problems)
Specific teeth problems with your Cavapoo can also produce a steady stream of foul breath. Much of this can be attributed to the smallmouths inherent in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Toy Poodle.
Since these problems with Cavapoo teeth can develop from inherited traits, it is important to regularly brush your dog’s teeth (at least 2-4 times per week) and give them dental chews. It is also important to take your Cavapoo to the vet regularly if any teeth problems arise.
Digestive System Issues
All dogs can suffer from sensitive stomachs; this can be due to overindulgence of food, poor food quality, or sometimes, something more serious. A vet is best-equipped to diagnose digestive problems, but the associated smells are typically passed as gas or even through a Cavapoo’s breath.
Digestive health can take a turn with Cavapoo’s in a number of different ways. In addition to the above-mentioned causes, parasites, such as worms or bacteria, can be ingested by dogs who frequently use their mouths to explore the outside world. Horse poo is a particular favorite of Rosie’s!
Parasitic infections can cause adverse reactions within a Cavapoo’s intestines that may trigger particularly foul episodes of gas and even may cause unpleasant skin irritations that smell.
Regardless of a specific cause, digestive issues are the main source of unpleasant smells, so it helps to adhere to a high-quality type of food and to refrain from overfeeding your Cavapoo.
All dogs have anal glands, and the purpose of the glands is to help ensure that stools are passed smoothly, as well as to produce a distinctive scent that a Cavapoo will use to mark their territory to surrounding dogs in the neighborhood.
Even if you keep your Cavapoo clean, anal glands can produce a strong, almost fishy type of odor that can be particularly foul. This odor comes from anal glands that are overfilled with the above-mentioned secretions, and it is, therefore, essential to keep the glands thoroughly clean with regular bathing.
But the built-up anal gland pressure may cause your Cavapoo discomfort, in addition to the unpleasant stink. With this, you can take on the rather unpleasant task of ’emptying’ the anal glands to relieve the pressure.
This can be achieved by holding a towel over your dog’s rear and locating the two glands that exist as lumps on the right and left sides of the dog’s rectum. Gently massage and lightly press the lumps to release the pressure and then thoroughly clean the area.
This should get rid of the strong odor and the discomfort that can come with backed-up anal glands. A groomer or your vet, can also do this procedure if you wish to skip it.
Another health issue that may cause your Cavapoo to stink is a urinary infection. Not only can this cause a foul urine stench, but the urine can also stain your Cavapoo’s coat and embed the stink in the coat.
For dogs, urinary tract infections can come from exposure and ingestion of contaminated water sources (usually outdoors) or from pathogens that attack the urinary tract. You will typically notice this if your dog is having difficulty going to the toilet, is urinating more often, or in serious circumstances, if blood comes out of the urine, in addition to a strong and unpleasant smell.
This will require a visit to the vet in order to get a proper diagnosis of a urinary tract infection and for medication to treat the infection.
Of course, an even larger issue when it comes to urinary problems could be related to problems with your Cavapoo’s kidneys. You may see this with dogs that are advanced in age, yet kidney problems are one of the hereditary health problems most commonly associated with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
This can pass to Cavapoo puppies and become a recurring problem over a Cavapoo dog’s lifespan. Kidney problems are a little harder to notice than urinary tract issues, but if your Cvapoo has a strong, ammonia-like smell coming from their mouth, this is a sign of kidney issues.
Furthermore, blood in the urine, while also a sign of urinary problems, is a strong sign that your Cavapoo may be suffering from kidney issues. Regardless, you will need to get your dog’s kidneys checked by a vet in order to stop the stink and potentially save your Cavapoo’s life.
Does a Cavapoo Puppy Smell?
Cavapoo puppies, like all puppies, will have a distinctive odor that can be pungent at times. Although this natural smell may seem alarming at first, there is nothing you need to worry about. First and foremost is the presence of ‘puppy breath’ that is common for all puppies during the puppy growth cycle.
This distinctive smell can sometimes stink, and it’s important to know that this is due to the gastrointestinal tract and esophagus still undergoing the development process. This is completely normal and you do not have to do anything drastic such as constantly changing puppy food.
Even if your puppy has a stronger stink to their breath than usual, this can also be explained by the loss of puppy teeth that can cause a metallic odor due to the small amounts of blood that secretes in the mouth as the new teeth come in. Make sure your puppy has plenty of toys to chew on to help bring in the new teeth. For more information on when do Cavapoos lose their puppy teeth read our informative guide.
Practicing good dental hygiene with your puppy by brushing their teeth can not only make your Cavapoo easy to train in the future, but this can also make sure that your dog will not develop serious dental issues like periodontal disease.
Puppies naturally smell odd, but most of the time, these odors are not a cause for concern. If your puppy constantly smells bad even with frequent washing, notify your vet.
All dogs are capable of having days where they smell and this is just a natural part of having a dog in the house. The only time you truly need to be concerned is if the odors will not go away, even if you make dietary changes and increase the washing of your dog.
Be sure to inspect for any of the potential issues we have discussed above if your Cavapoo stinks, but usually, you will only have to worry about some unpleasant gas.