Why Does My Cavapoo Smell (9 Reasons Explained)

Why does my Cavapoo smell

Cavapoos can have a smelly odor that can be caused by several different factors.

So why does my Cavapoo smell?

It could just be the ‘wet dog’ smell if your dog has just had a bath, swim, or romp in the rain and if this is the case then the smell should go away as soon as your dog is dry.

More persistent smells can be as simple as your dog not being bathed enough, or they could be the cause of more serious issues such as parasites that are found on the skin.

9 Reasons Why Your Dog Might be Smelling Bad

I have listed 9 potential reasons below why your Cavapoo might not be smelling as nice as you would like it to.

1. Lack of Grooming or Bathing

Grooming is more than just making your Cavapoo look good.

Grooming also helps to keep the dog’s skin and coat healthy by removing dead hair and preventing skin irritation which can lead to bad odors and smells.

Grooming typically includes trimming your dog’s nails, brushing out the coat and removing any mats or tangles in their fur, cleaning their ears, and wiping off their face and eyes with a damp cloth.

Because of their curly hair, a Cavapoo’s coat can easily start to mat if they are not professionally groomed every 4-6 weeks.

2. Skin Infection or Allergy

Dogs can have a variety of skin infections or allergies that can make them smell.

These are called pyoderma, seborrhea, and dermatitis.

Pyoderma: Dogs with an infection often have pus-filled sores on their skin and these sores often smell bad.

The dog may also lick the sores excessively in an attempt to relieve the pain or itchiness.

Dermatitis: Dogs with dermatitis often develop patches of dry, itchy skin that will sometimes crack and bleed.

In some cases, the rash may be moist and oily or scaly.

 This condition is sometimes related to food allergies because exposure to certain foods might cause the condition to become worse over time.

Seborrhea: Seborrhea is characterized by oily, crusty, thick fur which can also smell bad.

All these conditions need Veterinary treatment and should be addressed as quickly as possible.

3. Oral Health Problems 

You need to keep on top of your dog’s dental health to prevent a Cavapoo smell.

The best way of maintaining oral health is through regular tooth brushing and professional pet dental cleanings.

Many problems can cause an animal’s breath to be smelly including periodontal disease, gum disease, or even underlying medical conditions like liver failure.

Bad breath in dogs can also be caused by them eating rotten or decomposing matter like dead birds or mice.

Regardless of the cause of bad breath in dogs, there are some steps you can take at home to help make their breath less smelly:

– Feed them a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fresh water

– Brush their teeth regularly (use a specially formulated pet toothpaste and toothbrush)

– Give them dental chews or good chew toys to help remove plaque and tartar.

smelly Cavapoo

4. Diet Issues 

The most common cause of your Cavapoo smelling bad is poor diet.

Dogs are carnivores and their diet needs to be primarily made up of animal protein.

Your dog also needs a balanced diet, so they need food rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

This will help them maintain healthy skin and coat, which will not only make them smell better but also feel healthier.

Generally speaking, the more meat protein in your dog’s dinner dish the better it is for their body and the greater likelihood that they will have less odor-causing bacteria on their skin surface.

5. Parasites on Skin, Hair, and Nails 

Cavapoos that are not bathed or groomed regularly can develop a bad odor from bacteria on their skin, hair, and nails.

The most common parasites that cause this type of smell are called Demodex mites, which live in the hair follicles and sebaceous glands of dogs’ skin.

These mites reproduce quickly and can cause dogs to itch or scratch excessively, in turn creating foul body odors; they also crawl out of the skin during grooming and leave behind smelly dust on the dog’s coat.

Two other parasites that may cause bad smells are fleas and biting insects such as mosquitoes; these pests can result in an oily-smelling coat due to the insect saliva left behind when they bite into your dog.

6. Dehydration 

When a dog has a healthy amount of water, it will be less likely to produce the chemical compounds that cause bad odors.

Dehydration can make your pet smell bad because they don’t have enough water in their system.

It’s important to keep your Cavapoo hydrated.

If you notice that they are consistently thirsty, or urinating less frequently than usual, then there could be an issue with their hydration levels and they need more fluids and electrolytes.

7. Compacted, Full, or Ruptured Anal Glands

Dogs have anal glands that periodically release fluid.

If these glands become filled, they will emit an odor.

It is a distinct fishy smell that is more noticeable if the dog has been sitting in one place for a long time.

You will also notice your Cavapoo licking itself underneath its tail where it joins to its bum and when it does this, the smell becomes even stronger.

Your dog could also be dragging its backside along the ground.

This does look funny but it’s not because it is showing that there is a serious problem that needs looking into.

These are sure signs that your dog has an issue with their anal glands and you will need to take them to the Vet for treatment.

If you catch it early enough then you will prevent the glands from rupturing which is very painful for your dog and also very costly to treat.

8. Urinary Infections 

A UTI will make your Cavapoo urinate a lot more often than normal.

These dogs can end up with terrible-smelling urine that can also stain their coat making them smell bad.

UTI’s in dogs are typically characterized by fever, lethargy, and a diminished appetite.

A dog will often have a frequent need to urinate and will exhibit symptoms of pain or discomfort when urinating.

They typically will only be able to urinate a few drops of urine at a time.

If your dog has any of these symptoms that are causing a Cavapoo smell then they urgently need Veterinary care.

9. Flatulence

Farts in dogs are caused by a build-up of air and gas in the intestines.

The fermentation process causes this build-up, and it can happen more often when your dog eats foods that are high in protein or fiber.

This is perfectly normal as all animals have the occasional fart.

But sometimes when a dog has an upset stomach and passes gas, the smell of the gas can be very potent and have the potential to make people quickly vacate the room.

You should see the vet if your Cavapoo passes gas often, especially when not eating. It could be a sign of an intestinal disorder.

Bad smell in dogs


All dogs, at one point or another, will give off some smells. Cavapoos are no different and sometimes a Cavapoo smell can be quite bad.

The only time you need to be concerned with this is if the odor does not go away, even after adjusting your dog’s diet and making sure they have regular grooming sessions.

If your Cavapoo stinks, you should inspect it for signs of the potential issues we’ve discussed above.

For the most part, you can expect the occasional release of gas or the typical ‘wet dog’ smell if your dog’s fur becomes wet.

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  1. Hi I bath my miniature Cavapoo every 4 weeks with oatmeal shampoo & conditioner but on 1st-2nd week she smells again

    I bathed her 4 days before surgery of being desexed and over a week she smells and dog perfume only last not long

    She is very very fussy eater.
    * She doesn’t eat any dog kibble (spent lots trying many different brands)
    * won’t eat dog food
    * I have to cook chicken or lamb mince for her with brown rice & veggies but next day don’t like it
    * eats occasional mince
    * loves chicken I cook breast but I know not a healthy diet
    * lives chicken necks for breakfast but I don’t give to her lots as gives her constipation

    She is so fussy and it is so hard feeding her and hopefully you can help with smell & feeding please

  2. Hi Rachel,
    I think you may be bathing her too much.
    Unless she gets into mud or rolls in something, I would only bath her every 6-8 weeks.
    This normally coincides with when she goes for grooming.
    It should not be necessary to bath her in between grooming sessions.
    Dogs have a natural smell to them and I am wondering if this is what you are smelling?
    If that is the case then it might just be something you would need to get used to.
    Even sitting here with two of my dogs, they are giving off a natural doggy smell :))

    As far as food is concerned, Cavapoos can be fussy eaters.
    But, bear in mind that they will never starve themselves to death.
    They might not eat for a day or two but will eventually have to eat what you give them.
    I feed mine with kibble mixed with a bit of chicken, vegetables and rice.
    Sometimes, my fussy dog will not eat her meal and then I pack it away for the next meal time.
    She then eagerly scoffs it down :))
    Be careful of chicken necks, they can cause your dog to choke so I would avoid them if you can.
    Prepare her meal with a mix of kibble and chicken/beef mince.
    If she does not eat it, then pick it up and wait for the next meal time and offer it again.
    Do not give any treats in between meals.
    If she is really stubborn then she might miss a few meals.
    But eventually she will be hungry enough to eat whatever you offer her.
    Obviously, don’t starve her for more than a couple of days but hopefully it won’t get to that.
    She needs to know that this is her food and you won’t pander to her fussiness.
    Keep changing up the food though as I find my dogs do get bored if they eat the same meal day in and day out.
    I sometimes add a bit of fried sausage, fried egg or canned food to give them a change.
    Also, do you deworm her regularly? This can also have an impact on her appetite.
    Hope this helps!

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