Why Do Poodles Smell? – How To Prevent Bad Smells

Poodles are a great dog breed to have as a pet. You might have noticed some strange smell coming from your Poodle. Or you are a new dog owner looking for a dog breed that doesn’t have that bad “doggy smell” that some dog breeds have.

The Poodle doesn’t have a bad “doggy smell” like some other breeds. But sometimes Poodles smell because of other reasons. These include reasons like health problems and improper hygiene. But there are ways to prevent your Poodle from smelling bad.

Reasons For Your Poodle’s Bad Smell

There are a few reasons that will make your Poodle smell terrible. The smell can come from the whole body or a particular part of it. Here are some common reasons for that lousy Poodle smell.

Bathing Your Poodle Improperly

Baths are needed to remove the dirt, debris, and sebum from the Poodle’s coat. The sebum is an oily substance created on the surface of the Poodle’s skin to prevent it from drying out. But it can build up and cause the bad Poodles smell.

Besides cleaning its body, you should also clean its ears. Dogs usually have at least one ear infection in their lifetime. This can be caused by water entering during its bath and not getting out, or improper ear hygiene.

Besides the bad odor emanating from its ears, you will notice your dog scratching its head on the furniture, pawing at its ears, or notice a buildup of wax in its ears.

Skin Infections

If you let your dog be wet or damp for a long time after you’ve given it a bath, or you use a low-quality shampoo, it may develop a skin infection. These infections can be yeast, bacterial, or fungal infections.

At first, you will wonder “why do Poodles stink like this?”. But in time, along with the smell, you will notice changes in your dog’s skin. These include redness, bumps, thinned or falling hair, itching, and peeling skin. The infection will go deeper into the skin making pus-filled nodules that can scab over.

Bad Smell From The Rear End

Poodles have generally moist paste-like stools which can easily stick to their hairs. Unfortunately, the poodle also has very thick and curly hair that can sometimes cover the anal area making it easier to catch some of the feces.

Your dog can go around with these bad-smelling hairs all over your house making you think “why do Poodles stink?”. It may also rub itself on your furniture making it smell bad.

Your Poodle can also pass gas around ten times a day. It may also contaminate some items like its bed with the smell which will make you think that the dog is coming from the smell constantly.

Anal Gland Smell

All dogs have little anal glands, also called scent glands, on both sides of their anuses. These glands hold fluid that has a really strong smell. The fluid usually gets loose when two dogs meet each other and sniff around. The other time it gets loose is when the dog is pooping and the feces compresses the Poodle anal glands.

If the dog’s stool is liquid it may not press on these glands. This will cause the gland fluid to pile up for some time, the gland becomes impacted, and can pop and release all the fluid that has a very pungent smell. Some even compare it to a smell of a skunk.

Vaginal Smell

This smell will obviously only happen in the female Poodles. The vagina is very close to the anus so sometimes the reason for the smell can be mistaken for the other. 

The smell emanating from a Poodle’s vagina is usually described as a musty odor that is similar to the smell of vinegar or rotten fish. It can sometimes be so strong that it lingers on the surfaces where your dog has been.

Usually, a smell like this is caused by a health problem. Yeast infections, urinary tract infections, or bladder infections can all be a cause of this smell.

Bad Breath

Do Poodles smell bad from their mouths sometimes? Of course. A foul-smelling breath emanating from your Poodle’s mouth can be a result of food stuck between its teeth, tooth decay, or infection. If you don’t take care of this, your Poodles teeth will decay and will start falling off. It is also a very painful process.

Besides this, on the surface of your Poodles teeth, plaque will start to form. This is made from a mix of bacteria and food and in time will harden and turn into tartar. These will later lead to the bad-smelling gum disease called gingivitis.

poodle in the garden - why poodles smell

Heat Cycle

Dogs have their periods too, and their period is called the heat cycle. The good thing is that this happens around twice a year. The bad thing is that the heat cycle lasts around three weeks

During these weeks, your female Poodle may leak small amounts of blood and endometrial tissue which can smell pretty bad. It can let this discharge on the furniture and on its fur making the smell last much longer.

Besides the Poodles smell, You will also notice aggressive behavior in your dog during these weeks. Your Poodle might bite you and act unusually angry. This is a result of the hormone changes that happen during this period.

Urine Smell

Your dog may not know how to pee properly. This usually happens in male dogs that spray a little bit of urine on their fur, but it can also happen to female dogs.

Your dog’s urine can have a bad smell. People say that this is the case for most non-neutered male dogs, but science doesn’t have proof of this. It can also smell bad if your dog’s diet is bad, or if the dog is dehydrated. Dehydrated dogs produce more concentrated urine that causes a bad smell. There is also the chance of having a urinary tract infection or a kidney stone that has an influence on the smell.

How To Keep Your Poodle Smelling Good

Everyone wants a good-smelling dog around them. Here are a few ways to get your Poodle to smell good at all times.

Bathing Properly

To properly bathe your Poodle, you need more effort than just rinsing with water. You should scrub deeply and thoroughly because the Poodle’s coat is also water-resistant. Use a quality shampoo made for dogs to properly remove any dirt and sebum on your pup’s body.

In the end, use a good leave-in spritz to protect its coat, but also give it a nice smell that lasts. You should bathe your Poodle every three weeks. Bathe too often, and its skin will go dry. Bathe too rarely, and its skin will smell bad.

Cleaning Its Ears Regularly

If the ear of your Poodle stinks, you should cleanse its ears to rinse out wax buildup. You should also shorten the hair near its ear opening as it can cause repeat ear infections. You can also take your dog to the groomer and ask them to shorten these hairs for you. They can also help you out if your dog doesn’t let you cut its nails.

If the ear infection is persistent, you should contact your vet to give you some antibiotics.

Another tip is to put cotton in your Poodle’s ears before taking a bath. This will prevent water from entering its ears and causing an infection. 

Good Genital And Oral Hygiene

To prevent bad smells during your Poddle’s heat cycle, you can put on a dog diaper. This will last around 8-12 hours after which you should change it. To get rid of the smell, you can also bathe it more frequently than usual. You should also wipe your pup’s area with a quality canine wipe to keep the area clean.

To prevent your Poodle from having bad breath, you need to properly brush its teeth at least three times a week. Brushing them every day is even better but it is time-consuming. Make sure to use a high-quality brush and paste. You could also use quality dental treats and dog mouthwash to get rid of the smell.

Prevent Bad Smells From The Rear End

To prevent poop from sticking to your Poodle’s hairs, you can try trimming the hairs around the anal area to prevent contact with the feces. You can also take your dog to the groomer so they will take care of it. Another thing you can do is to wipe your dog with a canine cleansing wipe after it’s done going to the bathroom.

A bad diet and fast eating can cause bad-smelling flatulence. You can fix it with a grain-free diet or a slow-eating bowl. But sometimes flatulence can go along with some gastrointestinal diseases so be sure to look out for other symptoms and contact your vet if you are worried.

Fix Its Health Issues

If you wonder “do Poodles smell because of a health issue?” you should check for other symptoms.

To prevent UTI symptoms, make sure you feed your Poodle a good diet and keep it hydrated. You should also watch out for signs of a urinary tract infection and get your dog to the vet if you notice any.

If your dog smells from its anal glands you should take it to a vet or a dog groomer. They will do a procedure called anal gland expression which empties the glands of the fluid and prevent them from popping. 

Skin infections, ear infections, and genital infections can be very tormenting for your pup, so contact your vet as soon as possible.

white poodle in the grass

So Will A Poodle Be Smelly?

The Poodle is a beautiful dog with a thick curly dog coat that is also water-resistant. It usually doesn’t have the bad “doggy smell”, but sometimes Poodles smell bad.

This can happen due to many reasons. Bathing your dog improperly and not cleaning its ears is one of the more common reasons. Other reasons are the bad smells from its anal and genital areas. These can come from flatulence, anal gland smell, heat cycle smell, urinary tract infection, or just because a piece of poop is stuck in its hair. Bad oral health can also bring a bad smell.

To prevent this, you should pay lots of attention to your pup’s hygiene. Proper bathing methods, cleaning its ears, and brushing its teeth are always important. You should also watch out for some infections if you notice these smells and contact your vet for help.


How often should Poodles be bathed?

Try to bathe your Poodle at least once every three weeks. Don’t do it too often as it can cause dry skin, but also don’t do it too rarely. Use quality shampoo and brush while you bathe it.

How do you dry a Poodle after a bath?

Poodles smell if they are not properly dried after a bath. Start at the head, go over the neck and back, and then go down each leg. Do not forget the tail as well.

Can you let your Poodle air dry?

We don’t recommend letting your Poodle dry from the air. Firstly, it will have a wet doggy smell, but its hair will also become more curled up and it may get tangled and hard to brush afterwar

Leave a Comment