Do Poodles Smell? Why Does My Poodle Stink?

Do Poodles Smell? Why Does My Poodle Stink?

Poodles make excellent pets; they are peaceful in temperament and accepting of others while being very intelligent, faithful, and trainable. It must be stated that this is not a low-maintenance breed; they have high grooming requirements and owners do need to routinely care for their curly coats. But what about smells? Are they more likely to carry that ‘doggy odor’, or is this breed known for smelling more offensively than others? Here is what you should know.

Poodle Smells and Odors
Poodle Smells and Odors

So, do Poodles smell? Poodles are generally not smelly dogs; they don’t have that “doggy smell” like other breeds. However, all dogs have their own odor, even Poodles. This is not generally offensive or foul-smelling and not all owners recognize it, and some get used to it in time.

Why Does My Poodle Stink?
Why Does My Poodle Stink?

If your Poodle does smell bad, this is not normal, and you must investigate for any potential underlying issue straight away.

Several factors can cause your Poodle to smell bad; these include skin infections, yeast infections, a buildup of fluid in your dog’s anal gland, and stool hairs stuck to your Poodle’s rear end.

Tips to Keep Your Poodle Smelling Nice and Fresh
Tips to Keep Your Poodle Smelling Nice and Fresh

Being proactive about the smell of your dog can go a long way to ensuring foul odors are minimized.

Regular visits to the vet, providing a high-quality diet and limiting scraps, making sure their sleeping areas are clean, and regular grooming should be a top priority.

This breed also needs regular clipping at least every four to six weeks.

Thankfully, and as you can see, there is a lot that you can do as an owner of a Poodle to prevent smells from arising or developing.

But you do need to remember that all dogs will smell to some extent.

Its also important to consider that dogs sweat, and although they do so differently to humans, it can make their bodies smell.

Maybe you have recently got a Poodle, perhaps you are thinking of getting one.

Either way, let us now take a closer look at the Poodle breed and investigate further their proneness to smell.

We will cover the main causes and some of the best things an owner can do to counteract them. So, be sure to keep reading to get all the information you need!

Do Poodles Smell Doggy?

  • Poodles generally don’t smell “doggy,” these dogs are the original hypoallergenic breed – they are non-odor and non-shedding.
  • The Poodle comes in different sizes that range from toy to giant, but their primary purpose from the days that they were first bred was to be companions for the elite.
  • That is not the case with Poodles today, anybody can own a Poodle, and they are the perfect indoor pet as they neither smell naturally nor shed.
  • Poodles are ideal for allergy sufferers and individuals with a low tolerance for bad odors.

What Can Cause A Poodle To Smell?

There are many reasons why a Poodle would have a strange odor. The bad smells will make you wrinkle your nose, and your Poodle may smell even after having a bath.

You may be able to detect where the odor is directly coming from or you may need to investigate further – it may not be entirely obvious.

Either way, however, let’s look at the most common reasons why a Poodle may not smell so great. And after, we will discuss the necessary steps to eliminate each specific smell:

Skin Infections

Skin infections of any kind (yeast, fungal, bacterial) often share the same characteristic of having a foul smell and no amount of grooming or cleansing will make this go away.
This is sometimes described as a musty smell; yet others will define it as sour or a mixed odor that is difficult to describe in words. In the beginning stages of infection there may not be any other signs other than the strange smell.
As it progresses and without treatment, there may be other symptoms including but not limited to: itching, red bumps, thinning hair and/or peeling skin. Without treatment, the infection can develop deeper into the skin and this can cause nodules of pus. In some cases these will scab over.
If you suspect that your Poodle has a skin infection or if he has a bad odor that is not resolved by bathing, it will be important to have the veterinarian perform a full examination. Skin infections are treated with oral and/or topical medications.


This is often overlooked, quite simply because a dog may have a silent gas problem. There are some dogs that pass gas so loudly, the windows shake. However, a Poodle of any variety (toy, mini or standard) may have quite a bit of flatulence that is released quietly enough that owners do not notice… but they do notice the smell.

Some flatulence is normal; noticed or not, most canines will break wind about 10 times per day, it is the body’s way of realizing excess gas from the intestines.

Four main elements are released when gas is passed: oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen sulfide. And it is the hydrogen sulfide that has the noxious smell.

A Poodle can have a bad smell surrounding him if he passes gas in an enclosed room where it is not able to dissipate. In addition, the odor can permeate into fabrics (dog bed, etc.) and this can make it seem like the dog smells bad all the time, when in fact it is lingering odors from past flatulence episodes.

Eating too fast is a common cause and this can be resolved by giving your Poodle his meals in a slow-feeder bowl.
Chronic gassy problems should be discussed with the veterinarian; it often points GI issue that may be due to allergies or a reaction to certain foods.
There are some prozyme powder canine supplements that can help cut down on gas problems; these also help a dog absorb nutrients and can help with Coprophagia.

Improper Bathing Methods

There is more to bathing your dog than merely ‘wet, lather, and rinse’; first and foremost, you must make sure that you are using suitable products to ensure that your Poodle is clean and odor-free.

The purpose of a bath is to rinse away body oils (sebum) that are excreted through the skin each day.

Oils do help prevent the skin from getting dry, but they can lead to a foul stench if not rinsed properly.

Anal Glands

All dogs, including Poodles, have a pair of anal glands – one on either side of the anus.

These glands hold fluid that is released incrementally each time two dogs meet. Small amounts are released whenever a dog has a bowel movement.

If the glands are not fully expressed, they can burst open – this releases a dark-colored oil that smells very foul.

You must inspect the area if you notice a terrible smell coming from your Poodle’s rear end. Either a vet or a dog groomer can express the anal glands so that you don’t have to.

Vaginal Smell (In Female Poodles)

It’s easy to mistake the smell from the vagina as coming from the anus, especially as the vulva and anus are so close together.

This smell is often described as being a musty odor comparable with vinegar. This issue does indicate that there is a health issue at hand, such as a urinary tract infection; whatever it may be, your vet needs to look at it promptly.

How Do I Stop My Poodle From Smelling?

Taking the five common reasons your Poodle might smell bad, let’s look at the solution to each one:

Fixing Skin Infections

  • If you think your Poodle has a skin infection, be it yeast, bacterial, or fungal infection, you must bring the issue to the attention of your vet – that is the only way to deal with this problem.
  • If you ignore skin infection on your Poodle, it can develop into something worse; your vet will likely treat the infection with topical or oral medication.

Fixing Flatulence

  • If your Poodle passes gas continually, be aware that that isn’t normal, you should discuss it with your vet.
  • Chronic gas could be due to GI; allergies usually cause this to certain foods. Some canine supplements can help reduce your Poodle’s flatulence problem, they also help your dog absorb nutrients from their diet, and it can help with Coprophagia.
  • Make sure you feed your Poodle high-quality food from puppyhood and that they drink enough water each day.
  • Remember, most canines pass gas at least ten times a day, and that’s normal. Anything more regular than this, or overtly more foul-smelling, could be an indication of an underlying health issue.

Fixing Improper Bathing Methods

You must scrub your Poodle from head to toe at least every three weeks – do not was your Poodle more than this as this can dry out the skin.

You can do an entire body cleaning every five or six weeks to prevent odor issues. Make sure that you bathe your Poodle correctly.

At the three-week point, the oily substance on the surface of your dog’s skin will hold in dead skin, particles of dirt, debris, dirt, and small pieces of food. The oil at that stage will smell unpleasant.

Keep in mind that your dog’s coat has tightly packed curls, so you must scrub deeply and thoroughly, or the oil won’t wash away.

Make sure that you use a suitable canine shampoo that will wash away the Poodle’s natural body oils, as rinsing alone won’t help.

The conditioner you use is also crucial – if it’s too thick, it will block the pores on your dog’s skin, inhibiting airflow that will only leave in the nasty smells.

Fixing The Issue Of Smelly Anal Glands

Believe it or not, this can also be a grooming issue. A lot of groomers today will empty your pet’s anal glands during the grooming session, especially if you specifically ask. This is not just a problem with poodles though, almost every dog needs their anal glands emptied periodically. It is just part of the territory.

If your groomer doesn’t do this, you can always stop by the vet’s office, and they will do it for you.

These glands are also known as scent glands. They are given this name because they release an oily substance when your dog meets another dog. This is essentially how dogs meet each other. 

It’s how they judge the characteristics of the dog they meet, such as:

  • Gender
  • Personality type (whether the dog is friendly or aggressive)
  • Health status

Remember, when I mentioned earlier that dogs rely on their noses more than their eyes?

When these glands get clogged, the oil is not released, and the gland could end up rupturing if it is not emptied in time. This is not only painful for your poodle but puts him at serious risk for infection. It is incredibly important to notice some of the symptoms of enlarged glands

Symptoms include:

  • Scooting on the floor after being outside
  • Painful or difficult bowel movements

Fixing Vaginal Smells (For Female Poodles)

A urinary tract infection is likely to be the cause of smells coming from the vagina; the only way to take care of the issue is to have a vet treat it with medication.

Oral Issues

The last common odor problem on the list has to do with your poodle’s teeth and gums. This seems to be more of a problem in older dogs but can happen at any age. One of the most common causes of an odor of the mouth in dogs is gingivitis.

Gingivitis is an infection of the gums that results from plaque or bacteria build up on the teeth. 

Brushing your poodle’s teeth is a great start to tackling this problem, but sometimes it isn’t enough. Sometimes it is easier for the vet to thoroughly clean off your poodle’s teeth. Even after this, though, it is always good to maintain the upkeep and continue brushing your dog’s teeth.

There is a good home remedy for this, though. A combination of Aloe Vera and Peroxide is one great method for cleansing off an immense number of bacteria build up on the teeth. However, getting your dog to sit still during this process is another story.

As you can see, there are a lot of different reasons your poodle could be continuing to smell even after a bath. It is crucial to identify where the smell is coming from and what it smells like. These two factors will help you figure out the problem sooner and find the proper solution to get your poodle smelling nice again.

Related Questions

Why do I smell like wet dog after a shower?

Wet dog smell can be caused by natural oils and microorganisms like bacteria and yeasts that emit a foul smell when combined with water at bath time, or after playing in a lake, pond, or in the rain. If wet dog smell is just a result of normal doggy flora, there are several things you can do to remedy the smell.

Why does my dog smell like wet dog?

In the process of going about their lives, they leave behind “micro excreta” in the form of volatile organic compounds. The smell of wet-dog, Brunning says, comes from moisture evaporation that carries some of those compounds with it.

What is the best shampoo for poodles?

One of our favorite shampoo products for Poodles is the 4-Legger organic dog shampoo*. This organic dog shampoo is great for the Poodle breed for a number of reasons. It is hypoallergenic, meaning it is an excellent choice for Poodles with sensitive skin who are prone to allergies or dryness.

Do poodles smell when wet?

All Over Body Smell – Poodle Smells Even After a Bath. In some cases, a bath won’t seem to fix the problem at all or it may be temporary and the Poodle may start to smell bad just hours after being bathed.

Do poodles smell more than other dogs?

People who hate fur on their furniture will love Poodles. Besides not shedding, Poodles are well-known as clean dogs who lack the “doggy” smell of many other breeds. While a non-shedding and good-smelling Poodle is nice to your nose, their need for regular professional grooming every 4 to 6 weeks can become costly.

Can I give my poodle a bath weekly?

Can you bathe a Poodle too often? In general, Poodles can (and should) be bathed once every 2-3 weeks. However, you can often bathe your Poodle weekly if they have gotten dirty and if you are using the proper shampoo and conditioner.

How do I stop my poodle from smelling?

Tips to Keep Your Poodle Smelling Nice Give your Poodle a bath every 3 weeks, using a super high quality shampoo and conditioner or finishing spray. Be sure to scrub down to the skin in order to wash away old, accumulated body oil. The goal is to clean both the coat and the skin.

What shampoo is best for poodles?

Rocco & Roxie Shampoos The oatmeal and argan oil in this dog shampoo means that the product is not only cleansing but moisturizing. It will help to alleviate any dry or itchy skin your Poodle may be suffering from. It also has a great scent that Poodle owners love!

Final Thoughts

It’s very unusual for a Poodle to smell bad; they certainly don’t give off that doggy smell like other dogs.

However, Poodles, like any other canine, benefit from proper and timely baths. Poodles have dense, curly hair, so you must pay special attention to lathering and bathing.

Poodles are notorious for getting ear infections, and aside from itching, there is always a strong odor from the site of the infection.

You should put cotton in your Poodle’s ears before their bath to prevent water from getting into their ear canal.

You should also practice at-home ear cleaning to rinse away the wax buildup. If that doesn’t rinse away the wax buildup, you must see a vet, where antibiotics will be necessary.

Like any dog, bad smells can come from your Poodle’s mouth, so you must keep your Poodle’s teeth clean.

Each day, your Poodle’s teeth develop plaque, which needs regular brushing before plaque becomes tartar, as this can lead to tooth decay and painful gum disease.

You must make sure that your brushing technique is up to standard to prevent decay, tooth loss, and to keep your Poodle’s breath smelling sweet.

The toothbrush you use to brush your Poodle’s teeth matters, and you must brush your Poodle’s teeth at least three times a week.

Ultimately, Poodles are a great dog to own; and smell shouldn’t be an issue with appropriate care and attention.

If you are considering getting a Poodle, here are some other things you will want to consider.

Their attitude towards people can go from loving to indifferent, but they are not an aggressive breed.

With that said, Poodles are not low-maintenance; they need daily exercise and their energy levels range from moderate to high.

You do need to keep them both physically and mentally stimulated to prevent boredom.

Usually, taking them for a brisk walk or a jog does the trick; but they also enjoy swimming and are naturally quite good swimmers.

Besides that, they need lots of companionship as they experience separation anxiety very easily.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.