Why Does My Poodle STINK? [5 Reasons and How To Fix]

You’ve just given your Poodle a bath, reached for some cuddles, and suddenly without warning, you catch a big whiff of a sour, musky, rotten egg smell. Not the sweet-smelling scent you were expecting?

Generally, Poodles are not known to have a strong doggy odor; however, try as you might, your Poodle still smells. You bathe your pet frequently, feed him only the best of foods, and regularly take him to the vet. 

why does my poodle stink
Why does my Poodle stink? [5 Reasons and how to fix]

So, why does my Poodle stink?

It is not normal for your Poodle to have a strong, foul-smelling odor, so let’s examine 5 top reasons your Poodle might stink and how to remedy it.

Poodles Make The Best Pets

Praised for their friendly nature and down-to-earth temperament, Poodles are known to be loyal, intelligent, and easy to train. For this reason, they consistently are on the list of top dog breeds and are often seen as the ideal pet for families, small children, and those who suffer from chronic allergies. 

lying Poodle wearing sunglasses
The Poodle knows where to put sunglasses. (Image: Instagram/@teddy.the.poodle)

Poodles come in several colors and range from small to quite large. Even though there are three different breed sizes (toy, miniature, and standard), all have the same distinct thick, curly, waterproof coat. 

Yes, waterproof!

Known as the national dog breed of France, there has been some debate over the origins of Poodles. Some claim Poodles originated from Germany, while others say they are descendants of a French water dog called a Barbet.

Though their origins may be debatable, Poodles were bred for hunting ducks and other waterfowl. Nobles and the aristocracy often used them to retrieve the birds while hunting.

The Poodle’s coat is thick, curly, and water-resistant, serving as protection from winter climates and the harsh water elements. They require constant brushing and proper grooming to help prevent their coat from matting and unwanted…well, smells.

Poodle lay on the floor
A smiling Poodle lying on the floor.

Why Does My Poodle Smell?

As cute and cuddly as they are, there are several reasons why Poodles may stink. Let’s take a closer look at the question- why does my Poodle stink?

Improperly Bathing Your Poodle

The Poodle secretes a body oil for their coat called sebum. The sebaceous glands produce the oil that gets secreted through the skin. The oil protects the skin from becoming dry and acts as a protective barrier from dirt and debris. 

If not properly bathed, the build-up of these oils will cause a sour, musty smell as the dirt and dander find their way into the Poodle’s coat. According to popular Poodle forums, your Poodle should be given a bath once every three weeks. Regular bathing will help keep your pet smelling clean while maintaining a healthy, shining coat. 

It is always recommended to use products formulated specifically for dogs when bathing your pet. These products will contain the right ingredients to remove dirt and debris and are always easy on the skin.

a very wet poodle in a bath
A very wet Poodle puppy during bath time

Skin Infections Cause Poodles To Smell

Improper grooming and other skin conditions may cause your Poodle to smell. A variety of factors will cause common skin issues for Poodles. These skin issues can result from yeast infections, fungal infections, and bacterial infections.

These infections will cause the skin to become flaky, itchy, and red if left untreated. Staph infections are the most common type of infections seen in Poodles. Staph infection is often a result of excess moisture in the coat so thoroughly drying your Poodle is just as important as bath time.

Oral or topical medications can treat most skin infections, so see your veterinarian as soon as symptoms begin.

jet black mini poodle
There are different shades of black coat.

Too Much Flatulence

As with all dog breeds, some flatulence is normal, and some will have you scrambling for the air freshener. Typically, Poodles expel gas at least ten times a day to release unwanted gas and cleanse the intestines.

The quality of dog food controls the amount and smell of these unwanted gasses. Flatulence consists of oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide. If your pet eats dinner too fast or has an allergy to the ingredients in dog food, this may be the root cause of these silent but deadly gasses.

poodle sitting on the lap
A super cute Poodle sitting on its owners lap.

My Poodle Has Bad Breath

There are several myths when it comes to the mouth of your Poodle. The mouth of a dog is cleaner than a human’s mouth is the biggest myth.

Poodle with open mouth
A Poodle yawning with its mouth widely open. (Image: Instagram/@toypoodlenamedpoppy)

Your pet’s mouth is not cleaner than yours!

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a dog’s mouth contains several types of bacteria and microorganisms. Most of the time, there is no reason for your Poodle to have a stinky breath.

Sometimes, foreign objects that get stuck in between your dog’s teeth may cause his breath to smell bad. Bacteria from food and saliva cause tartar to accumulate, which leads to gingivitis. If left untreated, tooth decay and gum infections can occur. 

Most veterinarians offer professional dental cleaning for your dog if you do not feel comfortable using at-home brushing techniques. Dental treats and adding mouthwash to the drinking water may also be recommended.

Just like humans, proper oral care for dogs is essential. If you begin to notice your pet’s breath smells, an investigation may be needed. 

silver beige poodle
A Silver Beige Poodle starts off with a darker coat

Anus Glands and Vaginal Smells

All dogs have anal glands. The glands are located near your pet’s bottom end and hold a fluid that is slowly released when two dogs meet each other. Small amounts are also released when your dog has a bowel movement.

Standard Poodle lying on the floor
The Standard Poodle lying on the floor. (Image: Instagram/@zorkandroc)

If your pet has loose stool, this will cause a fluid build-up that sometimes causes the anal glands to burst open. The fluid has a foul, pungent odor that is often compared to a skunk smell. 

To help control the build-up of the fluids in the anal glands, veterinarians will often express the extra fluid during routine vet visits.

Stool stuck in the hairs around the anus may be another reason the back end of your Poodle may smell. You can carefully trim the hair in this area or wipe the area clean after your pet goes to the bathroom to help the stool from getting stuck. 

wet poodle sitting
A wet Poodle sitting on the sand.

Final Thoughts

Known as the ultimate hypoallergenic dog, Poodles make the best pets for families with small children and those who suffer from allergies. They are loyal, playful, easy to train, and low shedding but do require proper maintenance.

With regular vet visits, a high-quality diet, and proper grooming, your Poodle will live a long and healthy life – stink-free.