11 Tips to Keep Your Poodle Smelling Nice and Fresh

Poodles are notoriously blamed for being smelly dogs. You may be bathing your poodle more often than most poodle owners, and you are still left with a stinky dog. There are many reasons this could be happening. You do not have to succumb to living with a stinky dog until you have first checked off all the boxes. 

When caring for the hygiene of your poodle, there is a list of things to consider. I have carefully put together this list for your convenience. Keep in mind, though, that some solutions require a trip to the vet. Poodles are unique dogs that love their owners, keep them smelling fresh longer by caring for them the way they deserve. 

What are 11 tips to keep your poodle smelling fresh?

  1. Grooming
  2. Skin Infection
  3. Ear Infection
  4. Eye Infection
  5. Infection in the Paws
  6. Anal Glands
  7. Flatulence
  8. Left Over Poop stuck in Fur
  9. Urinary Tract Infection
  10. A Female in Heat
  11. Oral Issues

1. Grooming

A common complaint from many poodle owners is that their poodle will continue to smell even after a bath. Either that or shortly after they receive a bath. This could be because poodles are among the hardest dogs to get all the way clean during a bath. There is a certain way they must be bathed to get them clean. 

If you do not bathe them properly, then it’s like you didn’t even bathe them at all. 

Poodles have extra thick, curly hair. Not only that, but it is water-resistant as well. That’s right. Their hair is so thick, it is water-resistant. Underneath all of this hair is their skin that produces a certain body oil. This body oil is what can produce a smell if not washed thoroughly. 

This is where many owners and even dog washers tend to mess up. 

A good tip to remember is when you feel you have lathered your pup up enough, lather some more.

Chances are, you probably haven’t gotten to the skin yet. Keep lathering until you know you are giving your dog a nice back scratch from all the lathering. 


Another important thing to keep in mind is how often you are bathing your poodle. Some owners tend to overcompensate for the fact that their dog is smelly by bathing him more than once a week. However, bathing your poodle too often will dry his skin out. In turn, he will begin to produce more oil than normal to regain the moisture back in his skin. 

You shouldn’t need to bathe your poodle more than once every three weeks if he is an indoor dog.

The type of shampoo you use on Your Poodle is also crucial. 

It may be in your best interest to go ahead and invest in a little more expensive poodle shampoo. This will help ensure you are reaching to his skin as well as moisturizing him in the process.  I recommend the Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo. Check current prices on Amazon here.

All in all, if you have made sure that your poodle is thoroughly being washed in a timely fashion and you are still noticing a smell, it could be one of the following reasons: 

2. Skin Infection 

Skin infections go hand-in-hand with proper grooming. One of the side effects of improper grooming is a skin infection. As I mentioned above, poodles have extremely dense fur. If you are lathering and washing your poodle properly, then that means you are getting your poodle wet down to the skin. 

This is great for making sure you cleanse the skin thoroughly. However, another important step to grooming is properly drying your poodle. It may be just as difficult to dry your poodle as it is to wash it. It is important to make sure you are drying the hair all the way down to the root. 

If you do not get the poodle completely dry after a bath, there is a good chance he won’t dry out the rest of the way on his own.

This can lead to a skin infection. One of the most common skin infections in dogs is a staph infection, which is caused by excess moisture in areas of the hair. Your poodle could carry an odor because of an underlying staph infection that could be hard to spot at first. 

While you are bathing him, make sure you check his skin for any irritated spots. 

3. Ear Infection 

Any dog with long hair and floppy ears is prone to getting ear infections. Especially poodles because of the thickness of their fur. The hair in the ears can get to a point where it is too long and is only causing problems. The hair will begin to hang on to infection, making it difficult for the infection to go away on its own. 

Another basic grooming technique is recommended for poodles and their ears. Groomers will sometimes have a certain pair of clippers they use for the inside of the ear, or you can pluck the hairs yourself. The dog will feel uncomfortable and may not like it, but it doesn’t necessarily hurt. 

However, if your poodle already has an ear infection, you will need to get this under control before you try digging around in there. Your poodle will make sure to let you know if you are hitting a sore spot. 

4. Eye Infection 

Another cause of poodle odor could be coming from his eyes. Yet, another p side effect caused by poor grooming habits. When the fur of a poodle gets too long, it will start to get stuck in his eyes and can then cause an eye infection. It is extremely important to keep the fur cut short around the eyes for this reason. 

Dogs don’t use their eyes as much as they may use their nose, but this is no reason to let their hair grow into their eyes. If you can’t see your poodle’s eyes, chances are they are uncomfortable and being poked in the eyes by their coarse hair. 

Luckily, eye infections are relatively easy to clear up. It will most likely call for a medicine from a trip to the vet, but if you do this and also trim up the hair around the eyes, the smell should go away promptly. You may notice a happier dog too. 

5. Infection in the Paws

So, you have groomed your poodle properly, check his ears, and his eyes, but you are still smelling a strange odor. Next on the list of things to check would be the paws. 

Guess what? Yet another side effect of improper grooming are infections of the paws, especially in poodles. 

Their fur just loves to cause them issues when it gets long in the wrong places like:

  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Paws

A poodle’s fur can get too long in between his toes and begin to cause issues. The coarse texture of the fur is prone to getting things caught in it. Trapping dirt and other unwanted debris between the toes until someone goes in there and cleans it out. 

It is recommended to check your poodle’s paws every time he comes in from being outside. You never know what he could have possibly stepped in that is now caught in the fur in between his toes. 

It is also recommended to keep this area trimmed up. Your poodle will thank you for it later too. Keeping the fur in between the toes nice and short will make it more difficult for unwanted debris to get trapped. 

6. Anal Glands

Believe it or not, this can also be a grooming issue. Many 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

7. Flatulence

This may seem like an obvious one, but flatulence definitely will make your poodle a little on the stinky side. You may not even realize at first that this is where the smell is coming from, and this is because when dogs have flatulence, it usually doesn’t even make a sound. You are sure to smell it though!

Your dog’s diet plays a major role in the amount of flatulence he or she will have. Just like humans, a dog’s diet really goes a long way into his overall health and well-being. If you are buying the cheaper dog food on the market, it may come back to bite you in the form of flatulence. 

Try going for the more expensive food option that is easier on your poodle’s digestive system. You may feel like you are spending more at first. However, you will soon realize that when your dog is getting the nutrition he needs and not food that is packed with fillers and additives, he won’t need to eat as much food to be full.

I feed my dog high-quality food from Pet Plate. Pet Plate is a premium dog food subscription service that provides freshly cooked and pre-portioned meals, and snacks, completely customized for your dog. I really love the fact that Pet Plate delivers the highest quality meals to my door without me ever having to think about it! Check out Pet Plate here to find more information and see if Pet Plate is right for you and your pet.

You may also spend less money on vet bills in the long run because your dog will be in overall better shape. Remember, not all dog food is created equal, and your dog food could be the reason for your smelly poodle. 

8. Left Over Poop Stuck in the Coat

This one can get blamed on the fur once again. Paying attention to what kind of smell your dog is giving off can be a dead giveaway of the culprit. You may be sitting watching tv with your family for the evening and smelling something. You take a few more whiffs and realize that it smells like your dog pooped in the house somewhere. Ring any bells?

The smell could be lingering around your poodle because of his fur. Whether the fur around the butt is cut short or not, poodles are prone to coming back in the house with some of their “business” still attached to them, if you catch my drift. 

Don’t get me wrong, it is best to keep the fur around the butt nice and trimmed up, but that doesn’t mean it is a foolproof system. 

To eliminate this smell and possibly a mess on your furniture, it is best to go ahead and check your poodle every time you let him back inside after going to the bathroom. This will also help him out in the end. If something gets stuck back there for too long, this could also end up in an infection. Leading to yet another vet visit, which no one wants. 

Having an infection on his bottom will make it incredibly uncomfortable for him to do much of anything aside from standing. 

9. Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are painful. Not only that, but they will cause a foul smell coming from your poodle. If your dog has a UTI, chances are, you will know about it soon after it happens. Your dog will probably whine a lot and express some form of discomfort, as well as wanting to go outside more frequently to urinate when he may not have a lot to let out, to begin with. 

Here are some common signs of a UTI in a dog: 

  • Frequent urination 
  • Pain (crying out) while urinating
  • Urinating in the house
  • Blood in urine
  • Obsessively cleaning himself

On top of a horrible smell coming from your poodle, you may also notice the above symptoms. If this is something your dog is experiencing, it is important to get him in to see the vet right away. Urinary tract infections that are left untreated could lead to further painful health issues down the road. 

A small dose of medicine for about a week will clear this right up, along with the smell. 

10. Female Poodle in Heat

A female dog in heat has a certain odor about her, along with some of the other characteristics of being needy and a little more emotional than normal. She may also be in a little bit of pain as well, making her more irritable than usual. 

Whether she is cooperative or not, though, a bath during this time is your best bet for subsiding some of the odor. She may actually seem to like it too because she probably feels a little dirtier than usual. Some poodles, however, will not be okay with bath time during their heat cycle. If this is the case, it is important to still make sure the area is cleaned and maintained. 

The fur around the area can tend to get dirty and stay dirty until it is properly cleaned. This will lead to a progressively worsening smell as the days go on, and it could potentially even dirty up the furniture a bit if you aren’t paying attention to her hygiene during this time. 

Just keep in mind she may need more than just your visual attention during this time, she will also need some maintenance. 

11. 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.

Must Have Products For Poodles And Doodles

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Brent Hartman

I'm Brent Hartman. I've been a dog lover my entire life and have owned many animals over the years. When my black lab Angus passed away, I was looking for another friend to share my life with. As a result of my research, I've come to love poodles and wanted to share some of what I've learned with you. Whether you're looking to adopt a poodle, or already own one, I created Poodle report to be the ultimate guide to help you find the answers you need.

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