Cockapoos are a very popular poodle mixed breed due to their friendly temperament and low-shedding coats. Cockapoos are considered hypoallergenic, generally odorless, and incredibly adorable. However, like with any dog, odors can arise in even clean, well-kept cockapoos.
Cockapoo owners can prevent unpleasant odors in their pets by providing a healthy diet, washing their bedding, and proper grooming. While cockapoos are not inherently smelly dogs, regular vet visits can diagnose ear mites, bacterial infections, and yeast overgrowth which can result in foul odors.
Cockapoos may be considered hypoallergenic, but this doesn’t mean that they’re immune to smells – only that they shed less. Read on to learn more about the root causes of odors in cockapoos and how to keep your dog smelling fresh and clean.
1. Regular Vet Visits
While Cockapoos are not prone to genetic health problems like many purebred dogs, some issues can still make your pet smell terrible.
Cockapoos have soft, floppy ears, making them more susceptible to ear issues. Ear mites, bacterial infections, and yeast overgrowth can all cause foul odors. Vets recommend leaning your Cockapoo’s ears weekly with a veterinarian-recommended ear rinse. If an infection is present, your vet may prescribe a medicated ear rinse.
Regular veterinary visits can also rule out any other issues like skin problems, anal gland issues, or food intolerance, all of which can lead to foul odors.
Never attempt to treat your Cockapoo before consulting with your vet. Once any serious medical problems are ruled out as the cause of your pet’s scent, feel free to use the additional tips below to keep your cockapoo smelling fresh and clean.
2. A Healthy Diet
When it comes to keeping your cockapoo smelling fresh, diet is probably the most important consideration. Cockapoos are small breed dogs with high energy levels, so you should feed them accordingly. You’ll also want to be sure that they’re eating a quality diet, as a poor diet can lead to odor issues resulting from adverse health conditions.
There are canine foods available in many forms, including kibble, raw food, and canned foods. Knowing which food is right for you will depend on your cockapoo’s needs. Remember that abrupt food switches can lead to digestive issues, which could exacerbate odor issues
If you have bought your dog from a breeder, or a rescue center, it is always advised to continue feeding your dog the same food he is used to. If you have a puppy, keep with the same brand as they age. The vast majority of dog food companies have products for each stage of your dog’s life, meaning they can eat familiar and safe foods their whole lives.
If you have to switch your dog’s food for any reason, gradually transitioning to the new food will make it easier for them and you. Transitioning might take a week, or more, depending on your dog’s age and how big the diet change is.
Most dog owners prefer dry dog food over the other options because it’s easier and less expensive. Dry diets are more convenient to store and last longer than other foods, and many dry dog foods also have additives that can reduce tartar build-up on the teeth. These foods can help with bad breath and may reduce odors.
There are thousands of dry dog foods available on the market. Choosing which one is right for your pet will require some research on your part. Many pet owners prefer grain-free kibble, but this is not the only option. While grain-free kibble has been linked to fewer health issues, those containing lentils and legumes have been linked to heart issues in dogs. Ask your vet for advice if you are unsure.
Raw Food Diet
Protein is vital for dogs as it is necessary to build and maintain muscle. This is true for all dogs, including Cockapoos. Athletic and high-energy cockapoos should eat a diet consisting of at least 25 percent meat protein. The rest should come from fruit and vegetable sources.
Achieving this balance can be done by feeding your dog a raw food diet. If you choose this route, it’s essential to research enough to be knowledgeable in canine nutrition. Owners must ensure their cockapoo is getting the necessary nutrients to keep them healthy, in addition to the protein.
There is also the risk of food-borne illnesses when feeding raw meat to your dog, so maintaining a sanitary environment when preparing the food is critical.
The Cockapoo Club of Great Britain states that a raw meat diet is good for picky eaters and that dogs on the BARF diet (biologically appropriate raw foods) tend to have fewer health problems. Fewer health problems can mean fewer odor issues.
Canned foods often get a bad reputation, but the truth is, there are quality canned foods out there. Canned food is a good choice for older Cockapoos or those with health issues or tooth problems.
However, keep in mind that these foods might be higher in fat than dry kibble or the raw diet. Increased fat content can cause issues for dogs who do not tolerate high-fat content well, such as digestive issues, and lead to more odor problems.
3. Wash Bedding Regularly
While cockapoos are considered “hypoallergenic,” they are not 100% allergen-free. Cockapoos do shed less than your average dog – the curlier the hair, the less shedding – but this doesn’t mean they require less maintenance in terms of hygiene.
Dogs (yes, even cockapoos) carry organisms on their hair and skin, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. These disease-causing organisms don’t always cause issues but can often be passed from animals to people. Additionally, some of these organisms can live on your dog’s bed for up to a year! It is vital to keep your dog’s bedding clean to get rid of these pests.
It will help if you keep your pet’s bedding as clean as you keep your own.
Steps to help keep your cockapoo”s bedding fresh and clean include:
- Vacuum any dog hair or particles from your dog’s bed.
- Pre-treat stains with a stain remover.
- Place all bedding and blankets in the washing machine.
- Run a hot wash using a pet-safe detergent.
- Let it dry naturally in the sun, weather-permitting (in front of a fan, otherwise).
- Clean bedding once a week and vacuum it in between cleanings.
Cleaning your pet’s bedding regularly can prevent itchiness, reduce the number of allergens, and keep your dog smelling nice. Regularly cleaning your dog’s bedding also protects you and your family from any disease-causing organisms that might be living there.
If you wouldn’t want to sleep in a hairy, dirty bed, why would you let your dog sleep in one? Keep your dog’s sleeping area clean just like you would your own.
4. Brush Daily
When Cockapoos are puppies, their hair is relatively easy to care for, no matter the coat variation. Grooming your cockapoo puppy with a simple brushing four times a week is ideal.
As your Cockapoo grows into an adult, you’ll notice its hair start to change. An adult cockapoo’s hair is more curly and coarse, unlike a cockapoo puppy’s soft, smooth coat.
If an adult cockapoo’s hair is not groomed regularly, it may begin to mat and form dreadlocks. A matted coat can retain odors, so be sure to brush your cockapoo regularly.
Brushing also removes dirt, debris, and allergens. These particles are collected in your dog’s hair and skin over time, and if enough build-up, can lead to foul odors. Brushing also helps remove dead or loose hairs and distributes the natural oils for a healthy, clean coat.
5. Bathing Once a Month
Dogs do not need daily baths, especially if there is no discernible odor. In fact, some dogs genuinely don’t need to bathe at all. Cockapoos are a hypoallergenic breed bred specifically to reduce shedding.
They could potentially be fine without a bath, assuming they aren’t rolling in foul-smelling things, rolling in the dirt, swimming in lakes and ponds, or have excessively oily hair.
If you feel that you must bathe your pet, the Central California SPCA recommends washing your dog no more than once a month. Bathing your dog more often than this disrupts natural oil production and can dry out the skin.
Dry skin may lead to more skin issues which can increase the risk of infection. Infection results in more odors, defeating the purpose of bathing altogether. Obviously, if your dog is smelly or needs a bath for a flea or tick treatment, it’s OK to clean him. Just don’t overdo it.
Use a natural dog shampoo – tea Tree Oil works great. I recommend the Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo on Amazon.
6. Use Dry Shampoos Between Regular Bathing
If your cockapoo is still a bit smelly in between bathing, try dry baths. These utilize dry shampoos, or foams to neutralize odors, are rubbed into your pet’s hair while it’s dry, and can be brushed in to remove dirt and debris at the same time. There is little to no dry time for these shampoos, so it’s quick, easy, and effective.
Dry shampoos for dogs come in many different fragrances and often utilize safe, natural ingredients so that they’re safe for your pet if they happen to lick themselves after applying. Always keep an eye on your dog after using any new products to check for any adverse reactions.
Some owners suggest dry bathing your dog using baking soda, but this is not recommended. While baking soda is excellent at neutralizing odors, dogs might lick the baking soda, and because it’s highly alkaline, it can upset their digestive balance.
Instead, use a dog-friendly dry shampoo or dry foaming cleanser.
7. Try Dog Perfumes or Colognes
Dog colognes or perfumes are a great way to keep your cockapoo smelling fresh and clean daily. There are many different products on the market, but it’s best to use one that is dog-approved and made with natural ingredients. Artificial fragrances can irritate your dog’s skin, leading to dry skin or even excessive oil production. These issues can increase your dog’s foul odor problem instead of preventing them.
Many dog colognes are made with natural oils and plant-based materials that are safe for dogs. Coconut oil, aloe vera, frankincense, and lavender are examples of oils used in dog colognes. Try the Bodhi Dog Natural Pet Cologne at Amazon.
8. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
A dog’s teeth should be brushed at least once per day. This might not be easy, but if you start your dog while they’re young, it will become routine. Your cockapoo may even come to enjoy it, thanks to the multitude of dog toothpaste flavors available.
Help your dog maintain their oral hygiene by making tooth brushing a positive experience. Only begin when your cockapoo is well-exercised and calm. Reassure and praise your dog throughout the process.
NOTE: Never use human toothpaste when brushing your cockapoo’s teeth as these products may contain ingredients like xylitol and are potentially dangerous for dogs to ingest. Only use a pet-approved, dog-friendly toothpaste.
Dog Tooth Wipes
Tooth wipes are also effective at cleaning a dog’s teeth. These wipes come in different flavors, making the experience more enjoyable for your cockapoo. Wipes are best for getting your dog used to having your fingers in his mouth. Once it’s become routine, it’s best to work up to a brush, as they are better at removing plaque and tartar.
The toothbrush that you’ll need for your dog depends on their size, teeth, and skill. Some brushes have angled handles to make it easier to get into those hard-to-reach places. Other brushes have multiple heads so that you can clean multiple tooth surfaces at once.
For most cockapoos, a standard baby toothbrush will work just fine. Some dog owners prefer baby fingertip brushes – silicone brushes that slide over your fingertip. No matter which brush you use to brush your cockapoo’s teeth, be gentle and go slow.
9. Remove Sources of Outdoor Odors
Outdoor odors can be the source of your cockapoo’s foul stench. If your dog comes inside smelling bad, you’ll need to discover and remove the source that’s causing it.
Dogs will roll in anything smelly, so you’ll need to inspect your yard.
Outdoor sources of odor often include:
- Dead animals
- Standing water
Remove the source and spray the area down with a water hose to eliminate any lingering odor.
Why Does My Cockapoo Stink?
Cockapoos can stink when they are wet. Cockapoos, like any other dog, need regular care and grooming to keep smelling fresh. As soon as your dog starts to let off any stench, you’ll want to get to the bottom of it so that you can treat the issue quickly.
If your cockapoo is eating a healthy diet, has clean bedding, and gets regular groomings, chances are he will be quite fresh. However, there are some other causes of bad smells on dogs.
Cockapoos often smell bad as a result of:
1. Wet Hair
Ever heard of the “wet dog smell?” This stench is due to yeast and bacteria that live on your dog’s hair and skin. These organisms don’t usually cause problems unless there is an excessive amount of them. However, yeast and bacteria are disturbed and displaced after a bath, which gives off a strange smell. If your cockapoo smells bad after getting wet, this is likely the culprit.
In most cases, the smell will go away once the dog dries. However, if your dog got wet in a pond or stagnant water, you may need to bathe them to rid yourself of the smell.
Infections can cause some nasty smells, especially in the mouth. If your cockapoo has a foul odor emanating from its muzzle, it could be due to a painful tooth infection, kidney disease, or diabetes. A dog with kidney failure might smell like urine or have a metal odor. Ear infections smell like yeast, and bacterial infections smell incredibly unpleasant.
If you cannot see any issues and can’t seem to get rid of the smell, consult with your vet.
3. Skin Issues
Cockapoos are known to be hypoallergenic, thanks to their low-shedding poodle genes. However, this doesn’t make a cockapoo immune to skin issues. After all, spaniels are prone to skin problems. Bad smells, excessive scratching, oozing skin, or foul odors signal something may be wrong.
Always clean the folds of your dog’s skin and be sure they’re completely dry after washing to prevent bacteria or yeast growth.
4. Excessive Gas
Sometimes a dog’s foul odors come from gas, and in most cases, this means your dog might have eaten something that they shouldn’t have. You might also notice other signs, such as diarrhea and vomiting if this is the case.
Sometimes flatulence can be a sign of a severe health problem, especially if it is constant and is not improving.
A change in diet may cut down on flatulence if a another factor is not the cause.
5. The Anal Sacs Are Full
If your dog emits a fishy odor and rubs its butt on the floor, anal sacs might be to blame. Anal sacs, also known as anal glands, are two sacs, each located opposite the anus which fill up with a liquid. This liquid secretes when the dog poops, which can be quite smelly. However, sometimes anal glands can become impacted or infected.
Failing to address impacted anal sacs can lead to abscesses and ruptures.
Anal sac problems can also be related to allergies.If you are unsure of how to express these glands, go to the vet to have it done by a professional.
6. Your Dog Rolled in Something Smelly
Dogs like stinky things. We’re not sure why but there are some theories:
- Some research suggests that wolves roll in scents to bring the information back to the pack.
- Others think it’s used for disguising their scent to hide from prey or predators.
No matter the reason, this instinctive behavior continues in dogs. If your dog comes in smelling like something gross, it might just be that they rolled in something unpleasant.
Cockapoos do not generally smell bad, but there are some instances when odors can arise, as discussed in this article. Ruling out any medical issues is the first step to solving the problem. As long as there are no medical issues, you can keep your pet smelling fresh and clean with a healthy diet, clean bedding, regular grooming, and good oral hygiene.