Do Labradoodles Smell Bad?

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Labradoodles are an adorable breed. They can be playful, obedient, and friendly, making them a top pick for many people. However, first-time doodle parents might want to know if their dogs will smell bad and how to groom them.

As the name suggests, Labradoodles are a mix between Labradors and Poodles.

A dog’s natural scent greatly depends on the coat type. Since the Labrador breed has a waterproof double coat, it is a strong-smelling dog breed. The Poodle-type coat is hypoallergenic and doesn’t usually have a powerful smell.

Therefore, well-bred Doodle Dogs typically don’t have an unpleasant smell if they have the curly coat of a poodle. However, other external issues may cause a foul odor.

Reasons Behind The Odor: Why Does my Labradoodle Smell?

Golden Labradoodle puppy

While it’s normal for dogs to have a doggy smell, excessive odor may be caused by certain medical issues, such as bacteria or allergies.

Oral Hygiene

Considering what dogs eat, it’s no wonder that their mouths are sources of a pungent smell.

This is because of a build-up of bad bacteria in the oral cavity that can cause an unpleasant odor, which is a relatively common issue. To prevent gum disease, owners should regularly clean their dog’s teeth.

There are many ways to do this. One method is dental chew sticks, which are treats that Labradoodles love. Not only do they taste great, but they also scrub plaque off and freshen your labradoodle’s breath.

Another easy method to eliminate foul breath is adding the powder to your labradoodle’s food. These powders are usually derived from kelp and can chemically break down the tartar in your dog’s mouth.

Be careful. Long-lasting bad breath or dental issues can be a symptom of more severe health issues, such as kidney disease, gum disease, or liver disease.

Ear Odor

Due to their floppy ears, doodles are prone to an odor coming from their ears. Again, this is due to bacterial growth. The bent ear provides a warm, humid environment, perfect for stinky bacteria to grow in.

Also, the narrow shape of the doodle’s ears makes it very easy for a severe ear infection to develop. Therefore, the ears of a doodle often have a strong doggie odor and must be cleaned regularly.

The ears of a Labradoodle are a lot like a poodle and require the same regular grooming. While daily grooming isn’t necessary, the ears should be cleaned every two or three weeks with a cotton ball and a mild ear cleaning solution.

Make sure to dry out the ear canal every time your Labradoodle gets wet, and after cleaning it, water trapped in there allows bacteria to grow even quicker. Each grooming session, check the ears for wax and ensure that your labradoodle’s ears are not clogged.

If your Labradoodle suffers from an ear infection, they might shake their head or scratch their ears. Their ear canal might also be red, swollen, or leaking pus.

In this case, take your doodle to the vet, and after the vet identifies the exact issue, they will likely prescribe antibiotics.

Smell From the Anus

Apricot Australian Labradoodle Puppies

We’ve all seen dogs sniff each other’s behinds and probably wondered why they engage in such strange behavior. This actually has a very important (and family-friendly!) reason behind it.

When dogs do this, they are actually sniffing 2 small anal glands. These anal glands secrete a fluid with a unique, fishy smell that tells them everything they need to know about the other dog.

It’s even thought that the fluids secreted by these glands are what allows Labradoodles to mark their territory!

Usually, these fluids have a generally tolerable smell. However, if your doodle develops an anal gland infection or the glands become blocked, these glands can emit a very strong stench.

Unfortunately, it is very easy for their glands to become blocked. This may happen if there is inadequate fiber in your labradoodle’s diet or if they lead a sedentary lifestyle. It may also happen if your puppy is overweight.

You can notice anal gland issues if your dog is biting their rear end or whining and showing discomfort while sitting down. You should also notice a distinct fishy smell coming from their behind.

If your puppy has blocked anal glands, they must be expressed at a veterinarian’s office. This is a relatively simple and painless procedure, where the vet will squeeze out any collected fluid in the anal glands.

To avoid this issue altogether, try improving your pup’s diet by increasing their vegetable intake with delicious foods like carrot, apples, and lettuce. Also, ensure that your dog gets enough exercise and regular walks.

Poor Diet

Lounging Labradoodle

As we all know, diet matters the most for a Labradoodle’s health. A bad diet that is not rich in micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals means that your pup will not be able to produce all of the hormones and oils they need for a fresh-smelling and healthy coat.

To ensure proper digestion of all the nutrients of your dog’s meals, mealtimes should be regular and evenly spaced out, with limited snacks in between. This keeps your dog’s appetite healthy while also maintaining a good amount of time for digestion.

As for what to eat, this varies greatly depending on the taste and preferences of your Labradoodle. However, all diets should be adequately balanced between fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Provide a fresh food diet for the best results. This includes items like human-grade meats (fish, beef, chicken), vegetables, and fruits. Ensure that your dog is consuming enough meat, which should be a staple in their diet. This will prevent long-term digestive issues.

Also, varying the textures of the food by introducing hard, chewy things can reduce plaque and improve your dog’s breath with diet.

Gas

A bad diet can lead to very smelly gas for Labradoodles. Try an elimination diet to see what foods your dog reacts well to. Also, you might want to limit the amount of pre-packaged foods that your dog consumes, as they have preservatives that help smelly bad gut bacteria to thrive.

Allergies or Infection

Labradoodle Puppy scratching

If your Labradoodle has a persistent smell, it is possible that they are suffering from an allergic reaction or skin infection. Due to their coat characteristics, Labradoodles are especially prone to skin infections.

Allergies may be caused by a bad shampoo, a food, or even something your Labradoodle encountered outdoors. Be mindful when introducing new things to their environment.

Fleas can introduce bacteria to your dog’s skin, thus leading to a skin infection or allergic reaction if left untreated.

Skin infections or allergies can present with symptoms like rashes, hives, pus, swelling, and irritation. Notify your veterinarian if your doodle has any of these issues.

To avoid infections, make sure to dry their skin and all of their folds. Bacteria can easily grow in warm and humid environments like folds.

Type of Coat

The natural coat type of a Labradoodle also impacts their natural normal smell. As discussed before, a Labradoodle’s parents are both a poodle and a labrador.

Labradoodles who have a curly poodle-like coat will experience less shedding and odor, because this is a hypoallergenic coat.

On the other hand, Labradoodles can have a labrador coat texture, which is a straight or wavy coat type. These doodles will have more shedding and scent attached to their fur, making them naturally more smelly.

Coat quality is an important factor to look at while choosing a labradoodle to add to your family. In the case of odor, a poodle-type coat is definitely the desirable coat.

Grooming Away Any Odors

Female groomer washing a labradoodle in a bathtub

Any dog with a dirty coat will have an unpleasant smell. Dogs like getting wet and rolling around outside, which means that they will frequently dirty their coat.

It’s important to allow your dog to enjoy themselves, but dealing with the aftermath of a stinky dog isn’t something everyone wants to do. 

Therefore, you must ensure that you groom your doodle’s entire coat properly and frequently.

Bathing Your Doodle

Exact grooming needs will differ depending on the activity level & environment of your Labradoodle. Active families who live outdoorsy lives might find that they need to bathe their dogs more to combat any odors.

Considering their coat type, a bath every 1-2 months is adequate for a labradoodle. However, if your doodle rolls around in something dirty, make sure to bathe them to get rid of their smelly coat. 

Pay extra attention to their rear end. Fur that is caked with anal gland secretions is a common reason behind a persistent stinky smell. Plus, it may be easier for doodles with curly fur to have feces stuck on the fur of their rear end. 

Ask your veterinarian if your dog has any issues such as excessive dander or allergies; in this case, you may have to bathe your dog more frequently to avoid odor.

Look for a doggy shampoo with natural extracts such as oatmeal, aloe vera, and herbal extracts. Citrus extracts and tea tree oil are very good at gently removing odor. Avoid stripping ingredients such as Propylene glycol or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

While these ingredients can make your dog’s coat shiny and fresh scented right after a bath, it can strip your dog’s coat of its natural oils in the long run. In turn, this forces your dog’s skin to produce more smelly oil, causing a stronger scent. 

Bathing your dog too frequently will also strip its fur oils, causing a stronger scent.

Drying Your Labradoodle

Curly Hair Cuts

To avoid that wet dog smell after a bath, you must ensure that your dog is totally dry. Since Labradoodles have a double coat, you should spend time towel drying your dog and making sure that its entire coat is completely dry. 

You can also use a hairdryer for a faster drying time, if your puppy is not scared of it. Avoid letting your dog airdry, as leaving that damp layer of fur is a great breeding ground for bacteria. 

Brushing Your Labradoodle

The coat type of a labradoodle can be prone to matting. Pair this with the fact that doodles typically love water, and you have a recipe for stinky clumps of fur!

It is essential to brush your doodle at least 3-5 times a week and also before a bath for proper odor control. Brushing helps transfer your pup’s natural oils along the shaft of their hair, which means they can smell better in between baths.

Cleaning Their Environment

Most people overlook this, but our doggie’s bedding and blankets can often be extremely stinky. Since your doodle lays on it all day long, it can retain strong smells 

Wash your dog’s bedding often with a pet-friendly detergent. Using a normal deodorant for human clothes can lead to allergic reactions, therefore causing an even stronger smell.

Conclusion

Labradoodles could be a great addition to your family; however, if you’re worried about any odor coming from your dog, make sure to adopt from a reputable doodle breeder. 

Make sure to take care of your pup’s diet, oral health, grooming, environment, and anus. Your doggie’s health is holistic and all of these factors can contribute to an adorable, clean dog!

If you have any questions about Labradoodle grooming and hygiene, please leave a comment below!

Meet our writer

Anoushka’s love for animals began with taking care of the cows & chickens on her family farm. As she grew older, this love transformed into a love for dogs. She volunteers in a dog shelter, so she is well-versed in the care and comfort of all breeds of dogs.

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