To say something smells like a wet dog is a powerful insult – probably because it references such a distinct odor. We all know our pooches become more fragrant after just adding water, but what about the rest of the time?
For Goldendoodle owners in particular, how do you know a normal smell from a bad one, and what do you do if your dog seems to stink too much? Read on to the answers below.
Why Does My Goldendoodle Stink?
If your Goldendoodle stinks it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition that needs attention. If the smell is fishy-smelling it could be an ear infection or anal gland issues. If your dog has been outside or swimming and the smell is bad but not horrible, it could be time for a bath.
If the smell is more than just a strong dog odor it also could be that your Goldendoodle rolled in something. When dogs find a scent they want to remember they often roll around it in. This could be rabbit poop, a dead bird, or any kind of smelly item.
Goldendoodles, along with all dogs, have a natural scent that is detectable but usually not too strong, and you may or may not find it unappealing. However, if a really strong, unpleasant odor is plaguing your Goldendoodle, it could be due to either something they picked up on their fur or potentially a medical condition that needs attention.
How Should My Goldendoodle Smell Normally?
We notice smells on dogs coming from their skin, fur, breath, flatulence, and any secretions. It is normal for your Goldendoodle to have a somewhat doggy scent when you put your face close up to them and to smell them when they breathe on you, pass wind, etc. But very strong odors that do not dissipate with time or bathing should be investigated further.
Like humans, dogs have a microbiome living on their skin and in their hair. Bacteria, yeast, and other fungi take up residence there and excrete waste. It is the waste products from these microorganisms that may flake off in dandruff or loose fur that we can pick up even with our relatively weak sense of smell.
When wet, Goldendoodles and other dogs will start to evaporate moisture from their bodies, which accelerates the release and amplifies the number of smelly particulates in the air. Additional humidity also makes it easier for molecules to trigger receptors in our noses. This is the cause of “wet dog” smell.
Did My Goldendoodle Get into Something? External Sources of a Bad Smell
Dogs are naturally curious and attracted to animals and smells we would rather keep them away from. Goldendoodles are not exempt from these instincts and this means that sometimes they show up with a smell they picked up from elsewhere.
Dogs descended from wolves, as hard as it may be to believe when looking into that sweet, soft-eyed Goldendoodle face. This means that even though we may serve them the best nutritionally balanced kibble or even fresh meat and veggies, they are still suckers for a rotting corpse.
If they find a dead animal in the woods, they will likely chew on it, consume it, and roll in it. They are marking it with their scent, but, at the same time, the dead animal smell is being transferred onto them.
Unfortunately, this behavior is often the same when your dog encounters feces, urine markings, or garbage. It’s easy to forget that, no matter how much we love them, dogs can be pretty gross sometimes, and they can get into some nasty stuff behind our backs. If your dog is an intact male, they may be inclined to do a fair amount of marking themselves, which might lead to them marking indoors. This can result in a pretty prominent foul odor that will be hard to miss on your Goldendoodle.
Luckily, what all these fun activities that your dog might partake in have in common is that they are usually pretty identifiable. If your Goldendoodle comes in from the outdoors smelling like rotten food, a dead animal, urine, or dog poop, you can pretty easily bet that they got into something, and a bath is needed.
Note that eating animal bones and garbage can be hazardous for your pet, and you should see your vet right away if you notice them feeling ill or having digestive issues/problems passing stool.
Another pungent, unmistakable smell your pup can acquire from the outdoors is that of a skunk. Dogs are particularly hapless when it comes to this formidable creature; they will chase it just like any rodent or rabbit and leave you cleaning up the mess. If your Goldendoodle is skunked, your house will be filled up with an overwhelming musk, and you will know it’s time to start looking up remedies.
Does My Goldendoodle Smell Bad Because There Is Something Wrong?
Occasionally, Goldendoodles and other dogs will smell bad in a way that is stronger than usual, does not appear to come from an outside source, and will not dissipate over time or with good washing and grooming. Foul, persistent odors emanating from their skin, breath, or other parts of the body may be indicative of a medical problem.
We all get morning breath from time to time, and your Goldendoodle’s mouth probably is never going to smell minty fresh on its own, but neither should your dog panting in your face make you have to turn your head in disgust. Particularly bad breath is a sign of dental and gum disease, which is sadly very common in dogs and cats as the majority of them suffer from it at some point in their lives.
Even if you do a good job of caring for your Goldendoodle’s dental health, bad breath is sometimes a sign of something even more serious like kidney failure or diabetes. Either way, if your pet’s breath reeks consistently, talk to your vet!
Anal Sacs and Excessive Flatulence
Meanwhile, on the other end of the dog, we might be expecting our dogs’ rear ends to stink. However, it is possible to identify issues there as well. Dogs can of course fart just as we do, but if your Goldendoodle consistently clears the room, it may mean there is something not right with their digestive health. This could indicate a need to change their diet. Picking quality dog food can make a big difference.
There is one other reason your Goldendoodle’s butt might be overly offensive: overfull or leaking anal sacs! Pretty gross, I know. All dogs secrete a smelly fluid from sacs on their rear, which can sometimes fill up too much and start to irritate the animal (this is often the reason for “scooting” behavior or too much licking in that area). A veterinarian can express these manually for you as needed to relieve the discomfort.
Skin and Ear Infections
Last but not least, bad smells may also mean your Goldendoodle has picked up an infection somewhere. Remember that microbiome on their skin? If their skin were to become too dry, cracked, unhealthy, or they sustained a wound, bad microbes could flourish on top or even get under various layers of skin and cause infection. Dogs that have folds in their skin like pugs are particularly vulnerable, as the folds create a damp, warm location for bacteria and fungi to grow.
Another damp, warm spot relatively ripe for infection is inside your dog’s ears. If not kept clean or cleared entirely after your dog gets wet, nasty microbial life can take hold and multiply. This will likely be accompanied by an equally nasty scent coming from the ear canal. Dogs with floppy ears are most susceptible and allergies can cause either skin or ear infections. If your Goldendoodle has an ear infection, they will most likely need medication to help them get past it.
What Do I Do If My Goldendoodle Smells Bad?
The best treatment is always prevention. You can help eliminate potential awful smells by taking excellent care of your Goldendoodle. Make sure they eat a healthy diet, keep up with their vet visits, bathe and groom them according to their needs, keep up with their dental hygiene, and check them over occasionally, especially ears and paws.
To the best of your abilities, keep them away from tempting distractions like the trash can or whatever they might find out in the woods, i.e. a dead or dangerous animal. Also, wash their bedding to keep it from getting dingy, clinging onto smells, and returning them to your Goldendoodle.
Finally, as has been repeatedly suggested here, if something does go wrong or you suspect that your Goldendoodle’s malodorous condition is abnormal, it is certainly wise to seek help and advice from your veterinarian. It may also be of interest to you to purchase pet insurance to help cover the costs of anything unexpected occurring, including conditions that cause foul smells.
How Much Does It Cost to Groom a Goldendoodle?
Since bathing and grooming are among the suggested best practices to deal with pet odor, you might be wondering how much grooming is needed and what the costs are. Most experts recommend that Goldendoodles get fully groomed or at least bathed and brushed every six to eight weeks. On average expect grooming a Goldendoodle to cost between $50 and $80 per visit.
We pay $90 every six weeks for a mobile groomer to come to our house. When Lexie was young, she did not do well riding in the car. As a result, the mobile groomer was the easiest solution. We once took her to PetSmart out of necessity and being a mini Goldendoodle Lexie’s grooming was around $40 with a few extras added. One thing we found was that the conditioner and grooming process our mobile groomer uses is far superior to PetSmart’s. Lexie is so much softer to the touch when our mobile groomer takes care of her.
One grooming suggestion… you should
You could save some money by investing in a good pair of clippers (a one-time purchase that might run you anywhere between $50 and $100+ depending on the quality of the clippers) if you do not mind the additional effort. Otherwise, the costs of buying dog shampoo or brushes can be nominal – you can usually find these items for under $20.
To summarize, your dog is ordinarily just going to smell doggy; they have their own unique scents just like people. Non-dog owners may notice it right away, but, if it’s your dog, you will probably become accustomed to their everyday smell, and it should not be noticeably disgusting.
It is when your Goldendoodle’s smells do become especially off-putting that you need to determine if it is something that is on them or if something is awry with them. Give your dog the very best care, and, if they continue to stink anyway, do not be shy about asking for help from a licensed professional.